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Internationals 0318Burnley have had nine players away on international duty during this recent break. They are all now heading back to Burnley, or Accrington in the case of Jimmy Dunne, with seven of the nine having pulled on their respective countries shirts.

The two who didn’t get on the pitch were Nick Pope, on his first call up for England, had a watching brief as the Three Lions took on the Netherlands and Italy, and it was the same for Scott Arfield who wasn’t in the Canada squad for their friendly against New Zealand.

As we previously reported, Jeff Hendrick and Kevin Long were both in the Republic of Ireland team beaten in Turkey while Sam Vokes netted twice in the big 6-0 win against China. Vokes also played three quarters of their 1-0 China Cup defeat to Uruguay.

Iceland have been beaten twice, by Mexico and Peru, with both games being played in the United States. Jόhann Berg Guðmundsson playing in both of them. He was substituted in both games with concern over last night’s substitution with an injury having been given as the reason for his withdrawal.

Having made his debut as a substitute last week, Jimmy Dunne wasn’t in the Republic of Ireland’s squad for their UEFA Under-21 Championship match last night against Azerbaijan, a game they won 1-0 with a goal in the ninth minute of stoppage time.

Romania exacted revenge for their friendly defeat against Ireland last week with a 2-1 victory second time round. Our youth team defender James Clarke, again on his first call up, was again in the starting line up.

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Well done to all of them but I’m sure they don’t mind if James Tarkowski takes pride of place this week. I can usually take or leave watching England to be honest but I was glued to the television last night to see Tarkowski make his England debut and have a very good game despite him conceding the late penalty, courtesy of VAR, that saw Italy snatch a 1-1 draw.

On the left hand side of a back three, he turned in such an assured performance and it was one that pleased Gareth Southgate. “There’s been some really strong performances from individuals,” he said after the game.

He added: “It was really good to see James Tarkowski, we’ve got people we feel can play in a back three, and have done well, but he showed he can cope with international football against good opposition. He was very comfortable on the ball and played some really calm moments.”

Tarky enjoyed it: “It was a great occasion,” he said. “It probably feels how everyone expects it to feel, a bit nervy, a bit anxious, but once you get into the flow of it, it’s just like playing football with your mates again, you get out and enjoy yourself.”

It’s been another great week for our ever increasing band of international footballers. I suspect though that the special welcome at West Brom with by for our 28th England international James Tarkowski.

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