Tarkowski: “If England call comes, I'll be ready”

26/10/2022 64comments  |  Jump to last

James Tarkowski says that he hasn’t given up on working his way back into the England squad, particularly as he feels he is currently performing at his best alongside countryman Conor Coady at Everton.

The 29-year-old has been capped twice by his country in the past, although not for four years when he made the standby squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Now, as the 2022 edition of Fifa’s flagship tournament approaches, Tarkowski’s club form has his name coming up to a degree that might make him a candidate for Gareth Southgate’s final squad for Qatar should any of the current regulars need to pull out through injury.

Danny Murphy described Tarkowski as the best English centre-half we have who is playing regularly on Match of the Day over the weekend and his fellow pundit and former centre-half Martin Keown concurred even he doubted that Southgate would ultimately choose him given his lack of international experience.

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Tarkowski says that he would be fully prepared if he got the nod from England.

“If the call comes, I'll be super excited and ready to go,” he said on Radio 5 Live's Monday Night Club. “There's an opportunity there with some of the injuries, maybe some people not playing, so we'll just see what happens.

“England is not something I've ever given up hope on. I think playing for a club like Everton — week in, week out — can only help my chances. I feel like I'm in good form, probably the best I've felt playing football ever.

“Every time it comes up in and around an England camp, I always sit there and hope that I'm going to be involved. So we'll see.”


Reader Comments (64)

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Derek Knox
1 Posted 26/10/2022 at 06:08:37
Doubt whether he will get picked by stubborn Gareth, or Conor for that matter – probably the best pairing of centre-backs around. Though not the quickest, can't think of a better two that are English.

Far better than slabhead Maguire for starters and he was bought for £80M, goes to show how crazy the Football World and pricing has gone out of hand.

Mike Gaynes
2 Posted 26/10/2022 at 06:13:53
I hope Tarkowski doesn't make it. Coady either. I'd like them to stay healthy.

And my Yanks have a much better chance of beating you guys if Maguire and Dier are in central defense. Or even Stones.

Bobby Mallon
3 Posted 26/10/2022 at 06:15:43
I hope none of our players go the World Cup and they all have a wonderful injury free rest
Danny Baily
4 Posted 26/10/2022 at 07:14:05
I hope it doesn't. It's not the proper World Cup, you won't be missing anything.
Colin Glassar
5 Posted 26/10/2022 at 07:29:23
I'll not be watching this travesty of a World Cup. It should never have been awarded to a theocratic state like Qatar but then I said the same about Russia 2018 and still watched that.

I hope all our players stay home, rest and recuperate.

Steve Shave
6 Posted 26/10/2022 at 08:07:25
Imagine if Gareth threw a spanner in the works and picked em both, bet we would instantly look more solid.

Okay, I'm dreaming now but that would be great to watch from an Everton standpoint.

George Cumiskey
7 Posted 26/10/2022 at 08:56:02
Colin Glassar, spot on, mate.
Ajay Gopal
8 Posted 26/10/2022 at 08:59:00
Yes, Steve (6), logically having Coady and Tarkowski play in front of Pickford would be a hugely common-sense thing to do.

Both are pretty good distributors of the football and combine that with stubborn English style defensiveness, and you have a very solid base to enable the more attacking players like Bellingham, Sterling, Mount, Kane, etc to express themselves. And Dom to come on for the last 15 minutes to make the already tired defenders have to deal with an extra weapon.

Danny O’Neill
9 Posted 26/10/2022 at 09:02:33
I've long made my feelings about international football and my indifference to England clear.

I watch it, but I can't really get passionate about it. At least it allows me to focus on the football rather than getting caught up in the emotion.

To me international football is an inconvenience that gets in the way of Everton. Those irritating international breaks wind me up. It will be even more so this season.

But, I don't dispute or deny what it means for players to represent their country. Good luck to him. I said in pre-season, that I think we'd like him, despite at the time being considered a seemingly modest and dare I say, uninspiring signing.

Brian Harrison
10 Posted 26/10/2022 at 09:17:47
I have always found it strange that when you talk to any football fans from around the world and they all seem more passionate for their national football team than many English fans. So why that should be, I don't know.

Maybe a lot of their players play abroad so they only see them when they play for their national teams. I have always been delighted when our players are selected for England, it's a great honour for the player and the more players we have playing for their countries enhances our club.

John Pickles
11 Posted 26/10/2022 at 09:31:38
I think they would both be found out by top-class opposition. Both are honest pros. but, in the end, you get what you pay for. I remember Suarez for Uruguay, outclassing Jagielka when they played England.

If they are the best English defenders regularly playing, then England has a problem in that position.

David Pugh
12 Posted 26/10/2022 at 09:39:20
John, in that case, England have a problem at centre-back, because Maguire and Dier are rubbish. John Stones should be one to definitely start, along with unfortunately, Maguire.

Coady will go to the World Cup as a squad member only, he won't get a minute on the pitch, while Tarkowski will miss out altogether.

Danny O’Neill
13 Posted 26/10/2022 at 09:54:57
I can only speak from a personal perspective, Brian.

I do think coming from Liverpool seems to add to the indifference. But again, that's just personal experience. But I always got the impression we generally don't buy into England as much. Maybe that's just the crowd I hung out with.

Also, and again, from a personal angle, my grandfather was Northern Irish, grandmother Scottish, my Liverpool family very much "Liverpool Irish" even though second generation. I served under the Union Flag, not the St George's cross. I personally would rather follow a UK team as we do in the Olympics.

To reiterate my point though, I'm pleased for any player that gets selected to represent their country on the international stage, even though it's not really my thing.

And without sounding controversial, surrounded by what seems like the English Defence League as often feels the case when I watch England down here!!

When the World Cup starts, I'll watch with interest, but really only have one eye on the next Everton fixture.

Neil Cremin
14 Posted 26/10/2022 at 10:22:27
When Burnley went down, I was hoping we would go for Tarkowski. Many on TW were underwhelmed.

When we bought Michael Keane, I think we went for the wrong centre -ack. Tarkowski has been the type of centre-back we needed, tough, battle-hardened, good in the air and above all a leader.

He is exactly what England need but I am conflicted between Everton selfishness and his desire to represent his country.

Over to Southgate

Derek Knox
15 Posted 26/10/2022 at 10:41:18
I think every player always wants to be selected for his Country, it is a sort of 'feather in the cap' thing.

I share most other Evertonians' view that the fixtures, either qualifying or friendly, are just a nuisance when we are in the middle of the domestic calendar of fixtures, whether it be a qualifier or just a friendly.

Even more annoying with both, and especially the latter, is when our players pick up a long-term injury which impacts on our system of play.

Bernard Dooley
16 Posted 26/10/2022 at 11:34:14
Most of us will be pleased to see the players get a rest during the World Cup break, allowing the injured players to fully recuperate ahead of a packed workload from Boxing Day to the end of May next year.

On the other hand, it will be 6 weeks without any matchday games and Everton have chosen to partially fill the gap with a 21,000 miles journey to Sydney, 43 hours sitting in a plane.

Can't help feeling I'd have preferred them to find a few friendlies a bit closer to home.

Barry Rathbone
17 Posted 26/10/2022 at 12:38:09
I'll start watching with something approaching interest if he plays for England. He seems a throwback to the day when playing for the shirt meant something and that's rare these days.

On the subject of England fan ambivalence, it never used to be like that not in Liverpool or anywhere else; it was a massive TV event when England had a live game.

The disappointment of Germany beating us in Mexico 1970 was one of national mourning, hopes were so unified and high. However, we turned to mush at an alarming rate thereafter, failing to even qualify for tournaments and generally losing the ability to produce decent players from these islands.

On the flip-side, the domestic league got stronger... in no small part due to talented foreigners filling the void unfulfilled by gargoyles purporting to be footballers developed here.

The point is, if we had travelled the international route of someone like Germany post-1970, we would all be four-square behind England but we went completely the opposite way and who on earth wants to support shite?

* Nobody mention Everton post-1995 please.

Derek Knox
18 Posted 26/10/2022 at 12:48:48
Bernard @ 6,

"21,000 miles journey to Sydney, 43 Hours sitting in a plane.
Can't help feeling I'd have preferred them to find a few friendlies a bit closer to home."

Oh come on now, Bernard, could you imagine them sunning themselves in flip-flops, and budgie smugglers on New Brighton Beach? It's us that are contributing indirectly, so sit back and let them enjoy it, while we are enduring shite weather, and no proper footie to watch! 🤔😜😂👍💙

Danny O’Neill
19 Posted 26/10/2022 at 12:55:59
You make a really good point, Barry. As someone born in 1971, it's possibly a generational thing, although my Dad never really went on about the England thing and neither did my mates.

Don't kick me off on the Germany thing. Their system has been designed from bottom up to feed the national team. Ours is not joined up and attempts to feed the clubs for short-term gain, not long-term investment in the game.

4 World Cups, 4 times Runners Up and 3 European Championships, 3 times Runners Up. Most of that in my lifetime.

We still talk about 1966, Gascoigne's tears, semi-final success and bus parades for not winning anything.

Apologies. I'm an England cynic, scarred from what I witnessed – and still see – on the parks.

On a serious note, it's always an interesting debate. Do English clubs invest in foreign talent because ours is not good enough or is our talent simply not good enough? I have my view.

Frank Crewe
20 Posted 26/10/2022 at 14:05:20
If there are two better than Tarkowsli and Coady, I haven't seen them.

Stones and Dier? Not really. Also, unlike our two, none of the other English centre-backs train and play together, week-in & week-out. That has to be an advantage.

Barry Rathbone
21 Posted 26/10/2022 at 14:07:19
Danny 19

I'm with you on the coaching thing. You could watch reruns of Germany games from 1966 and, even if the faces and shirts were obscured, you would still recognise them as German. Same goes for Holland, Italy and Brazil – we lost our core style of crafty wingers allied to hard-working players who could still play, and have suffered ever since.

It's a real shame. I was as supportive of England as the next man back in the day but you can't unlearn what your eyes teach you.

Tony Shelby
22 Posted 26/10/2022 at 14:46:22
I'm totally selfish on the subject and would rather not see any of our squad playing for England at the World Cup this year.

I see no positive in (a) risking our best players getting injured in energy-sapping heat; and (b) generating the usual transfer bollocks around those that play well.

Wrap them up in cotton wool at home, feed and water them, and then set them loose, fully-fit, ready to twat Wolves on Boxing Day.

Sean Roe
23 Posted 26/10/2022 at 14:50:00
I haven't watched even one minute of an England game for at least 10 years and have no intention of doing so in the future.

I am however always proud when one of our own makes it into the squad and wish them every success. Oh, and don't come back injured.

Mike Gaynes
24 Posted 26/10/2022 at 15:37:45
Sean, Danny, Brian, posts like yours always make me curious about the unique indifference, even hostility, to the England side by your own denizens. I certainly haven't encountered that in any of the other nationalities I've known and played with. To the contrary, the Latin Americans I've known are absolutely insane about their national sides. They live and die for El Tri, the Selecao, the Albicelestes, the Catrachos, etc. etc. etc.

The only similar internal indifference I've seen is American, and that's because soccer is the 5th most important sport in the US.

So what is it in England, the birthplace of the game? Is it the political/national issue Danny cites? The chronic disappointment Barry speaks of? The poor coaching?

I mean, I can certainly understand the hostility of the Scottish, Irish and Welsh fans to the England side, but why do so many English fans just flip off their own national team?

Paul Birmingham
25 Posted 26/10/2022 at 15:44:48
On merit, the lad has earned it, he's a natural leader on and off the park, and he's made a significant difference with Coady this season, making Everton's back line more organised and harder to break down.

In terms of England and this World Cup, as much as I like football, I'm not over-fussed about this one, bearing in mind the scheduling and impact on the Premier League, and I want all Everton players to be as match-fit as possible.

This World Cup as I recall was set up based on Blatter, Platini, et all, taking brown envelopes, to boost the sporting profile of football and breaking new horizons, staging it in Qatar. The Human Rights debate has been and still is being protested, and raises many questions.

Back to the good old game of football. This is a compliment to Tarks, if selected, and will help improve his game and Everton's capability, hopefully returning unscathed and good to go for Boxing Day.

But I see burnout for the squad if England progress, but lets see.

But looking on this as an opportunity for Everton to take stock and be right on the ball for Boxing Day with hopefully a full squad available.

Now for Fulham.

“Whats Our Name?”

Robert Tressell
26 Posted 26/10/2022 at 16:05:37
Tarkowski and Coady are excellent at what they do. Really excellent. However neither are Champions League / top international types – front foot defenders who can play higher up the pitch and play through a press.

Dier, Tomori and Stones may be inferior defenders in many ways but are probably better players. Especially Stones.

Stones is in a different league altogether, hence winning pretty much everything with City. Whilst our centre-backs have given us tremendous solidity, their obvious limitations also hold us back.

Mike Gaynes
27 Posted 26/10/2022 at 17:02:55
Robert #26, I'm going to disagree with your last sentence. I don't think the "obvious limitations" of Tarkowski and Coady hold us back at all. And I'm kind of surprised to see you write that.

A ball-playing, attacking centre-back with defensive deficiencies is a luxury item reserved for teams with the talent up the pitch to take advantage of those Stones-like skills and retain control of the ball for extended periods. That's not Everton, and that's not most teams in the world. Without that midfield and frontline talent, a ball-playing centre-back who cannot dominate defensively is more liability than asset -- the skills are wasted and the weaknesses exposed.

What a team of average ball-playing talent needs is defensive solidity at centre-back, not dazzling ball skills. What holds Everton back is talent limitations all over the pitch -- this is a club with one world-class player, and he's in goal.

Under those circumstances, Tarkowski and Coady are exactly what is needed. They might be considered hindrances at Barcelona or Bayern or City. At Everton, they are an enhancement.

Dale Self
28 Posted 26/10/2022 at 17:10:17
Hear, hear, fellow Yank! At least one of us isn't too retarded to see that. I've been a bit bemused by the early critique if not criticism of those two and I don't get it.

I'm not even convinced that is even necessary unless one of them has a decent 30-yarder in them. The weakness of Gana in possession is the real constraint right now and if we score a replacement for him that has the ability to go forward with command, we will be a threat enough.

Danny O’Neill
29 Posted 26/10/2022 at 17:29:06
Again Mike @24, I can only talk from a personal perspective and opinion, so I'm not speaking for everyone and nor would I attempt to.

We are 4 nations within a nation-state. It's interesting because Germany is technically made up of 16 states each with it's own Parliament and a Prime Minister. They are always run with a minority Government having to form a coalition. Often what would equate to a Tory-Labour coalition in this country. That would freak the UK out!!

Anyway, back on topic. I think it's the nature of the UK. We are all part of the United Kingdom and have links throughout due to the transient nature over the years. We move up and down and throughout these nations, settling in different parts but still retaining our links to our roots.

There is no English Passport. No Scottish Passport. No Welsh Passport. No Northern Irish Passport. Just a British Passport. That could change over time, but it's how it is right now and has been for generations.

The UK is a coming together of nations. We're like that family wedding. Argue and fight like cat and dog. But take us on and we stick together.

Geographically a small group of islands. But population wise, with 68M it is a big nation.

The majority, about 56M of that population, is in England. Most of it south of the M62 and east of the M5. Literally crammed into the south east corner.

We have tribalism. The North East. Yorkshire. The North West. The independent people's republic of Merseyside.

But a significant chunk of the population lives in the south east corner. London alone has a population of approximately 9M - documented.

Back to football. My point, and it's a personal view. London owns England. The England football team plays in London. We are a very London-centric country whether we like it or not.

Unlike Germany where the team is taken around the regions and states and taken to the people, England belongs to Wembley and London so I don't have much affiliation to it.

The irony being I live here!!

Brian Harrison
30 Posted 26/10/2022 at 17:37:06

As a born and bred Scouser who has lived all his life in this City, this ambivalence towards the England team in this City certainly didn't exist until after the 70s.

I remember coming home from school on a Wednesday afternoon to watch Hungary destroy a decent England team, they played a brand of football we hadn't seen before. I remember watching the brilliant Ference Puskas drag a ball back with the underside of his boot, had never seen anything like it before. Back then only England games were shown live, long before MotD came along.

As to the point of allowing so many players from other countries play here having an effect on our national side that may have caused the slump in the England team. Certainly in 1966, when we last won the World Cup, there were very few if any foreign players in the league then.

I think the same could be said of cricket in the 70s when most of the top order batsmen in County sides were from abroad. So when it came to selecting an England cricket team back then we had to select players who weren't of the highest calibre.

Mike Gaynes
31 Posted 26/10/2022 at 17:37:16
Dale #28, I don't think Gana is holding us back either. He's made three horrendous mistakes on the ball due to simple carelessness, costing us two goals, which I've never seen from him before and cannot explain. But the attack doesn't go through him anyway. His defending is the priority, and he was so dominant against Palace that it allowed Onana to get forward repeatedly.

As for scoring a replacement, IMO that job is already done. In last year's Championship promotion playoffs, I watched James Garner drive Forest "forward with command" time after time after time. I'd bet the mortgage he'll be a starter within a few months.

Brian Harrison
32 Posted 26/10/2022 at 17:44:52

As you rightly say, the UK is made up of 4 countries, but it doesn't affect the fervour the Scots or the Welsh or the Northern Ireland fans have for their teams, just the English.

You say about England playing in London that's been the case throughout my life, so this ambivalence has nothing to do with games being played in London.

Scotland play all their games at Hampden, Wales used to be Ninian Park in Cardiff now use the Principality Stadium in Cardiff and that hasn't alienated fans from other cities not liking that for a reason not to support their teams.

Tony Everan
33 Posted 26/10/2022 at 17:50:33
I'm indifferent to the international matches too but, when the World Cup or Euros come around, I get a bit more interested. Not quite excited though.

I enjoy it as a football fan watching the talent in other teams including players that Robert, Sam, Tommy, Mike etc have flagged up, ie, looking forward to watching Jonathan David. Maybe the lads could give us a thread with a watchlist of players we can look out for.

I've only really taken an interest in England when Everton players are involved. I enjoyed watching Anthony Gordon in the U21s a few weeks back and always wanted Pickford and Calvert-Lewin to do well.

And Danny, here's a story for you: From a recent DNA test, I found out I was quarter Greek (Aegean islands), 50% Scottish, 20% Welsh, and amazingly 2% Senegalese. But, Oh dear, there are no Greeks in my family! But my dad's favourite uncle was a Greek who was married to my nan's sister! Him or one of his mates has been a naughty boy in 1941.


Bernard Dooley
34 Posted 26/10/2022 at 17:53:07
Derek @18. You've cheered me up no end!

Danny @29 has just about nailed the answer to Mike Gaynes's question about our indifference to the England team. His post certainly reflects my own view.

I was 21 when England won the World Ccup and I followed them avidly at the time. Might have had a lot to do with the fact that Alan Ball, then of Blackpool but nailed on to sign for the Blues, was inspirational for the English side and repeated those performances many times for us.

And of course Ray Wilson was in the side, as polished a left-back as I've ever seen in spite of his mistake in the final early in the match which led to us going one down.

Since then? My interest drifted to the point it's hard for me to get excited about them, I'm afraid.

Mike Gaynes
35 Posted 26/10/2022 at 17:56:58
Danny #29, interesting perspective.

What strikes me is that, in the Premier League era, Manchester has utterly dominated London in league play, yet London is still the sole cradle of the national team. I wonder why they only play in Wembley? Like Germany, the US national teams trot all over the country to play.

It still throws me, however, that wildly passionate (and patriotic) footballing fans like you can be so disconnected from your own national team.

I'm much less of a footy partisan than you -- I love Everton, but I also fervently adore five other teams in four other sports -- yet I will live and breathe with the US in Qatar.

Paul Washington
36 Posted 26/10/2022 at 18:04:14
Tarkowski and indeed Coady are a big improvement to our central defence this season so them maybe getting England attention is deserved.

Personally, I'm always wary of our players going to England camps with the tapping-up that allegedly goes on.

Plus I always thought Ball and Labone weren't the same after Mexico 1970 – well that's from me dad as I was only 8 at the time!

Brian Murray
37 Posted 26/10/2022 at 18:05:06
Probably already been said on here but our players and England don't normally end well for us.

Lineker was the prime example, along with Rooney. Not sure of Lescott, Barmby and Keown but you get my drift...

Dale Self
38 Posted 26/10/2022 at 18:15:00
Right on, Mike,

I wasn't thinking of Garner as a stopper but, with Onana and Iwobi, maybe a full-on stopper isn't required.

Sean Roe
39 Posted 26/10/2022 at 18:37:29

For me, it's the blatant bias towards the players from the so-called big clubs, regardless of how well or badly they are playing.

It's the way the media build us up to god-like status when we're doing well against Jamaica, Iraq etc, yet we all know, when we come up against a half-decent nation, we come unstuck every time.

''Hero'' is a word I absolutely detest being used for overpaid sports people but it's plastered everywhere when our national team win a game.

I'm also not particularly proud to be English if I'm honest and can completely understand why we are viewed the way we are across the world.

Steve Daniells
40 Posted 26/10/2022 at 18:40:27
I can only imagine the pride and emotion that Tarkowski and/or Coady (and their families) would feel by being called up.

I get the impression Coady is in with a chance because Southgate seems to value his personality around the place (balancing out the toxic and entitled personalities in the squad). Plus, he's playing really well.

Tarkowski, on current form, also gets in. He's definitely ahead of Maguire. I cannot see Southgate taking Coady and Tarkowski though. He'll probably pick Joe Gomez before he picks Tarkowski, which sums up England...

Thinking first as an Evertonian (always), I'd rather they didn't go and they enjoyed a refreshing break with a bit of Australian sunshine thrown in. But they're professionals, and going to a World Cup must be amazing for any player. If they do go, I hope they enjoy every moment.

Jay Harris
41 Posted 26/10/2022 at 18:44:11

If I can throw my twopence ha'penny worth in. Danny touched on it. Although the Welsh, Irish and Scots have their own identity, England is largely North/ South divide.

Besides the football, historically, the Northerners have always been considered working class while the "uppercrust" was London based and politically this has been the way with most of the national taxes going to the South and particularly London while the North and Merseyside/ Newcastle in particular did not get a fair share of the economic growth.

This was compounded by Maggie Thatcher who considered Liverpool and its people as a carbuncle, and it wasn't until after the riots in the '80s and Heseltine's arrival in Merseyside that any senior Government official made an effort to see how the other half lived.

Add that to Wembley being in London and you get the idea.

Back on topic. I love Everton players playing for their international sides but I agree with Colin Glassar that the World Cup should not have been allowed to take place in Qatar and the corrupt decision should have been overturned… but there again, we know the modern game has no scruples at the top level.

Danny O’Neill
42 Posted 26/10/2022 at 18:44:46
Brian @32, I don't mean to play down anyone's passion for supporting England even though I've never felt it myself.

I used to look with concern at Bob Latchford in an England shirt. I think it was that awful Admiral one. Confused and worried. I was a young lad, but why was he playing for someone else?

I get what you're saying about Wales (best national anthem by a large mile), Scotland (60s folk song) and Northern Ireland (my Grandfather's home), but they are much smaller nations.

Not that it matters to me, but I think England would do well to take the team around the country. Especially for those friendlies and qualifiers. Okay, the big games at Wembley but why not take the game to the people more often rather than effectively only hold it all at Wembley? I think we know the FA's answer.

And get your own National Anthem. God Save the Queen / King is the UK's, not England's. Sorry. Personal gripe.

Mike @35, another conversation, but population aside, Manchester has superseded Birmingham as the second city of the UK now.

But once we get the new Everton Stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock up and running and get those northern docks renovated, Salford Quays will have nothing on us.

Brian Harrison
44 Posted 26/10/2022 at 19:24:07

Just leaving supporting England to one side, I know you are a great advocate of how German teams are set up and coached. But I just looked at Champions League winners from 1955-56 and by far the most winners come from Spain then UK then Italy and then Germany with less than 10 winners.

Now you can argue that maybe the UK has a lot more foreign nationals in their Champions League teams than Germany, but that can't be said of Spain and Italy whose teams are largely made up of players from their own countries.

So maybe we need to look how poorer countries than the UK can produce quality homegrown players whereas our teams, certainly the more successful ones, are full of non-British players.

For the last 20 or 30 years, we have allowed kids as young as 5 to join Premier League academies so they should be every bit as well coached as youngsters from Spain and Italy.

Mike Gaynes
45 Posted 26/10/2022 at 19:48:42
Brian, which countries develop the best players is a different debate. I think that's more of a crapshoot.

Right now, my best 22 in the world includes a Norwegian, a Pole, two Senegalese, an Egyptian, a Belgian, a Canadian and a Slovenian.

None are exactly cradles of football development. Sometimes magical talent just emerges, unrelated to geography.

Paul Kernot
46 Posted 26/10/2022 at 21:30:20
Interesting points about both Coady and Tarkowski holding us back as neither are seen to be 'ball playing' Stones-type players.

The alternative is a centre-back like the guy with the long curly hair (sorry, someone will have to remind me of his name) who Chelsea paid £50M for. Scored a 40-yard free-kick v Liverpool by taking it early. Defensively though, a total liability.

Tom Bowers
48 Posted 26/10/2022 at 23:17:03
It doesn't matter who's playing well right now as only one man has an opinion and that is the England manager who has already proved he is not good enough to manage England.

The powers that be wouldn't sack him and so England will struggle yet again.

He will of course pick his faves and some of the brown nosers who butter him up in the media, especially some London players. He probably has already pencilled in his squad and I cannot see either Tarkowski or Coady figuring but I don't care if any Everton players go.

Better to keep them home and have them stay fit for when the league starts up again, Calvert-Lewin in particular.

Rob Jones
49 Posted 27/10/2022 at 00:08:57
Looking at England as a Welshman, I see the apathy English fans have towards the national side as partially a response to decades of mediocrity, partially because of deep loyalties to club before country (not unlike French rugby fans about their clubs), and partially as a response to the English football team being a national symbol.

Like or not, most folks aren't proud to be English. It's a country riven with divide, economic, cultural and geographical, and at odds with itself and its place in the world, especially post-2016. I can't think of another country, except perhaps the US, with such deep fault lines running through it.

As an Everton fan, I hope none of our players are selected. We don't need to be in that circus, either the England national side, or in a World Cup that was bought by corrupt bastards who are sportswashing a hideously medieval country that murders its own people for being gay.

Rob Jones
50 Posted 27/10/2022 at 01:29:23
Don, it's disappointing. But it's less aggravating than losing Small to Southampton, who we've no business losing kids to. What player is saying no to Man City?

Given how well Pep has groomed Foden from the same age, Lawrence could be some player. If Thelwell is shrewd (and he doesn't strike me as a mug), there should be some significant clauses in that deal, and hopefully a large swedge up front.

Danny O’Neill
51 Posted 27/10/2022 at 08:02:45
Great thread and discussion here on multiple counts.

Brian @34, I agree and to some extent, that's my point. The German system is designed to eventually feed the national team. Not always the short-term gains of clubs, although they obviously benefit along the way. Our system has for too long been about buying success, wherever that comes from and not investing and nurturing what's on our own doorstep.

That's why there is a difference between Champions League success and International success. How "English" are those English teams in recent years?

I like your point but wouldn't call them poorer countries. Smaller. How do countries like Denmark, Croatia, Belgium and Holland continuously produce a high standard of player and punch above their weight in terms of population over the years?

You'll start me on grass roots in this country and how it's still broken. Okay, I'll say it's not being optimised as you say and we shouldn't be hoovering kids up into academies at such young ages. Rather than assisting local teams with sponsorship, investment and assistance with coaching. Everton in the community right? How about Everton FOOTBALL in the community.

England built St George's. Looks fantastic. Sorry to go all Jeremy Corbyn, but for the few, not the many. Meanwhile most play amongst the daisies and mud (dependent on season) on the same place I walk my dogs. There are just some goal posts placed there by the council.

Talk about building the roof before laying the foundations.

Paul Keronot @46. Although I get your point about ball playing, I like the way that Coady can spray a pass.

Rob Jones; you only go and get me all political but I guess it's on thread. I think the UK missed a trick when it went down the devolution route personally. Why don't the English regions have regional assemblies?

I guess that's going down a German federal-style system, but right now England only has Westminster outside of local councils. Give the regions of England their own empowerment in the same way that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have. If the latter can sort their shit out and stop squabbling.

Leave Westminster to deal with foreign policy, international affairs, the broader economy, defence and national security. Let the regions govern themselves for regional matters. It works in other countries.

Anyway. I wish Tarkowski and Coady the best in achieving their dream. Anthony Gordon as an outside shout?

Robert Tressell
52 Posted 27/10/2022 at 09:10:35
Mike at 27, we're on the same page.

Coady and Tarkowski absolutely enhance Everton from where we were. They give us stability, solidity etc. What I mean is that we need a different type of partnership to fulfil our own Champions League ambitions (and enable us to play more front-foot football).

Not unlike the transition Moyes took us on when moving from Weir and Stubbs to the likes of Yobo, Lescott, Jagielka and Distin.

Brian Harrison
53 Posted 27/10/2022 at 09:54:03

As always your posts and views are always interesting and very readable.
I have watched a lot of junior football over the years and I have always said that the professional clubs in our region could do more to help. While most junior clubs are run by well-meaning parents mostly and that's very commendable that they give up so much time to progress junior football.

But wouldn't it be great if our local sides donated money to their local junior football leagues, after all some of these kids one day will end up playing professional football. This money could be spent on the upkeep of pitches and maybe regular visits by the ground staff at our clubs could go along and give advice how to look after the pictures.

Getting back to well meaning parents looking after teams again maybe the coaches of the junior teams Everton and Liverpool and Tranmere could have regular sessions with the people running the junior teams to advise on training and coaching for that level of player. Now I know there are coaching courses for parents to go on but they are basically box ticking courses rather than any informative information to help them coach their respective teams.

Maybe the FA in talks with all league clubs could suggest that 1% of a transfer fee and 1% of the agents' fees are donated to the local junior football league in that area. I realize not all areas of the country would benefit as much as say Merseyside or Manchester from such a scheme and in that case the respective FA junior leagues would receive less money from their local FA which would allow the areas who don't benefit that much to have more money from the FA.

Christy Ring
54 Posted 27/10/2022 at 12:13:34
As an Irishman, I'd prefer to see Tarkowski, Coady and Calvert-Lewin not making the England squad, but as a football fan, our two centre-backs should be definitely on the plane.

Loyalty doesn't come into International football, and if Southgate brings Maguire, who is totally lacking confidence, and not even getting his place at Man Utd, he should be replaced after the World Cup.

Trent doesn't deserve a place either, he's being shown that he can't defend. All the young attacking players he has, and still played Rice & Phillips together in the Euro's was staggering.

Brian Harrison
55 Posted 27/10/2022 at 12:22:43
I just wonder what Southgate's thoughts are regarding Calvert-Lewin? Just back from injury and scores.

He picked Ivan Toney for the friendlies against Germany and Italy and didn't give him a minute on the pitch, which borders on stupidity given he was the only other striker apart from Kane.

The options for the back-up striker to Kane are Tammy Abrahams, Ivan Toney and Calvert-Lewin. Given that he has had more minutes in an England shirt than the other two, and provided he stays fit, I can see Southgate taking Calvert-Lewin to the World Cup.

Danny O’Neill
56 Posted 27/10/2022 at 16:17:24
But your sentiment is totally in tune, Brian.

The clubs could do way better by investing in local football through funding and coaching as opposed to vacuuming up kids into a prison-like system that doesn't let them be them be themselves in a natural environment and puts pressure on them.

I need to stop or I'll get a yellow for boring everyone.

Tony Abrahams
57 Posted 27/10/2022 at 16:26:12
You should never get a yellow card, for keeping it short and sweet, especially whilst being bang on the money, imo Danny!

Just reading that Klopp won’t receive a touch line ban, after receiving a red card. Surely this has got to be a first?

Jamie Sweet
58 Posted 27/10/2022 at 20:48:03
I thought he was a good signing when we got him (particularly because he was "free"). Now I'm thinking this was a great signing. He's just exactly what we needed.

Still early days of course, but his defensive stats are starting to look very impressive.

Blocks - 1st (Highest in the league by some margin):
1. Tarkowski - 25
2. Mee - 14
3. Salisu - 13

Interceptions - 3rd:
1. N.Williams - 23
2. Mee - 22
3. Tarkowski - 21

Clearances - 3rd:
1. Andersen - 78
2. Mepham - 71
3. Tarkowski - 70

By way of comparison, Coady (also a great signing in my opinion), has 10 blocks, 7 interceptions, and 48 clearances.

Robert Tressell
59 Posted 27/10/2022 at 21:08:11
Jamie # 58, these stats show Tarkowski is very good at what he does. They also strongly imply that we defend in a similar way to Forest, Bournemouth, Brentford and Southampton (ie deep and a bit desperate) - and are not providing adequate protection to our CBs through either possession, attacking threat or proper midfield discipline / positioning.

I think we can all see that in games too. Personally I'd like to see Tarkowski having to make fewer blocks, interceptions and clearances.

Anthony Hawkins
60 Posted 27/10/2022 at 21:14:22
I can't believe the Qatar World Cup is actually going ahead. Everyone knows it's a travesty and corrupt yet no one seems to care. I'd be almost offended if our players got called up to such a false competition.
Ian Bennett
61 Posted 27/10/2022 at 21:23:33
Will be interesting to see what Frank does with Godfrey when he's fit.

Both centre-backs have been excellent. Patterson likes to get forward, and for me has a very bright future. Mykolenko isn't as keen on getting forward, and is still playing in the shadow of Baines and Digne that offered a lot of our attacks. But he does offer a better defensive base.

Jamie Sweet
62 Posted 27/10/2022 at 22:18:29
Good point Robert, and you're right that there is a good reason why players from the top teams don't often feature in those particular statistics.

Lucky we've got someone so good at blocks, interceptions and clearances then. Think of the mess we'd be in without him!

As it is, we have only conceded one more than City, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Danny O’Neill
63 Posted 28/10/2022 at 17:08:18
I'll admit to not having read the detail.

But Klopp doesn't get a ban for a red. I thought in football that's quite straight-forwards.

Conte gets one for questioning and asking why.

Fucking honestly.

Off to the swear jar.

And Fulham tomorrow.

Rob Halligan
64 Posted 28/10/2022 at 17:36:21

There would be uproar in the corridors of Sky and the BBC if the FA banned Herr Klopp. He will keep on and on doing it knowing he will get away with a ban, and his bosses will keep on paying his fines.

Rob Halligan
65 Posted 28/10/2022 at 17:37:53
ps: See you in the Eight Bells tomorrow, Danny!
Luke Wallace-Berry
66 Posted 29/10/2022 at 14:09:31
Colin Glassar…

Has the Saint Domingo's part of our history escaped you?

Also, Theocratic is a label that could be used to describe most footballing institutions, in as much as most footballing fans regard their respective ‘institutions' in a religious manner. A ton of irony in here.

However the idea of a ‘god lead' country or state should never be upsetting to oneself unless one were a committed atheist, and in that case I'd say “leave your religion out of it”. Irony of ironies.

In the meantime, we should all castigate the choice of location, because, you know? The human rights issues.

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