Southgate’s Nepotism. Profiled James Tarkowski

Southgate’s Nepotism – Profiled James Tarkowski

Manchester United’s Harry Maguire has gone rogue on loss of form, a non selection for United but continues to be selected for England. Gareth Southgate has an array of centre backs to choose from adding the strange Ben White and Brighton’s Lewis Dunk to the squad, but no James Tarkowski who continues to be the invisible man, with the England manager who has been sighted at Goodison Park on numerous occasions. So does Southgate don the blindfolds? Merit and merit alone has to be the marker to play for your country, not favouritism, no room for sentiment, Southgate’s nepotism. Raheem Stirling and Kyle Walker further highlight the nepotism with Southgate stunting Trent Alexander Arnold, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden’s introduction to team England. Of note, James Tarkowski was last selected for England v Switzerland Sept 2018 with James making his debut six months earlier v Italy, a two cap selection on the Southgate offerings, puzzling. Time to add that piece to the jigsaw, Manero to provide the pen and paper to provide scouting report, don the blinkers on the Gareth, some would say Shergar, no vanishing act, attention.

The James Tarkowski filed, supreme confidence, a positive attitude to go with the skillsets required to become a quality centre back, which has many facets to the position. Onto James’ positional play, can cover left and right of the defence to time the coverage run to time the tackle, to narrow down the yardage distances on angled runs, to track and close down the opposition. Tarkowski has a high level read set on the opposition’s forward movements which is aided on when to drop deep and when to push forward to play the offside trap on the second phase, the timing is crucial on the movement, to solidify in the main the central core of the defence. Powerful in the tackle, closing down the opposition quickly and factors in control on covering the opposition’s movement with their back to goal or running down a shot to block or tackle when a forward is bearing down on goal. The fundamentals of defending, Tarkowski skill sets at the highest of levels with consistency, alongside a sharp football brain on recognition to adjust to the opposition’s intent, a strong desire to perform with a pride in one’s performance.

James thrives in the pressure cooker intensity, a leader with peak physical fitness and endurance, Everton would have been relegated without Tarkowski. James wins a high percentage of tackles and aerial duals won, can jump high with power, is a huge threat on set pieces within the penalty box lines with reference to the positional play of adopting a back post position and defies logic on the jump from a standing position with no room to manoeuvre a stride pattern. Inder manager Sean Dyche, Everton became the third ranked team in the Premiership on KLMS covered with Tarkowski’s ground coverage setting a remarkable example.

Onto the stats to give confirmation, the Tarkowski file, came second in the Premiership for overall clearances and headed clearances alongside being sixth highest on clearances in each game to average out. James completed the most blocks to close down the opposition within shooting range. Stats out at joint fifth for aerial duals seventy one percent of aerial battles won, staggering stats. James recorded similar stats at Burnley during the 2019-20 season. The 2022-23 ending came with Tarkowski being the only outfield player in the Premiership to play in all of the 3,420 minutes on the clock spanning over 38 matches, as for injury time, add more minutes for Everton’s record breaker James Tarkowski. The club’s motto ‘Nil Satis, Nisi Optimum’ – ‘Nothing but the best is good enough’, in line with the 967 Royal Air Force squadron, motto, James has big wings, James Tarkowski is ‘Superman’.

For the Record

Leighton Baines is the only other Everton player to play in every match season 2012-13.

Three Lions Under 21s

Congratulations to England’s Under 21s who defeated Spain one to nil to become European Champions to emulate the same feat three decades prior. England’s goalkeeper James Trafford became the hero saving a penalty late into added time.

Jetsetters (July’s Edition)

Rectification on the titled ‘Jetsetters’ with Liverpool entered at number three on the top flight’s longevity list with the Liver Bird flying high since the 1962-63 season. Memory serves.