Lambert eyes shot at Golden Boot after Southampton striker's Premier League goal rush
21:00 GMT, 23 September 2012
Honest journeyman Rickie Lambert has clawed his way into the Premier League at the age of 30 after a long career in lower divisions and now plans to fight for the Premier League’s Golden Boot.
The last Englishman to win the Premier League’s accolade for the most goals in a season was Kevin Phillips, who hit 30 in 1999-2000 for Sunderland.
Now, 12 years on, Southampton’s talismanic Liverpudlian believes he can be the next in line after scoring four in his first five top-flight appearances.
Red hot: Rickie Lambert has hit four goals in five Premier League games
Lambert, who used to work in a beetroot factory, said: ‘I want to be in the race for the Golden Boot. It is a massive achievement to win it. I will give it a good go and try my best. There are so many good strikers out there now but who knows It could be my year.
Golden boys: The 20+ crew
Since Kevin Phillips hit 30 in 1999-2000, six Englishmen have scored 20+ Premier League goals in a season.
2001-02 Alan Shearer (23); 02-03 James Beattie (23); 03-04 Shearer (22); 04-05 Andy Johnson (21);
09-10 Wayne Rooney (26), Darren Bent (24), Frank Lampard (22); 11/12 Rooney (27)
‘If you can say I am up there with Robin van Persie at the end of the season in terms of goals I will be very happy.
‘I am very proud to be up there now but it is only five games into the season. Hopefully I will be scoring more and more, helping us win more games.’
Lambert got Southampton’s first and last goals after Darren Bent’s opener, Nathaniel Clyne gave the home side the lead and Jason Puncheon got the third via a deflection off Ciaran Clark.
Striking success: Lambert has netted in all four English leagues
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert was impressed with the strike partnership of Bent and Christian Benteke, despite the scoreline.
He said: ‘I was impressed with our two strikers. I believe they will be a good partnership. Darren’s goal was him to a tee, that is how he has made a living out of the game.
‘I am glad he scored but I would rather win. The game is about winning.’