Skip to main content

Burnley defender Tarkowski disappointed by England snub

James Tarkowski admits he was disappointed not to be included in the England squad for the matches against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

The Burnley defender won his second cap last September against Switzerland but hernia problems and a difficult run for the Clarets saw him drop out of the picture.

Despite a strong second half of last season and impressive form this term that sees Burnley sitting in seventh place in the Premier League table, Tarkowski continues to be overlooked.

The 26-year-old said: “I am disappointed. I want to be involved. I feel like I’m playing really well, I’m at full fitness levels, playing every minute possible in games and I feel like I’m performing the best I have done for Burnley.

“But it’s the England manager’s decision to pick the players he feels suits his system so I’m not going to cry about it and get all upset. I’m just going to crack on with my game and enjoy myself when I’m playing.”

Tarkowski has not spoken to anyone from the England set-up since being left out of the squad for the Nations League finals in the summer.

England boss Gareth Southgate has selected Joe Gomez, Michael Keane, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings and young Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori in his squad for the two Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Tarkowski will continue to push his case, saying: “I’m happy with my performances and that’s all I can do. I’m a footballer and I want to play football, whether that’s being a part of the squad for England, starting for England or playing for Burnley.

“I’m desperate to be back involved in the England squad but for now I’m happy in the Burnley one. We’re performing well as a team and I want to improve on my own performances.

“I’m not going to starting whinging about not being involved, it’s the manager’s job to pick the players. He’s decided that he doesn’t want me in the squad so that’s fair enough.”

Burnley boss Sean Dyche addressed the issue ahead of the Clarets’ victory over Everton last weekend, also making a case for Tarkowski’s centre-back partner Ben Mee.

“For (Tarkowski) and Ben, they both scratch their heads,” said Dyche. “I definitely think either or both should be considered at very close quarters to be in the England set-up, at least.”

Mee was capped up until under-21 level but has not been involved in a senior squad.

Tarkowski is certainly a big fan of the 30-year-old Burnley captain, saying: “I don’t think anybody plays at Premier League level for as long as he has now, four years in a row, and plays every game.

“He never gets injured and his performances are consistent. Maybe he’s overlooked, but everybody here at the club appreciates how big a player he is for us. I certainly do.”