England forward Jarrod Bowen hoped for more ‘PG’ descriptions of Denmark draw

Jarrod Bowen laughed off Gary Lineker’s coarse four-letter description of England’s performance against Denmark as the optimistic forward urged fans to stick with the stuttering side.

Having kicked off Euro 2024 with a hard-fought 1-0 win against Serbia, a disjointed display in Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Denmark raised alarm and heaped pressure on the team.

Fans booed at the final whistle in Frankfurt and pundits piled in on Gareth Southgate’s men, including former England striker Lineker as he labelled the overall performance “s***” on his podcast.

Bowen shuts himself off from such talk but believes ex-players can say what they like, with Lineker’s blunt description of Thursday’s performance put to him as preparations for Slovenia ramp up.

“I didn’t know it was as strong as that – I thought his podcast might be a little bit more PG!” he said to laughter in the press room in Blankenhain.

“But I wasn’t aware of that. For myself on socials, I only saw when I first got into the squad and there were a lot of eyebrows raised. So, for me that was one thing to go, ‘right, I’m not going to have a look anymore’.

“I didn’t (know) he said that but again they’re more than entitled to speak about the games.

“They’ve played for their country, they’ve played at a high level, so they debrief and speak about the games. It’s a major competition for our country. It’s got everyone speaking.

“Yes, we know we can get to so many better levels in terms of quality.

“But I think the sign of a really good side is when you’re not playing as well as you know you can be, you make sure you don’t lose the game. We’re sat here with four points.

“There’s a lot of noise, a lot of uproar, as if we’re sat here with two games, two defeats and bottom of the table.

“But the reality is we’re top of the table, lots of confidence going into the last group game where we know we need to win. We look forward to that challenge on Tuesday night.”

Despite concerns over the performances, England sit top of Group C heading into Tuesday’s final pool match against Slovenia in Cologne.

“My message to the fans would be, ‘keep sticking with it, keep showing the support you have’ because for me to experience it has been incredible,” Bowen said. “Stick with it and we’ll see you on Tuesday.”

The West Ham forward says Southgate’s messaging has been similar since the Denmark draw, maintaining a “calm mindset” and focus on what needs tweaking.

Bowen is certain improvements will come and dismissed suggestions the England boss is tactically negative – an accusation his former West Ham boss David Moyes also faced.

“Both managers that I’ve had have been really solid without the ball and I think that’s the best thing,” the forward said.

“If you don’t concede the goals with the quality that you have – and I’m talking about West Ham and here as well – you know we can win the games.

“When I was at West Ham and I used to hear it, it was frustrating for me because they’re two great managers as well as people and achieved so much.

“I feel like I’ve achieved so much at West Ham and done quite well at England as well.

“Maybe frustrating is a bit too strong a word but I always thinks if you keep the ball out of your goal, you will have many more chances with the quality we have got going forward to win those games, so I don’t think there’s any harm in that.”

England's Jarrod Bowen poses for a portrait
England’s Jarrod Bowen poses for a portrait during a media day at Schlossverein Blankenhain (Adam Davy/PA)

Asked if it is naive to say managers are negative and you should go all-out attack, Bowen added: “Yeah, when I was at West Ham it was always frustrating.

“It was kind of asking the question, ‘do you want to try to win the game 6-5?’ It might be good for spectators but for players it’s not as nice.

“I’ve always said it when David Moyes was manager as well, we were so good without the ball, and then the goals that we used to scored and the games we used to win from playing that way it worked so, for me, yeah, it’s very naive I’d say.”