Big Mich Antonio, or Mikey as his manager likes to call him, is the ever popular and effervescent 'false' striker employed by David Moyes to fill the expensive void left by the club's most expensive signing Sebastien Haller. The sale of the aforementioned to Ajax at an astonishing £25 Million loss, necessitated more game time for Antonio who has struggled with hamstring and thigh issues, mainly hamstring, ever since his arrival at the club from Nottingham Forest.
The fact that he played as a right back, as well as filling in as a midfielder, a winger, and ultimately as the club's only striker, probably hasn't helped his troublesome 'Hammies'. They are so huge no wonder they require 'special maintenance', and that comes in the form of rest and 'gentle' exercise, neither of which commodity is available when a player is away on International duty.
So news that Big Mich has 'elected to make himself available to play for Jamaica will be greeted with some degree of displeasure by David Moyes, not that he would admit so publicly, but the last thing he wants is for one of his crucially important players expending all their energy featuring in games that are quite often completely irrelevant friendlies.
Antonio has been included in England squads under both Sam Allardyce and Gareth Southgate, but has never made his senior debut and has apparently now chosen Jamaica instead because it provides the prospect of more regular international football. A bit of a strange decision because it comes at a time when his chances of an England call-up have increased, because of injuries elsewhere. Tammy Abraham, Danny Ings and Callum Wilson are all undergoing treatment, meaning Harry Kane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin are currently Southgate's only regular strikers available. 30-year-old Antonio was approached by Jamaica last month, but was still considering whether he wanted to play for England, his country of birth or the Caribbean island, where his parents were born. Jamaica are due to play a friendly against the USA in Austria on March the 25th.
David Moyes's comment on Antonio offering his services to Jamaica were "I only found out about it yesterday and I've not had a direct conversation with Michail, I am still holding out he has a chance to get picked for England. I wouldn't say no to Jamaica." So that is how things are perceived However the elephant in the room is that Antonio struggles to be fit for even 2/3rds of the season, let alone the stresses on his body accrued playing additional games, surely someone has to have an unofficial word with 'suggesting' that he might wish to wait out this current crop of Internationals, at least until the club have acquired an additional striker, or two! - Ed
No words needed
Jamaica haven't selected him. Possibly on account that he can't last 90 minutes never mind his injury record. I can't see Antonio being first on the team sheet next season either actually.