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Sam keeps Antonio on sidelines


West_Ham_Michail_Antonio4_594After the high excitement of seeing Michail Antonio called up for England my interest in the international team was briefly re-ignited.

Sam Allardyce made a top call in bringing the Iron into the Three Lions fold and I can’t think of a worthier candidate – so well done to the manager on that.

Sadly however, the former Irons boss has decided to leave him on the sidelines for the World Cup qualifier against Slovakia tomorrow (Sun) thus putting my personal interest back on hold.

Hopefully the lad will be among the subs and get a sniff of the action.

Allardyce  told the players his starting XI on Friday for the tough test awaiting them in their opening Group F fixture — the nations drew 0-0 during the group stage in France – and it features no major surprises.

In fact it features eight of those who flopped against Iceland and even includes Harry Kane despite the Tottenham striker’s disastrous Euros under predecessor Roy Hodgson and subsequent disappointing start to the Premier League season.

Kane has just one goal in his last 11 appearances for club and country, so Allardyce’s show of faith will be a major confidence boost for the out-of-form centre-forward.

Wish ’em all the best but for me Michail’s inclusion was a given – not even an argument.

England: Hart; Walker, Cahill, Stones, Rose; Dier, Henderson; Lallana, Rooney, Sterling; Kane.

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon


  • johnboy says:

    What did you expect ! He is covering his arse cos he said he wants to give them a chance to redeem themselves ! If they lose he can say well I gave you a chance and you blew it so now I will have to change the set up but it will take time and thus covers his arse?
    Rooney is the problem here , he had the ideal opportunity to dump the bloke and send a message to the flops that he means buisness ! He’s already failed IMO ! Stones for the suicide bomber was a good call though ? 🙂

    • Fish N Chips says:

      I think that is a good point about covering his arse; it means he’s not just going to sweep players away which he might need later. It should help with those players confidence too. Personally, I am grateful for what Sam did for WHU, but as an England manager? What?? The best he can say is that he’s never had a club of his relegated??? Hardly world dynamite stuff, is it? Well, we’ll see, but OMG with Allardyce running the show, we are really scraping the barrel. I would love to see England thrive, but it just looks like more of the trajectory downwards. ‘effing England; should have taken Scott Parker in 2010 – could have completely changed our fortunes. Ditto Antonio being ignored by effing Hodgeson for the Euros.
      He is world class; just needs the opportunity to prove it! Call it bias, call it what you like, but Antonio is dynamite. End of!

  • Fish N Chips says:

    Boooo! Antonio is the brightest spark in the England story for ages! I just hope he gets to play at some stage in the match, gets on back post crosses and scores a couple!…

  • GW says:

    So the great new dawn of English football led by the slug is no different to the great new dawn under Woy the owl and Uncle Fabio the Italian stallion 😉 Daphne and the parishioners will be discussing this at great length at a hastily called meeting this morning at 11am.

  • johnboy says:

    Haha ? Don’t forget the air freshner !! 😉

    • GW says:

      Apparently they’ve also got a “Ode to the slug tribute” on at 12:30 Johnboy and a sing song round the piano at 1:30 led by the sammerettes 😉

  • johnboy says:

    Haha ! Don’t start me off GW ! I’ve got the grandkids around today, surrounded by pampers,
    I gave gonzo a free membership last night but the last time I saw him he was being chased down the high st by a bloke in a white coat with a large chip scoup ?
    Hahaha gnash gnash !! I’m off !!!! The grankids are attacking the postman ! Good luck . Hahaha, its awake ? 🙂

  • West Ham Fan No 32 says:

    With the exception of Stones, its the same flops that weren’t good enough before, thinking on this positively you could say Sam is using it as an exercise to clear the decks if they flop again, from his own perspective it is a no lose gamble, if they perform he can say he gave them the opportunity to redeem themselves and make amends, if they flop he can consign them to the back burner and say he gave them their chance and they blew it, next game there will be fresh faces… pure speculation but for me the team he picked isn’t the best England have to offer, why the hell Antonio, Vardy and Drinkwater aren’t in the starting line up is a mystery but leave that to big Sam to answer for, we have an effective freeroll watching these games as do any other teams formerly managed by Sam, we can give him plenty if he fails and if he doesn’t we can enjoy the ride. Daphne and the parishioners might be spitting out the coffee and readying some rock cakes GW 😉

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