James Tarkowski and Gary Cahill
By talkSPORT – @talkSPORT
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Former England forward Matt Le Tissier admits a World Cup axe is a “punch to the guts” after Gareth Southgate’s ruthless selections.
The 49-year-old missed out on a call for the 1998 World Cup under Glenn Hoddle and sympathises with those left at home.
Joe Hart, who has 75 caps, Jack Wilshere and Ryan Bertrand are the big names omitted from boss Southgate’s 23-man squad for the summer’s tournament in Russia.
Burnley’s James Tarkowski had to make do with a stand-by spot despite an impressive season where the Clarets qualified for the Europa League.
Check out the full England squad here
Le Tissier scored 14 goals in 30 games for Southampton in 1997-98 and also hit a hat-trick in England B’s 4-1 win over Russia in the build-up to France ’98 but was still left at home and believes those excluded will find it hard.
He said: “I found out when the squad was announced on Teletext, that’s how old I am.
“It’s a bit of a punch to the guts, especially if you think you’ve done enough to get amongst it.
“I scored a hat-trick in the Russia game and then they announced a squad of 30 and they got taken to La Manga.
“I never thought I was guaranteed a place but I thought I would have done enough to go to La Manga and prove myself.
“Not getting into the squad of 30 was not a nice day.
“I’m not sure Joe would have been expecting to be picked but he would have thought if he could have forced his way back into the West Ham team he would have had a better chance.
“Unfortunately he lost his place again and I don’t think he can have any complaints.
“You’ve got to sympathise with the lads who have been around the squad. It’s a huge body blow to them, a knock to the confidence.”
Le Tissier agreed with the call not to take Hart ahead of Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope but questioned the selection of Gary Cahill, Danny Welbeck and Danny Rose.
“There are a couple boys who can find themselves a little bit lucky given the seasons they have had to be in the squad,” said the forward, who won eight caps for England.
“They’ve got to thank their lucky stars, realise how lucky they are and give a performance which shows that.
“I was a little surprised by Welbeck, Rose has barely figured for Spurs this season and Gary Cahill can consider himself fortunate.
“If you look at the form of Cahill and Tarkowski there’s no comparison so the only reason why Gary Cahill is going is because there are not a lot of players with a lot of caps, especially as he’s not taking Joe Hart.”