October 7, 2022

Jarrod Bowen: ‘The dream is a reality now,’ says West Ham star ahead of Europa League semifinal against Eintracht Framkfurt

8 min read


West Ham ended the 2019/20 season with five points, having lost half their matches during the campaign.

“I think these people are looking at West Ham to see what West Ham is like at the moment. Ever since I came here, we’ve been away from religion which was crazy to think about,” Bowen told CNN Sport’s Darren Lewis. told.

“It’s been two and a half years and we’ve made it to the top six and are ready to make it to the top six again, maybe even reach the Europa League final,” he added. “People should think differently about West Ham now.

“It’s just to show what happens when there is a manager. [David Moyes] Comes and gets a bunch of players who are 100% committed and want to work for each other. “

Europa League dream

West Ham’s journey to the last four of the Europa League has been nothing short of remarkable.

After topping their group stage, West Ham won 2-1 overall against Sevilla with a late winner. Andrei Yarmolenko In the second round tie – the Spanish team’s hopes of increasing their record to six Europa League titles were dashed.

West Ham then knocked out French club Lyon 4-1 on aggregate in the quarter-finals, thanks to decisive goals from Craig Dawson, Declan Rice and Bowen – 10 men in the first half during the second half. Despite playing with.

“Getting this opportunity against Lyon and beating them and getting through it was probably the best feeling ever,” Bowen said.

It looks like the stars have lined up for a draw against Eintracht Frankfurt, given the last time West Ham reached the last European semi-final between the two clubs in 1976.

Bowen celebrates after scoring against Lyon in the second leg of the Europa League quarter-finals on April 14, 2022 at the Park Olympics.

Like West Ham, Eintracht Frankfurt are a team that counts, having beaten favorite Barcelona in the first quarter-final at Camp Nou Stadium.

“It’s scary, but I think we are too,” Bowen said of the draw. “You don’t want to go further than yourself … you’re two games away from the final. It’s an exciting time, I’m resonating for one,” he added. “It’s a special game coming up.”

West Ham have never played in the Champions League, and their last European victory was when they won the Intertotto Cup in 1999.

Bowen says his team will not stop pursuing Champions League qualifiers. With four games left, West Ham are eight points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.

“The people who are writing us off are so dear to me because you like to prove people wrong all the time,” Bowen said. “As a club we will always fight and we want to be number four, and there’s no reason why we can’t.”

‘Hard work beats talent’

As a teenager, Bowen was told he was not good enough to play professional football.

But after a break of failed trials Austin Villa And Cardiff City, his childhood dream seemed out of reach.

“Honestly, I think I’m going through the ordeal and didn’t know where I was going. It was just a matter of enjoying my football and see what happens,” Bowen said. Are “My luck was a piece, people know people in the game.”

He finally joined the first team at Noon League side Harford United at the age of 17, but his ambitions were knocked out again when his home club was financially linked in 2014.

When asked how he proceeded, he said, “I just love playing and thinking about playing for my boyhood club.”

“I didn’t have any bills or anything to pay, but you know, you see some players who were playing … who had to pay mortgages and pay for the children. It must have been difficult for him, “he added. “I had no fear, no responsibility.”

At the age of 17, Bowen signed with Hill City, where he played for the Under-18 team for a few years.

“My family didn’t want me to go that far at the age of 17, but moving so far at such a young age, I learned a lot of life experiences and matured from the pitch, and I think maturity too. “It simply came to our notice then.

Bowen pulls to control the ball during the fourth round of the English FA Cup football match between Hill City and Chelsea on January 25, 2020 at KCOM Stadium in Kingston-Owen-Hill.

“Looking back now, I’m glad I’m far from home.”

He was scrambling to play for Hill City’s first team, but he saw his hopes challenged by more experienced forwards, including Adama Diomande and Nikika Jelwek.

Bowen finally started the Premier League for Hill in August 2016, although the club has since left in May 2017.

Bowen spent a few more years shining his game before signing with West Ham three years later.

Reflecting on his journey, he tells CNN, “I think hard work beats talent.”

“It’s about taking your chances and I think you can have all the luck in the world, but I think if you’re not ready for the moment you need it, you Will not do well

“I think it’s just a reflection of the mental strength I have and the flexibility I have,” he says. “It doesn’t matter how many times something goes wrong, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.

“I look back on it now and think, thank God I kept playing and put my mind to it and I had my family around me to support me, to get me where I was. I am now. “

Bowen hopes he can one day play for England.

Like a father, like a son

West Ham forward credited much of his success to his father, Sam Bowen.

According to the club’s website, Sam, a retired Noon League Welsh footballer, was once on the verge of signing a contract with West Ham at the behest of then-manager Harry Redknapp.

He enjoyed a striker career for clubs including Worcester City, Forest Green Rovers and Leo Munster Town.

“I mean, he did it all,” Bowen says of his father. “He’s seen the heights of my career, so you know, he’s everything to me and he’s there for me every step of the way.

“As much as he admires me, he’s also my number one critic. You know, when I don’t play well or do anything, he’s the first person to tell me. I’d rather have him tell me. How nice

West Ham are once again finding it difficult to play European football next season.

Bowen grew up on a farm in Herefordshire, England, and remembers pushing concrete wheel bars up and down the potato fields – an indication of his father’s unique training style.

“It’s a little bit different than what you’re probably used to watching pre-season … but it’s my dad, he’s old school. He’s different, he doesn’t want me to be like everyone else.”

Bowen explains that his father’s mantra is “reverse gear.”

“No matter how many times you fall, it’s about moving forward,” says Bowen.

“I think it worked a lot for my brain too. I’m flexible, I never get hit, I think it’s just hard work and I think that’s why I worked on the pitch. What’s more, fans have seen it; and I think it came from a young age. “

Underdog became a rising star.

As he has risen to prominence in English football, Bowen has been likened to Premier League strikers such as Jamie Verdi and Hurricane Kane, both of whom later achieved success in the early stages of their careers after their days as underdogs. Is.

“I think the talent they have is questionable, they’re two incredible strikers, but I think the hard work they’ve put in and the role they’ve got in them has given them more,” said Bowen. Moves forward, “says Bowen.

Bowen counts when it comes to players in the attacking position. Lionel Messi And David Beckham As a source of inspiration, but he says Liverpool forward Muhammad Salah Currently represents the quality of gold.

“I think he who scores, you know, when he gets the chance, 9 out of 10 times he’s behind the net, which is what he does with the ball,” says Bowen.

“When we were playing against him, I didn’t see him playing because it would be wrong to say, but I saw what he did on the ball.”

West Ham's Kurt Zuma, left, and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah fight for the ball during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield in March 2022.  Bowen is a fan of Salah.  Work ethic

Salah has scored 30 goals and 13 assists for Liverpool in the Premier League and Champions League this season.

“I think consistency is a big word. I think especially in the (one) attacking position, people expect you to score goals or set goals for your teammates and that attack. Comes with, so scoring definitely helps confidence. ” Bowen talks about advice. “I think it just comes from the standards inside you that you set.”

West Ham won their home Premier League match 3-2 against Liverpool this season, losing 1-0 at Anfield.

As the season draws to a close, Bowen says he has also seen a level of consistency in what Liverpool’s forward players like Salah, Sadio Mane.Roberto Fermino, Diego Jotta and Luis Diaz.

“I think you see every front three that Liverpool have and what they do with the ball and we played them especially the way they pushed forward, their front three is not just like that. That they don’t defend. They just attack, they attack and defend and you know, they get their reward from that. “

Tottenham Hotspur striker Hurricane praised fans during the Premier League match against Brentford on April 23, 2022 at the Community Stadium in London.  Like Bowen, Kane took time to find his footing in the Premier League.

Is England calling?

From scoring nine goals in the Premier League this season, to calculating three winners for West Ham’s Europa League campaign, Bowen has a season to remember.

“The dream is now a reality. Growing up, it was ‘I wanted to be a footballer’, it’s football or nothing at all,” says Bowen. “It’s a journey to hell and it’s gone too fast.

“I’ve blinked and moved fast for eight years, but (I) love every minute of it.”

But there is a reason why it did not tick in its list.

Despite maintaining a heel injury at Anfield earlier this season, Bowen is still eyeing an international call. England The team that reached the team final for the first time since 1966. Euro 2020

“Of course my goal is to play for England. If I said no, I would be lying,” Bowen told CNN. “I think I’m on the right track, so whether it’s now or in the future, I don’t know, I can just play my game and do everything I can to please the England manager. [Gareth Southgate]”

Asked if he hopes to join Southgate’s squad for the FIFA World Cup, which is set to take place. Qatar In December, Bowen says: “One million percent.”

“Playing for my country in the best tournament; I would lie if I said I didn’t think about it, because why wouldn’t I? I have a long way to go but it’s a dream.”



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