“England have won the World Cup”, is something that we’ll be hoping will be ringing out come next July.
I’ve never heard that line live on television and I suspect many of you reading haven’t. A lot of us next summer will be hoping that Motty can scream those amazing words as a Hammer knocks in the winning goal of the World Cup in Brazil.
England have now confirmed their place in the competition, which has been met with the usual mixture of ‘this is our year’ and ‘why bother?’. From a patriotic point of view, it’s great to watch a country come together and all hope for the same outcome (unless Lamps steps up for a penalty, then I’m not that bothered!).
Between now and June there will be plenty of speculation both in the press and on the stands about who Roy Hodgson will pick to represent England in what will be dubbed the carnival World Cup. But the biggest question on my lips is will there be any West Ham players in his final squad? It’s obviously a difficult question to answer and even predict.
Between now and then we have a transfer window to compete with, and with a World Cup looming there will be Premier League players looking to impress left, right and centre. Expect January price-tags to rise for English players as every club looks for the glory of having a World Cup representative on its hands.
West Ham undoubtedly have candidates. Here’s a quick run through our current hopefuls. This is, of course, all my own opinion but I’d love to know your views on their actual chances.
Mark Noble: Let’s face it, it’s not going to happen is it? I know even mentioning Mark’s name is pointless at this stage, but he really will be the one that England let slip. Noble’s dip in form in recent history seems to be coming to an end, and he is relishing his role in the new 4-6-0 formation. Too late for Mark? Probably, and there’s not a lot of room left for him in the England midfield. But we can always hope.
Andy Carroll: Carroll and Rooney would be a force to be reckoned with. Andy is dreaming of a World Cup call up and he would give another dimension to Hodgson’s current set up. Sam Allardyce is already calling for Carroll to get the nod, and if he continues to put in the effort on his return from injury, he will be in with a good chance. We would assume that his return to form will come soon after recovery, but mentally and physically it might be a big ask for the big man, so we can only cross our fingers in the meantime.
Ravel Morrison: This young talent continues to impress. He scored two goals on his England U21 debut (an early strike and a stunning second) and fans and media alike are prepared to give Morrison the credit for his footballing skills. His on-pitch row with Wilfried Zaha probably didn’t do him too many favours, but generally that was glossed over to speak of his raw talent. He might just be Hodgson’s wildcard.
Stewart Downing: Downing has an England career on the go, albeit it’s taken a little siesta. In 34 appearances he’s notched up seven assists. He made no secret of the fact that he hoped a move to the East End would reignite his international chances and he might link up well with Carroll to show off a proactive partnership.
Carlton Cole: Only joking. That’s just our current squad. We’ve starting to build up a good platform for English footballers again. We all hold on to the fact that we “won” the World Cup in 1966 and the era of Carrick, Ferdinand, Lampard, Defoe and co. We need something to look forward to, and Tony Carr and Sam Allardyce are working well to get our international hopes back to the way they were. This is also forgetting that we might buy in January. As fans, we do tend to look at our half empty glass and assume that we’ll sell anyone who shows any potential without replacing with an equally promising player. Let’s have some faith. But don’t ask me to write my opinions again in February, because I might be a little more downbeat!