Jarrod Bowen’s impressive performances in the 2021-22 season drew the attention of England manager Gareth Southgate, and the 25-year-old deservedly earned his first caps for the national side. Unfortunately for the West Ham man, he didn’t make the cut for the World Cup in Qatar, and there’s no doubt that he will be devastated after getting so close.
Does Bowen deserve to feel dismayed at this snub? Or is the player simply not good enough to cut it against the best defences in the world yet?
England Among the Favourites in the Betting Markets
Bowen should look at the Three Lions squad and take some solace in the fact that it’s extremely strong. If some lower calibre players in his position had been selected, the Irons man could be annoyed. However, the attack is England’s main strength and a good reason why they are backed to comfortably prevail in their opening game in the England v Iran odds. Southgate’s men were odds-on to win that one and, going into the competition, were placed at 7/1 to lift the trophy.
Only Argentina and Brazil are deemed by bookies to have a better chance of winning the World Cup than England. That’s testament to the progress that Southgate has made during his tenure, and also due to the wealth of talent from top clubs that he has at his disposal. After only having played in the Premier League for a few seasons, Bowen should consider himself lower in the pecking order than established players with a lot of international experience.
Bowen Recently Made International Debut
After having only recently made his international debut, it may have been asking too much for Bowen to expect a place at the World Cup. And, even if he’d managed to make the cut, it would have been highly unlikely that he’d have pushed for a starting place. Compared to last term, Bowen hasn’t been as prolific for West Ham. Without that red-hot form in his favour, it was hard for Southgate to select him this time.
Bowen did seize his opportunity when he was called up for international games in 2022, which suggests that he still has a future for his country if he can maintain strong showings at club level. In the 1-0 loss against Hungary, when Bowen made his full debut, he was praised as one of the few good players for England on the day.
Fierce Competition in the Attacking Positions
The main problem for Bowen is that England have an abundance of incredible attackers all vying for three positions in Southgate’s preferred 3-4-3 formation. Harry Kane is nailed on to play through the centre, effectively meaning that only two places are up for grabs.
That means Bowen is competing with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Jack Grealish for a place in the set-up. It’s the one area that England are not short of options, and this makes Bowen’s chances of getting in much harder.
Bowen will feel disheartened at not being included for the England squad at the World Cup, but he shouldn’t be too dismayed about it. At 25 years of age, he has plenty of time to boost his profile with West Ham and break into future Three Lions sides.
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