Charlie Austin believes ‘football snobbery’ is keeping Patrick Bamford out of Gareth Southgate’s England squad after reflecting on his own experience with Roy Hodgson
- Austin says that ‘football snobbery’ prevented him from earning an England cap
- He also believes Leeds’ Patrick Bamford has fallen victim to the same treatment
- Austin says England favour bigger clubs and that selection is about the ‘faces’
Charlie Austin is adamant that ‘football snobbery’ prevented him from earning an England cap and claims Patrick Bamford has fallen victim to the same treatment.
Austin has questioned Gareth Southgate’s decision to call up Ollie Watkins over Bamford and challenged England’s selection policy by claiming players are more likely to be chosen if they represent a bigger club.
The QPR striker says he empathises with the Leeds striker as he insists his England experience ‘still hurts and disappoints’ him.
QPR’s Austin says that ‘football snobbery’ prevented him from earning an England cap
Reflecting on his own experience, Austin recalled his frustration at being called up for a friendly against the Republic of Ireland and a Euro 2016 qualifier against Slovenia, but not playing in either.
He told TalkSPORT: ‘That still hurts me and disappoints me. I scored 18 Premier League goals for a QPR team that got relegated.
‘To be rewarded with an England call-up was great, but to be rewarded with an England cap would have capped off an incredible year for me personally.
‘It just wasn’t meant to be. That’s probably one regret I have in my career.
‘I’ve not spoken to Roy Hodgson since. You have big decisions to make as England boss.
He also believes Leeds striker Patrick Bamford has fallen victim to the same treatment
Austin believes the likes of Eric Dier have only been selected as they play for big clubs
When asked if he took the decision personally, Austin admitted: ‘At the time I did. I never had an explanation. I wasn’t there for a jolly up. I was there because I deserved to be there.
‘I nearly got called up in March, the reason why I didn’t was because Harry Kane did – and rightly so, look at what he’s gone on to do.
‘At the time, he was scoring goals for Tottenham in the Premier League but also the Europa League. That’s where he found his form and went on to score 30 goals that year.
‘I felt I showed enough at club football to get a call-up and enough to be rewarded with a cap.’
Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins (above) was selected over Leeds United’s Bamford for England
Austin believes he would have been handed an England cap if he played for a bigger club and says Bamford is experiencing the same turn of events.
When asked if playing for a Premier League would have boosted his chances on the international stage, he said: ‘Correct. I think that goes against a lot of people.
‘That’s going against Patrick Bamford right now, because that’s football snobbery. It’s just the way it is. Sometimes faces don’t fit.
‘It was only me and Jamie (Vardy) there that was fit, because you had the Under-21 Championships going on. There was no one really else.’
Austin is adamant that ‘football snobbery’ still exists today and says it can be evidenced in Southgate’s England squad.
He said: ‘It’s tough to say. What has he done not to be called up?
‘There is (favouritism to bigger clubs). Eric Dier has been called up, has he done enough to be called up? Or are you calling him up because he plays for Tottenham?’