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Summer heat but not a spark from this Hammer

 

By CandH’s top blogger Allen Cummings

 

“Bowen’s on fire…………….” I won’t repeat the rest of the chant for obvious reasons – this is a civilised forum after all. But that song echoed loudly and proudly around football grounds both at home and abroad last season, whenever West Ham fans were gathering.

But while grassland and forests have unfortunately been ablaze in this summer’s heat – sadly since the start of the new season there has been barely a ‘spark’ from Jarrod Bowen.

With 12 goals and 10 assists last season, Jarrod more than earned the right to have his own song. But in four Premier League games so far, he has failed to bulge the net once himself – or provide an assist for a team mate to do the same.

His only strike so far has come against Viborg in the home leg. Granted the team as a whole have had a stuttering start to our league campaign – but Jarrod Bowen in particular has looked way out of sorts. So is the pressure growing on David Moyes to take Jarrod out of the firing line?

(Photo by Rob Newell – CameraSport via Getty Images)

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Last season the manager didn’t have the options to make that call – not that he wanted or needed to. But now with new arrivals bolstering our squad with greater depth, strength and quality, Moyes has genuinely viable alternatives at his disposal.

Bowen has had something of a meteoric rise over the past few years, taking him from Hull City in the Championship to a place in the full England team – with genuine prospects for making Gareth Southgate’s squad for the World Cup in Qatar. But on the basis of what we’ve seen so far this season, those prospects could be coming under scrutiny.

Last Sunday at Villa Park Bowen had a couple of opportunities to get on the scoresheet and get his own season up and running  yet he looked strangely hesitant in his approach and slow in reacting to those situations.

One in particular when through on goal, an opportunity he would have grasped and buried last season, he hesitated which way to go, and was eventually disposed before he could get his shot away. There was also the opportunity to lay the ball off to the better positioned team mate, but he failed to recognise that, too.

Of course a player like Bowen is always a threat to the opposition. He could just burst into life at any time and be back to his old self. But how long does Moyes wait for that to happen? How long can he afford to wait when other players are waiting in the wings?

The manager has been criticised in some quarters for his loyalty to certain players who have served him well over the last two seasons. Jarrod Bowen is clearly one of those players Moyes has immense faith in. I firmly believe Jarrod will line-up against the Spuds tomorrow (Wed).

Big players perform on big occasions – let’s hope Jarrod Bowen lights the touch paper again sooner rather than later – Wednesday would be the perfect starting point.

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About Hugh5outhon1895

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

4 comments on “Summer heat but not a spark from this Hammer

  1. As the saying goes “form is temporary, class is permanent”. I think the general form of the team has increased the pressure on the usual gaolscorers to convert the few chanes that we do make which could be haing an effect. Also, the other teams will have seen how important he is and will have made changes to counter that (eg he is being forced onto his right foot a lot more). Hopefully the addition of Paqueta and possibly Vanaken and/or Januzaj will give the opposition more to think about and allow Jarad Bowen a bit more space.

    • It’s the tactics played by Moyes.
      Negative against City and Brighton. Plus the 1st half against Villa.
      Simple.
      He had one chance against Villa.
      You don’t score with every chance.
      He’ll come good again as the previous poster mentioned

  2. Any news on Ashby?
    Is he injured ?
    He’ll help Bowen get back to form

  3. I think it’s obvious that the whole team have suffered a lack of confidence so far this season. It’s not just Bowen. Declan Rice was abysmal in the first half in particular against Villa. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him give the ball away so many times. He was better in the second but still gave the ball away. Benrahma and Fabianski seem like the only ones to be performing well. And of course it takes time to bed in the new boys from out of town.

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