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England, Jarrod Bowen and an irrational West Ham fear!

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I haven’t looked at the ‘leaked team news’ blogs appearing over the internet today regarding the team selection for todays England V Denmark match. My own totally unbiased opinion, naturally, is that Jarrod Bowen should be starting instead of Saka who looked tired – Saka may be the better player but there are still possibly five more games and JB came tantalisingly close to providing an assist in the game against Serbia.

I love the anticipation of hoping one of ‘our’ players will make it into the 11 and if he does, I’ll then be just as nervous as I was when the ‘never to be named again’ DR 41 made his early England appearances: I even lost track of the score in the first few games being focussed on the player not the match situation. Am I alone in this? Why do I feel such vicarious pride when one of ‘our ‘club players gets selected in the starting XI for the national team?

I never learn.

Back in 2010 I phoned friends, demanding they watch, and recruited my then girlfriend to sit and watch England’s world cup match with the USA because ‘our’ Rob Green had finally gone from being ‘England’s number three’ to being selected for the national team between the sticks. I’d sat behind him in the Bobby Moore Upper for a couple of seasons watching his heroics at Upton Park and joined in the ‘England’s number three’ chant originated by the player himself, having had the same ironic claim printed on his ‘keepers gloves. I was pleased for what was obviously such a good guy and a true West Ham mini hero to be in the starting line-up  that I recruited everyone I knew to share in his imminent deserved success.

It was inevitable, really, when Clint Dempsey’s tame shot from 30 yards out bobbled through Rob Green’s gloves and into the net. My girlfriend – heartless creature – burst out laughing and accused Rob of being secretly Scottish. Four texts appeared from p*ss taking mates and I promptly went out for a walk wondering why I let it get to me, year after year. It wasn’t about the final 1-1 score, it was a sense of disappointment that life didn’t live up to expectation, that our heroes and role models turn out to be just human after all.

Fast forward to 2024 and I’m doing it all again – so maybe, Jarrod, stay on the bench, mate, my claret and blue pride can’t take the disappointment of a missed ‘sitter’ or heaven forbid-some accidental red card fiasco. As they say, it’s the hope that kills.

So, spare a thought for me, if JB20 does start for England: I’ll be watching with clenched jaw, jigging knees and crossed fingers which is not a pleasant way to spend 90 minutes. Too nervous to eat or to drink, I’ll just sweat it out, hoping that the same scriptwriter from Prague last summer is on duty tonight!

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Like everyone else, lifelong WHU fan and season ticket holder in old BMU stand at Upton Park from 2003. Billy Bonds these days with my adult son and impatiently waiting for my Grandson to be old enough to initiate him before his mum grabs him for Man U. All opinions are my own very biased ones.

0 comments

  • Leli says:

    Brilliant, Martin! Was right there with you…very funny. Need more like this!

    • Robtheradish says:

      I agree completely, as a Custom House boy & lifelong Hammer I am always very proud when one of our lads plays for England. ⚒⚒⚒

    • Robtheradish says:

      I agree completely, as a Custom House boy & lifelong Hammer I am always very proud when one of our lads plays for England. ⚒⚒⚒

  • Morty says:

    Excellent Martin 😊 I always fear an injury to our player or he plays so well Real Madrid come knocking 😂😂

  • Good Ole Daze says:

    You made her watch England? No wonder she’s your ex-girlfriend….

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