There were more than a few in the football world who were left scratching their heads after Patrick Bamford shunned Mick McCarthy’s advances last season.
The 61-year-old, who was the Ireland manager at the time, had asked Bamford to consider his Irish ancestry and turn out for the men from the boys in green. As civil as ever, Bamford politely refused and said he needed time to think, which, naturally, did very little for McCarthy’s usual charitable disposition.
All of this happened at a time when the striker was battling away for promotion to the Premier League with Leeds United. It has to be said that any Championship forward that is offered the chance to play on the international stage is normally quick to take it with both hands. Indeed, there is a lot to gain from playing internationally. Apart from the obvious financial incentive, players are also able to enjoy the honour that comes with being an international player.
Patrick Bamford, however, seems at peace with letting that opportunity slip by, at least for Ireland. The feeling is that Bamford, who is a proud Englishman, would rather give up on the chance of many international appearances for Ireland, in the hope that he can eventually get a cap for England. Now, there will be many who scoff at that but since his club side Leeds returned to the Premier League after getting promoted last season, Bamford has done himself no harm in throwing his name into Gareth Southgate’s England hat.
Virgil van Dijk doesn’t make mistakes like this very often 😳
But Patrick Bamford made sure to punish him 💥pic.twitter.com/u6PkcC7c6i
— Goal (@goal) September 13, 2020
The 27-year-old is enjoying a 100% strike rate having netted in both of Leeds’ games. The first came in a sensational 4-3 thriller at Anfield after he capitalised on some poor defending from Virgil Van Dijk, by cooly chipping the onrushing Alisson.
The second was a clever finish against Fulham in a game that would see Leeds run out 4-3 winners this time around. Of course, many may point to Fulham’s defensive frailties and if you were to look at the Lottoland Sportsbook, you’d see the Cottagers are indeed the favourites to be relegated from the Premier League. This may lead you to think that Bamford’s achievement of scoring against them wasn’t all that impressive, but for the first time in his career, the striker is getting into the right place at the right time.
Patrick Bamford gets his goal thanks to a cool finish!
He has two in two this season after scoring only once in his previous 2️⃣7️⃣ Premier League games 👊 pic.twitter.com/LJ5DlLAkmb
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 19, 2020
What’s more, both of his goals have come from his right foot, which was always considered to be his weaker one. All of this suggests that Bamford has addressed some of the problems that were hindering his progress in front of goal. Whether the floodgates open for good and Southgate does actually begin to see Bamford as part of his plans remains to be seen.
But this all points to the fact that there is no almost zero chance that the 27-year-old will ever play for Ireland as his outside odds of being picked for England have increased ever so slightly. That’s probably all the justification that Bamford needs to keep sticking to his decision by giving the Irish national team the cold shoulder.