Patrick Bamford must 'hurt a few people' to win England cap, insists Leeds legend Lee Chapman
LEEDS legend Lee Chapman has urged Patrick Bamford to 'lose his temper' and 'hurt a few people' if he is to win a senior England cap.
Laid-back Bamford, 27, has notched 12 Premier League goals for Marcelo Bielsa’s side this season — including a career 100th in Monday’s 2-0 home win over Crystal Palace.
As Gareth Southgate prepares to name his squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland, calls for Bamford to be picked are growing.
The forward represented the Republic of Ireland at Under-18 level but switched to England and played for the Three Lions Under-21s when Southgate was still boss.
Ex-striker Chapman, 61, said: “Bamford is very level-headed and nothing fazes him — but I’d like to see him lose his temper a few times!
“I want to see him get stuck in, hurt a few people, and be a bit more aggressive.
“Sometimes you can be too nice and if Bamford misses chances, he doesn’t seem too upset, so I think he needs to push himself a little bit harder.
“But he’s improving every year and I think he could be a useful back-up to Harry Kane.
“If you compare Bamford to Kane, there is only one winner because Kane is a better all-round player who also scores more goals.
“I’m not saying Bamford shouldn’t be given a chance but he’s behind Kane, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Marcus Rashford in the pecking order.
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“The big problem I had with Bamford two seasons ago was that he didn’t score enough goals and got too involved in the build-up play.
“Now what I’ve noticed — and I was at Leeds’ game at Tottenham a few weeks ago — is that he’s staying in the box more and in positions where he can score goals.
“That said, I saw Bamford miss a great chance at Tottenham — he headed well over the bar at a crucial time in the game — and those are the sort of chances you’ve got to take.
“He’s improving but I still think he needs to be a bit more clinical, ruthless and aggressive in the box.
“If there are injuries to Kane, Calvert-Lewin or Rashford, and Bamford is playing well, then he’s definitely worth a chance.
“I think he could be a good squad player, who Southgate could maybe throw on from the bench.”
Chapman scored 179 English top-flight goals during his career — more than Thierry Henry, Les Ferdinand, Ian Wright, Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen and Gary Lineker.
His match-winning header at Bournemouth earned Leeds promotion from the old Second Division under Howard Wilkinson in 1990 — and he was instrumental in their top-flight title success two years later.
I was a victim of the new era and even when I scored 31 goals in 1990-91, they just gave me an England B cap as a consolation prize
Chapman represented England once at U-21 level and once for the B-team but never won full international honours.
He added: “At the time, Gary Lineker was the main striker and the old-fashioned centre-forward, which I was, had kind of gone out of fashion.
“I was a victim of the new era and even when I scored 31 goals in 1990-91, they just gave me an England B cap as a consolation prize.
“It was against Iceland at a cold Vicarage Road — it was absolutely dreadful! But that was the era I was in, I reached my peak at the wrong time.”
Chapman also scored 16 top-flight goals in the 1991-92 season.
Meanwhile, research from 888 Sport shows that Leeds’ record on a Sunday should give them hope ahead of the match against Arsenal on Sunday.
They have won 60 per cent of their Sunday matches so far, while Arsenal have only won two of their eight Sunday games.
Chapman, who played for Arsenal in the early 1980s, said: “I predicted a top-ten finish for Leeds and I’m sticking with that.
“They can be too predictable at times in trying to play out from the back and Tottenham just kept setting traps in the recent game I attended.
“I think Arsenal will give Mikel Arteta until the end of the season but they’re vulnerable at the back — and Leeds have a great chance this weekend.”
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