It is of course very early days and not the right time to get carried away with a little success but Stewart Downing’s call-up to the England squad has to be recognised as being as much about the manager as the player.
A welcome change of system was a very good thing in it’s own right but that the Hammers have possibly their first international player since Scott Parker ( if we ignore former loanee Andy Carroll) is a credit to the two guys.
Given that Roy Hodgson seems to have made a habit of turning a blind eye to West Ham when selecting England squads makes the selection even more significant.
Downing himself commented yesterday that the England manager had been impressed with the way the side has adjusted it’s style of play this season, perhaps the most significant comment in what at times sounded like a thank you speech.
And Allardyce’s decision to employ a diamond formation with Downing as the key player was – whether you like the bloke or not – a masterstroke.
I, like every other Iron, am hoping Hodgson goes the whole hog and gives Stewart his start against Slovenia as, after all, this is no ‘kid’ whom he has to protect.
Allardyce is right when he claims he’s the most effective midfielder around, a statement borne out by the fact he’s provided more assists that Cesc Fabregas.
For the first time in a long while I’m looking forward to an international – all the best Stewart and well done Mr Allardyce.