For the second time this season I ran into John Egan on a Saturday morning as he was heading off to play for Brentford. First time we bumped into each other he scored two goals that afternoon. On Saturday Brentford won five nil. I am available to hang around hotel lobbies of wealthier clubs who are in need of a lucky charm. Call me “Jose”. You never know. I could be what United need.
Next time I talk to John I will have to quiz him a little bit on the Scott Hogan business. With both John Egan and Alan Judge at Brentford looking like future Irish internationals, Scott Hogan could just tip the scales in making Brentford a club for Irish fans to follow.
What little I know about Hogan I like. The path to where he is now hasn’t been easy, there is a bit of the Jamie Vardy about him. He worked in the real world for a long time having been dropped by Rochdale as a young lad. He played football in a lot of unfashionable non-league places before becoming the “Paul Pogba of Rochdale” and being signed again three years after being let go. He scored nineteen goals in his first season and got sold on to Brentford for £750,000.
Things didn’t get any easier. He did his anterior cruciate on his league debut and then did it again almost straight away when he returned to training. He only got back to playing at the back end of last season but for a player who had missed so much he hit the ground running and scored seven goals in the last seven games. He has kept that momentum up. His hat trick on Saturday means he has now scored thirteen goals in sixteen league games for Brentford. All that and he’s still only twenty-four.
He’s quick, hard working and confident. He was born in Salford but more importantly he has Irish grandparents. As a player, the impression I have of him is that he has “Shane Long type pace” with “John Aldridge finishing”.
It is said Roy Keane went to see him play last spring. I’m not sure if any pressure was put on the lad but nothing came of it in terms of the Euros. Hogan was quoted as saying afterwards that he was keeping his head down and sensibly trying to develop a career with Brentford. He wasn’t worrying too much yet about international football. He did add something promising though “If Roy Keane rang me up”, he said, “I couldn’t say no to Roy Keane. He is one of my heroes.”
Now I’ve never been sweet-talked by Roy so I can’t say how seductive he might be it but at this point do we have anything to lose by the making of that call? One of the things that Roy brings to the job is his reputation in the world of football. If we have a highly promising striker who is eligible to play for us in a position where we could use re-enforcement and he may go weak at the knees if Roy calls, get it done!
And if he ever hits a slump after he declares for us he will know exactly where to find me in the lobby of the Brentford hotel. If Roy can turn his hand to seduction, I can live with being a lucky rabbit’s foot for Scott Hogan’s conquests.