West Ham fans are completely right about England

No, West Ham’s Mark Noble doesn’t deserve an England cap; get over it.

But for all of the Hammers fans’ misplaced and deluded moaning over the years, about how their players have been neglected by the England national side, they might finally have a point.

The Irons faithful didn’t have a point when bleating on about James Tomkins, warranting a Three Lions cap. But they do when it comes to Michail Antonio.

Gareth Southgate opted for Theo Walcott and Jesse Lingard on the flanks for his opening two games as England’s interim manager.

Walcott’s inclusion in the first game, given form at club level, was a no-brainer. However, the Arsenal man’s anonymous performance against Malta, probably should’ve meant the former Southampton winger lost his place just as quick as he regained, it for the Slovenia game.

Then you have the inclusion of Jesse Lingard – sorry, give me a minute to compose myself; the Manchester United forward’s inclusion has angered me like no other call-up ever before…

…right, I’m back.

Lingard, a player out of his depth at Manchester United, walking into the Three Lions starting XI, showcased (as if it needed to be further) that it only matters who you play for to be considered at international level.

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Gareth Southgate will pretend it’s down to his time with Lingard at Under-21 level, and that Sam Allardyce and Roy Hodgson had clearly missed a trick by not giving the Red Devils player international recognition.

Lingard then turned in two performances that highlighted, so painfully, why the fact he is still a player at English football’s biggest club, is baffling.

United fans harp on about him, like he’s still a spritely 17-year-old, with a huge career ahead of him. But Lingard is 23, and teammate Marcus Rashford is already proving that age has nothing to do with being able to perform – why Rashford isn’t leading the line for England, will have to be discussed another time, as Daniel Sturridge is refusing to pass me my laptop.

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Perhaps this should’ve been titled ‘Jesse Lingard isn’t the Right Guard for England’? but I’m getting back to Antonio and West Ham, now.

Walcott lost his place for Euro 2016, but good form has seen him back amongst the Three Lions, and Michail Antonio is in the same boat, re: being selected due to a good start to the season. So why is Walcott deemed worthy of a start and not Antonio? The early season stats for goals and Man of the Match performances, heavily favour Antonio being the one who should of started on Saturday and Tuesday – at the very least, the Hammers man should have a cap or two to his name, by now.

The highest scoring Englishman, in the country’s top league, and yet Antonio can’t find a place in the side ahead of Tottenham’s Dele Alli, Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard, Arsenal’s Theo Walcott and Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge.

But if Walcott, Lingard, Alli and Sturridge played for Burnley, Swansea, West Brom and Hull City, well, Antonio would be first name on the team sheet.


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