• Dan Tracey


Michail Antonio
West Ham Forward, Michail Antonio Still In International Limbo

The resurgence or perhaps even surprise emergence of West Ham this season, has been one of the more interesting stories of the current Premier League campaign and because of this, David Moyes must be in the running for any of the ‘Manager Of The Year’ awards that will soon be handed out.

However, Moyes’ input from the technical area can only do so much and at some point, his players will have to act on the instruction that comes from the former Everton and Manchester United manager.

Something that by and large has happened during this current league sortie and one of the major generals within the West Ham ranks at present, is none other than 30-year-old forward Michail Antonio.

The man who last plied his trade at Nottingham Forest before a move to East London in 2015, has been called up to the England squad on two separate occasions and although this would be an undoubtedly proud pair of moments for Antonio, it has not been converted into any minutes.

Which means even though there has been fleeting interest from the English setup, Antonio is still a free agent of sorts or at least when it comes to declaring his international intentions and it is believed those intentions may be pointing towards the Caribbean instead.

Due to his family lineage, Antonio would be eligible to represent Jamaica through his parents and with international fixtures taking place later this month, there was increased focus on the announcement of their latest squad.

A squad that contains six English born players within the panel and although the likes of Andre Gray and Liam Moore have received their first Jamaica call-ups, there was nothing in the way of an invite for Antonio.

That’s not to say he has been left out, it is more because he is yet to make up his mind and by not officially declaring for Jamaica to date, it would be rather awkward if he were to be subsequently selected.

That’s not to say either, that a decision is not all that far away and although he is still cutting in the top tier of English football, the age of 30 is perhaps the fork in the road in terms of whether it is worth starting an international career.

Because once a player enters his 30’s, it is all about the preservation of the body and making sure those precious minutes are not wasted or over-allocated and when you consider the additional travel that would come with Jamaican representation, Antonio will have to ask if it is worth it or not.

At the same time, this is a player who certainly deserves to play some form of international football and with England now seemingly overstocked in terms of forwards, it does look like his opportunities with the Three Lions are diminishing with each squad that Gareth Southgate selects.

Therefore, the decision that may have to be made, could end up being an incredibly easy one and who knows after the recent influx of English born players into the Jamaican setup, Michail Antonio might be the next one to join the list.

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