Downing was named in Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions squad for the upcoming fixtures with Slovenia and Scotland, having been out of the international fold for two-and-a-half years.
He is set to win his 35th cap for England, and his recall to the squad was well-deserved, having enjoyed a start to the season rivalled only by Cesc Fabregas and Angel Di Maria. One of the top chance creators in the Premier League, the 30-year-old has been a key part of the Hammers side who have performed so well this term, with their fourth-place position down to his creativity from the top of the diamond midfield utilised by Sam Allardyce this campaign.
However, Downing has admitted that Allardyce should not take all the praise, with a former Tottenham and Manchester United legend being the key man behind the attacking flair seen at the Boleyn Ground this year. Teddy Sheringham was hired by the club on a part-time basis over the summer, and the striker - who spent a three-year spell with West Ham as his career was winding down - has worked extensively with Downing, Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho to aid the club in the goalscoring department.
His influence has been rewarded, with the East London club scoring 19 goals in their first 11 Premier League games, but Downing told the Standard that Sheringham’s biggest impact has been in revitalising his England career, having given up on ever winning another cap for his country.
The former Liverpool man said: “Teddy talked to me about getting back in the England squad a few weeks ago. He told me it could be done and challenged me to get a goal or an assist in every game for West Ham.
“He’s always telling me to affect games, make an impact. He knows what he’s talking about and certainly affected my thinking of how to be more productive.
“Obviously he was a top player who won big trophies at Manchester United and performed well for England, so if you can’t learn from him, you can’t learn from anybody.”
Sheringham was a part of the England side who last reached a competitive semi-final, at Euro ’96, and his insight has been invaluable to West Ham’s incredible start to the season. Whilst Downing, at the age of 30, may not have much of an international career left, he will surely be targeting a spot at Euro 2016 - a spot he will rightly deserve if his Irons’ career progresses as it has been.