Club captain Kevin Nolan recently commented on the British spine to West Ham’s side and whether England manager Roy Hodgson is overlooking some quality home-grown talents because they play for the claret and blue of East London rather than the top four elites.
It is not hard to see his point in the matter, with the first team squad boasting some very good English players. Mark Noble, the captain himself Nolan, skilful youngster Ravel Morrison, wide-men Matt Jarvis and Stewart Downing and central defender James Tomkins, not forgetting the injured Andy Carroll. But are these players good enough for the international stage? Not all but some should definitely be in with a shout.
Our current longest serving player Noble has always put blood, sweat and tears into the Hammers cause and has found himself as one of the first names on the team sheet, combining last ditch tackles and spraying passes in the defensive midfielder role. Central midfield is an area where England have a plethora of options but with the old guard surely moving away from the international scene after Brazil 2014, it could be a chance for Noble to stake a claim.
If he keeps plugging away for West Ham United then surely Hodgson can’t keep denying him at least a place in the squad? Meanwhile, young Ravel Morrison has filled hundreds of column inches in recent weeks with his performances catching the eye and setting alight the claret and blue hearts of many Hammers fans. It is the number 15 who is the most likely out of the England contingent at the Boleyn Ground to be called up, with many writers tipping Ravel and Everton’s Ross Barkley as the wildcards for England’s trip to South America next summer.
The future is bright for Morrison but he must keep his feet on the ground, his early season form has been brilliant since he broke into the first team but consistency is the key and if he keeps the same level of performance throughout the season then he should deserve a place in the national squad. Whilst the likes of Jarvis, Downing, Joe Cole, Nolan and Tomkins may not receive an England cap in the near future, Andy Carroll is still in Roy Hodgson’s plans in my opinion.
With the striker nearing a return, it will be between Carroll and Southampton’s Rickie Lambert for a place in the England side as the target man option so it is vital for the big man to get back to full fitness for his World Cup chances.