It was highly unlikely that Rickie Lambert’s extraordinary England debut, in which he joined the likes of Bobby Charlton, Jimmy Greaves and Alan Shearer by scoring in his first international match, would go to his head. But just in case, his Southampton teammates were prepared and waiting before the regular training session on Thursday morning.
He was welcomed with handshakes, hugs and congratulatory words for his match winning goal against Scotland but was soon brought down to earth.
Captain of the club Kelvin Davis took a picture of Lambert’s head from his iPad and proceeded to pose with a Lambert mask over his face and enacting his goal and his ecstatic celebration.
Lambert, 31, is really excited for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil but he had to cover a long journey to reach there.
From beetroot factory to Wembley via Macclesfield, Stockport County, Rochdale, Bristol Rovers and Southampton, his journey has been anything but conventional.
When Lambert played against Fulham in the FA Cup, Roy Hodgson came to have a look at him but thought that he was not yet ready and needed more training. And probably he was right at that time.
Even after scoring 103 goals in 196 games for his club Southampton, the call for the England squad was still unexpected.
As soon as Lambert left the hospital where his wife Amy had just given birth to their third child, Bella Rose, he received the news of his selection from Pochettino.
Hodgson describes Lambert as a breath of fresh air at the camp although he would be competing with Daniel Sturridge and Andy Carroll for places in the next squad.
Watch England vs Scotland video highlights here.