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Brentford fans will once again be raising their glasses to celebrate another England call-up for Ivan Toney before the game with Leicester City this weekend – the latest inclusion of the Bees’ talismanic sticker is richly deserved, despite some football pundits calling for him to be banned from football immediately.

Toney’s goal at Southampton on Wednesday night, and his flicked on headed assist, underline the player’s form… match-in-match-out he is running Premier League defenders ragged and the most respected observers in the game are rightfully acknowledging talents that extend beyond goal poaching and penalties. Who of us will ever forget his performances at Manchester City and Arsenal where he was almost unplayable? He had some of the best defenders in the world in his pocket. It’s a big shame that Rico Henry wasn’t included too – which we talk about on this week’s Pride of West London Beesotted podcast which you can listen to by clicking the link below.

You can’t argue that it’s been a season of contrasts for Ivan… on the pitch his football has done the talking, however, off of it, The Daily Mail seem to be doing all they can to scupper his chances of international honours despite being the second most prolific top flight English striker around over the past two seasons. They have led the way with leaked rumours of his much-mentioned betting allegations, stories that have been timed to coincide with England Squad announcments on several occasions now, but Toney keeps on scoring regardless of a rumoured FA mole feeding stories to the press.

Simon Jordan on TalkSport Radio is another to have called for Toney to be sidelined from football straight away, despite the fact he hasn’t been summonsed for a disciplinary hearing, or been officially judged by the authorities. That time may come soon, and all Bees fans are braced for what the implications are for our football club as much as to the player, but it’s innocent until judged guilty and if Gareth Southgate is calling him up, all that would have been considered.

To have a current Brentford player named in an England squad is something we should never tire of feeling great about. Yes, nearly every player who takes to the pitch in a red and white shirt these days has international pedigree and caps to prove it on their mantle pieces, however, we are an English club, and England call-ups are truly special. Surely he must be given minutes on the pitch this time after being kept on the bench against Germany at Wembley? He simply must, or what’s the point?

Well done Ivan… well done for keeping focussed when all that negative noise on social media must becoming overwhelming at times and well done for continuing to give your all in a Brentford shirt when so many are calling to stop your progress… you’ve earned the right to wear the Three Lions and Bees fans are very proud of you. Come on you Bees… come on England… come on Ivan!

Dave Lane

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