St Patricks Day

So, could the events of the past week finally make Pat Bamford go green?

When he came off injured against Chelsea in our last home game, my biggest worry was that it would scupper his chances of a first England call-up. Such is the form he has been in this season that I thought he was nailed on to finally get the chance to play for his country.

It was a relief when he got the all-clear from injury, but then came the bombshell…Pat wasn’t named in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the March games.

To say I was shocked was an understatement, and I wouldn’t like to guess what thoughts are in Patrick’s mind now.

He’s not the sort of lad who would have ‘expected’ a call-up, but it will have been in his mind. He’s been in the form of his life, he’s fourth in the Premier League goal scoring charts, and the only Englishman who has scored more is Harry Kane. But it’s not just his goals, we have all seen him develop as a player over the past season, and his all-round game is such that he has earned that right to have a crack on the international stage.

A few years back, when he was at Middlesbrough, Mick McCarthy made no secret of his desire for Pat to commit himself to the Republic of Ireland. I know people who urged Pat to go for it. His ambition was to play for England, but he was a Championship striker at the time, and that dream was a long way off. Ireland offered immediacy on the international stage and the potential of playing in major tournaments.

Had Pat said yes, he could have had 30 caps by now and, maybe, just maybe, he and the Republic would be playing in this summer’s Euros.

But, and credit to him for his self-belief and desire, he resisted. He stuck to his dream and pursued it. He must have thought that reward was coming this week, but instead the selection was a kick in the teeth. I wonder what Pat makes of it and whether or not he might finally go green after all now.

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