Among the things it seemed impossible to believe, Jermain Defoe’s England recall was up there with “of course the pound will recover from Brexit” and “Sunderland won’t go down”.
Monsieur Salut can live, just, with the former being a somewhat improbable development – while allowing himself a mischievous chuckle at what’s it’s done to Magaluf spending dosh – and meekly accepts the latter is a forlorn hope.
But Jermain has proved such pessimism to be, in his case at least, wrong.
He is, at 34, as classy as any English striker. He score loads of goals – 14 this season – despite having wretched service from a poor team and stands out among contemporary footballers as a model of commonsense and efficiency.
Whether he sees action against Germany in a friendly on March 22 or in the World Cup qualifier against Lithuania a few days later remains to be seen. The call-up itself bears witness to his superb professionalism and enduring attacking prowess.
“You can have the young players who are hungry and the old players who are hungry as well,” the England manager Gareth Southgate says. “I think we can’t just look at young players all the time. I think we have to get results now and also plan for the future.”
Bravo, Jermain. You deserved it.
And now go and score a winning hat trick aginst Burnley. Salut! Sunderland’s buildup can be seen here and here.