An unnamed England player was reportedly so desperate not to play at Euro 2016 that he phoned his agent asking for him to “get me out of this”.
Daily Telegraph journalist Jim White told Radio 5 live that one of the 23-man party named by Roy Hodgson in the summer did not fancy playing for the Three Lions under Hodgson.
“There was a player in the Euros this year who, when England arrived in France, rang his agent and said ‘can you get me out of this?’,” he said. “That, to me, is extraordinary.
“Is this a mindset amongst the Premier League that that international football isn’t as important and Champions League football or Premier League football? I don’t know. Is it a collective thing? I don’t know.
“But when you have Gareth Bale, who was in the Champions League final, wanting to go out and lead Wales and other players to the lead for him – why is that not available for England?”
The unnamed player’s fears ultimately proved correct as England crashed out of the Euros in the knockout stage following an embarrassing 2-1 defeat to minnows Iceland, which resulted in Hodgson’s resignation.
In June 2014 Harry Redknapp voiced his fears over players’ commitment to the national team and admitted that some of his Spurs players, while he was in charge, did not want to go on international duty.
— SportHub (@sporthub123) June 9, 2016
“I still think we go to tournaments, whether it be under-17s, under-19s, under-21s, there are too many pull-outs, it seems to be everyone has got an excuse, and I can tell you when I was at Tottenham, when full internationals came around, there were two or three players who did not want to play for England,” he told BBC Radio 5 in 2014.
And White has again questioned the loyalty of England internationals and their priorities against the Premier League and Champions League.
23-man England squad selected by Hodgson for Euro 2016
Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Manchester City [now Torino], Tom Heaton (Burnley)
Defenders: Ryan Betrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham)
Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham), Ross Barkley (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).
Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester)