Sprinting on his uncle’s potato field with weights strapped to his arms made Jarrod Bowen fitter than ever. He’s one of West Ham’s hardest trainers under David Moyes and knows he can emulate Trevor Brooking’s 1976 heroics against Frankfurt tonight
- Jarrod Bowen is hoping to fire West Ham into the Europa League final tonight
- He could emulate Trevor Brooking in the second leg against Eintracht Frankfurt
- Bowen has enjoyed a standout season for West Ham under David Moyes
- The 25-year-old’s displays have attracted the attention of the likes of Liverpool
- Bowen’s performances could earn him a place in England’s World Cup squad
Jarrod Bowen has come to epitomise everything positive about West Ham United under David Moyes.
Not only has the 25-year-old had a sensational season for the Hammers but he has done so off the back of hard work and graft both on and off the field – traits which sceptics feel are lacking among players in the modern-day, multi-million pound game.
In the summer of 2020, around six months after Bowen signed for West Ham from Hull City in a £20million-plus deal, he went to his uncle’s potato farm in Herefordshire for some additional training in preparation for the new season.
Jarrod Bowen has been a key part of West Ham’s success story under David Moyes this season
Bowen is hoping to fire the Hammers to a European final against Frankfurt on Thursday night
Bowen’s dad Sam is an old school type and told his son to use the field to train on. Bowen accepted and went running and sprinting in a field of potatoes, occasionally with weights strapped to his arms.
When he made the transition back onto a more familiar surface, Bowen had gained an extra yard of pace and felt like a sprinter. He believed he was returning to West Ham fitter than he had ever been.
Fast forward less than two years and it is a weight of a different kind that adorns Bowen – that of expectation.
If West Ham are to overcome Eintracht Frankfurt and reach the Europa League final tonight, it is likely to be Bowen who plays a pivotal role in getting them there – such is the level of impact he has had in a standout campaign.
Bowen has the chance to follow in the footsteps of the great Sir Trevor Brooking, who scored twice against the same opponents 46 years ago to send West Ham through to the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup – their last appearance in any showpiece encounter in a continental competition.
There is no-one better placed to repeat Brooking’s heroics than Bowen, who is aware of the talk of him having the potential to emulate a West Ham legend. But, as is typical of the player, he has attempted to keep these comparisons away from his mind.
Bowen is also believed to be one of the hardest-working on the training ground in Moyes’ squad. The manager has played a significant role in his development, often giving him the proverbial kick up the backside to challenge him and push him to achieve even more.
‘I think hard work does beat talent,’ Bowen told CNN earlier this year.
‘It’s about taking your chance and I think you can get all the luck in the world, but I think if you’re not ready to be ready at the time that you need to be, then you won’t do well.’
Moyes has been known to give Bowen a push in training to challenge him to be even better
These characteristics are evident throughout Moyes’ West Ham, a side not known for an abundance of talent but which is full of hard workers and those making the best of their ability. Where the team is greater than the sum of its parts.
Central to that is Bowen, whose outstanding performances have made the fee West Ham paid for the player look cheap and have sparked calls for him to be chosen in the England squad for the World Cup in Qatar.
After 16 goals and 11 assists in 47 appearances for the Hammers this season, it is no wonder he is knocking heavily on the England door. He is, quite simply, in the form of his footballing life.
Punters would be foolish to back against Bowen making Southgate’s squad for the tournament in the gulf nation later this year. He has forced his way into serious contention not just because others in his position, such as Marcus Rashford, have endured disappointing campaigns – he would be there completely on merit.
Jurgen Klopp has publicly praised Bowen as an ‘unbelievable player’ amid his links to Liverpool
‘Of course playing for England is a target of mine for sure, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t,’ Bowen said. ‘I think I’m on the right path, so whether it happens now or in the future, I don’t know.’
Bowen’s displays for West Ham have also caught the eye of the likes of Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp among his many admirers in the English game. Klopp earlier this year described the forward as an ‘unbelievable’ player, a rare example of a manager being so public with their praise of a potential transfer target.
It is not just his on-field antics that have attracted the attention, though. His relationship with Dani Dyer, the Love Island star and daughter of actor and famous West Ham fan Danny Dyer, has also hit the headlines.
Bowen is in a relationship with Dani Dyer, the daughter of famous West Ham fan Danny Dyer
After rumours emerged that Bowen was dating Dyer, the West Ham faithful devised their own version of the ‘Freed From Desire’ song for their star winger and his new partner.
‘Bowen’s on fire and he’s sh***ing Dani Dyer,’ goes the chant.
Danny Dyer, who has been public with his support of Bowen dating his daughter, came up with his own, slightly more PG version on Instagram in April as he jokingly mocked the song.
‘Jarrod Bowen is on fire… and he’s… cuddling me daughter or something,’ Dyer said.
He will want to do more than cuddle Bowen if he fires West Ham to a European final on Thursday night.
Dyer posted a hilarious message on Instagram in response to West Ham’s song about Bowen
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