Saturday showed everyone what West Ham’s English stars can really do. Joe Cole, Mark Noble, Kevin Nolan and Matt Jarvis were all involved in the two goals and the fluid movement of the heavily English based midfield created plenty of chances. It’s hard to find a negative from the opening game, perhaps one could say that the side should have been more clinical, but a good defensive performance meant that two goals was enough.
Stewart Downing and Ravel Morrison started on the bench and with Andy Carroll missing out due to injury, there are a real number of English attacking players in the side. Allardyce has depth this season especially in attacking positions. If the Hammers can put a cup run together this season, the number of quality players in the squad means that the players would be able to cope with two games a week.
It begs the question, why were there no West Ham players in the England squad against Scotland? The England squad (also known as Manchester United) managed to beat Scotland 3-2 in a worryingly close encounter. Many fans have been critical of the number of United players in the squad, with Roy Hodgson rarely giving other younger players a chance.
There is something about Manchester United players however, that other players often don’t have. The ability to get a result despite a lackluster performance is something we saw very often from a United side under Ferguson. United players are clinical, with the ability and confidence to win.
Despite this, Danny Welbeck’s goal scoring record last season in the Premier League was poor, with only one goal scored. Tom Cleverley too, sometimes looked out of his depth when playing on the international stage. Their performances against Scotland however, were encouraging, with Welbeck getting on the score sheet and Cleverley’s passing was a joy to behold.
Welbeck’s performance against Swansea also showed the world what he can do. He scored two goals, with the second being a sublime finish. His movement in and around the box has improved dramatically from last season and it looks as if he could be a successful goal scorer for United this season.
Perhaps then Hodgson selection of these United players is justified, however it seems that English players at West Ham aren’t being given a chance on the international stage. Mark Noble was another player who shined against Cardiff and some might argue that if he played for a top 4 side, perhaps he would make the England squad. Jarvis is yet to add to his one cap when playing at Wolves and despite the consistent number of goals he has scored, Kevin Nolan has never been given a call-up.
Will we see West Ham players in the England set-up in the future? Is the England team based too heavily around United players? Tweet me @TollyCoburn