I’m sure there were plenty of West Ham fans shaking their heads when they saw Gareth Southgate’s England squad announcement. When Southgate first came in, I genuinely felt he picked players on their form but for a while now, it’s become clear he picks his favourites, regardless of their club form.
How else can you explain why benchwarmers Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips both got the nod? And don’t get me started on Jordan Henderson. But then I note that Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah was rewarded with his strong start to the season and made the squad.
So why hasn’t Jarrod Bowen, who has scored more goals in the opening four games, made the cut? He’s recovered the sizzling form that saw him rewarded with his debut for England against Hungary in June 2022.
His goals against Bournemouth and Brighton were world class, the latter will surely be a contender for goal of the season. I was also disappointed for James Ward-Prowse. Between our two Englishmen, they’ve clocked up four goals and four assists in four games.
Over the years, I’ve written many pieces calling for our other English stars to get called up, most notably Noble and Cresswell with the latter having got three caps to his name. Despite Ashton’s injury all those years ago, I do still want our English players to get into the national team, and I was proud of Declan’s performances for the Three Lions.
At least both Bowen and Ward-Prowse will get a rest so they can be fit and fresh for West Ham after the international break.