Once in a while, a player signs for West Ham and turns out to be a true hero in claret and blue, but it’s not very often that player is a goal-scoring forward. Step up Jarrod Bowen. Fifty goals across 176 appearances, bang. I could end the piece there really.
Of those goals, 36 have come in the Premier League, nine in Europe (in just eight games), three in the FA Cup and two in the League Cup. He’s been a breath of fresh air for the club and now with a contract in place until 2030, he feels like a proper Hammer, one we can brag about.
The big five-zero was clocked up fittingly at Spurs. We were one-nil down at the time and of course we went on to win two-one, so Jarrod’s effort provided the momentum to win in the second half. Well that and whatever Moyes ranted in the dressing room at half time.
Not only did he score his 50th that day with a characteristically cool finish, this was a record equalling goal in terms of his West Ham career. It meant he had scored seven on the road this season (in seven games), only matched by Trevor Morley and Paulo Wanchope.
Just the month before that against Brentford, he broke a Premier League all-time record by scoring in the Hammers’ first six Premier League away games, something no player has done before. What has become clear from this half century is that Jarrod likes what he likes.
He prefers to boot them in with his left and if he could choose, he’d play Arsenal and Wolves on rotation.
With four goals against each the Gunners and the Wanderers (well five now, his 51st came against them too), he’s found his rhythm against these teams. They’ll dread to play against him, and isn’t it nice to have a player we can say that about?
His left foot has contributed to 56% of his tally. The next closest method of scoring is with his right foot, which only 14% of his goals came from. With just six from his head, it’s not his favoured tactic.
It’s funny when you watch a highlights reel of Bowen’s shots and you really notice when one is a header – it just looks unusual. Jarrod’s love of the diagonal pass is beautiful. He reads it, anticipates it and knows exactly what he’s going to do with the ball.
Now in his fifth season at West Ham, opposing teams have surely worked him out, they just can’t deal with him still. It goes without saying that his crowning glory is his Conference League final winner against Fiorentina. As per usual, it was a lovely, composed finish and it couldn’t have made for a better story.
The other 49 goals up his sleeve have rarely been scrappy though.
His spin and control effort in December 2021 away to Spurs was something a little different from him and was a memorable finish. It’s probably one of his best in claret and blue. To do that at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium as well as score his landmark 50th there are all additional bragging rights that we can treasure.
Just a few games after this, he saved the team from an embarrassing fourth round FA Cup exit against Kidderminster. Astonishingly Bowen scored in the 121st minute in extra time to win the tie. Bowen polished off his 21/22 season with two composed finishes past Ederson in east London, as we earnt a draw against Man City. No easy feat at any time.
The significance of the point was that it secured European football for the following season thanks to a seventh place finish. What better man to score twice and seal the deal for us? More recently he fired home West Ham’s opening goal of this season against Bournemouth. It was a lovely strike from outside the box into the top corner.
For it to be the first in the season where we had to follow on from a momentous cup win was great. It gave promise and showed intentions. They were all either important or memorable goals in their own right but selfishly, my favourite was his first goal for us. I was at the London Stadium for his first start, a 3-1 win over Southampton.
I don’t remember being so impressed by a full debut. He played brilliantly and started off with a goal after 15 minutes – a typically clinical finish with his left foot. A real sign of things to come. Morale was pretty low at the time as we were in the bottom three, but that win lifted us up to 17th. The team was psychologically lifted by Bowen’s impact.
Jarrod’s fifty goals came from 45 matches, 32 of those games ended in wins and 17 goals were match winning. West Ham fans know how lucky they are that Bowen is part of this team and both the stats and his attitude add up to the perfect formula. Here’s to the next 50 and beyond!