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Pundit View: Former Newcastle midfielder claims he felt “imposter syndrome” on England duty

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Jermain Jeans enjoyed a successful spell with Newcastle United, at least on a personal level, and made his England debut in 2003, just a year after arriving at St James’ Park.

However, the injury-prone playmaker has revealed that his time with the national side did not always go smoothly and that he felt there was almost a glass ceiling above him due to the incredible talent England had in midfield at the time.

What did he say?

Speaking on the British Army podcast ‘The Locker’, Via Shields Gazette, Jenas said: “I had a couple of moments struggling with imposter syndrome throughout my career as a player”.

“It was playing for England, and it was nothing to do with my ability or my deserving of the position I was in.

“It was more to do with your surroundings. It’s a bit like the ‘England Boys’ Club’. They’re part of the England Boys’ Club, and you’re there, but you’re not quite there, if you know what I mean?

The former Newcastle midfielder added: “During my time playing for England we had Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Paul Scholes. They were world-class players playing for Chelsea, Man United, Liverpool, Arsenal, all legends of the game.

“And no matter how well I was playing, how well I was training – there was myself, Michael Carrick, Owen Hargreaves – we were just on the fringes.”

Unfulfilled potential

Jenas himself has admitted that he does not believe he achieved everything the midfielder would have liked to throughout his professional career and that he lives with regrets. Regardless, the player turned pundit made an impressive 280 Premier League appearances, which saw Jenas score 32 goals in the division.

Although Newcastle qualified for the Champions League while he was at the club, the midfielder failed to taste any silverware in the northeast. In fact, the only trophy of Jenas’ career was the 2008 League Cup victory.

On a personal level though, the midfielder represented the Three Lions on 21 occasions, finding the back of the net once for his country. However, his openness suggests that due to the likes of serial domestic trophy winners Rooney, Lampard and Gerrard, Jenas never quite settled while on international duty.

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