Jarrod Bowen: Homework helped me pass my first London Stadium examination!
Doing his homework meant Jarrod Bowen passed his first examination at London Stadium with flying colours.
The West Ham United new boy marked his home debut with a well-taken goal and revealed afterwards that assistant manager Alan Irvine had showed him helpful clips of Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy before the game.
The result was a neat finish that left McCarthy grounded, Bowen delighted and the Claret and Blue Army hailing a new hero.
I had watched a bit of footage of the ‘keeper before with the assistant manager Al, and he said he likes to go down early and I knew the centre-half was there and would probably slide and if I hit it low he would probably block it
“I think it was similar to the one I had on Monday [at Liverpool],” the goalscorer told West Ham TV. “I tried to do what I did on Monday [when my shot hit Alisson in the face], but today I had watched a bit of footage of the ‘keeper before with the assistant manager Al, and he said he likes to go down early and I knew the centre-half was there and would probably slide and if I hit it low he would probably block it, so I had to get the dink and when I saw it going into the back of the net, I was delighted. I am sure the pictures of my face show that I was buzzing!
“I was a bit worried it would be ruled out because of VAR and offside, but it was a perfectly-timed run and perfectly-timed pass and it was a good finish as well.”
Bowen celebrated with a knee-slide in front, before earning further cheers for a nutmeg and last-ditch goal-saving challenge on Ryan Bertrand and a number of eye-catching forward runs and shots.
After being given a standing ovation as he was substituted, the 23-year-old was announced as the Man of the Match, completing a memorable day for Bowen and his family.
“It was important to get off the mark early and I was obviously happy to do it on my home debut in front of all the fans and show them what I’m all about. Now we need to take our last two performances into the next game and the remaining however many games we’ve got.
“We wanted to play on the front foot and I think Micky and Seb caused them loads of problems with the ball, just turning them in behind, and that’s something the gaffer worked on. Those two boys up front were unbelievable, in fact everyone was unbelievable, worked hard and we got an important three points.
“I was trying to find my family in the crowd before the game and I saw my Dad jumping up when I scored and then at half-time I spotted him as well, so I’ll enjoy it with them.
“It was the perfect afternoon. I don’t like Champagne so I won’t drink it, I’ll just keep it on display!”
Having played at Etihad Stadium, Anfield and London Stadium in his first three appearances, next up for Bowen and his new teammates is a trip across London to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.
“I’m ticking the stadiums off as I go!” he smiled. “Like I said when I signed, it’s everyone’s dream to play against the best teams and you want to play at the best stadiums. I’ve got a chance to do that now, so I’ll rest up and then we’ll work through the week for next weekend.”