Nobody here would question the 'gaffer', says Burnley defender James Tarkowski

Burnley manager Sean Dyche (right) speaks with Burnley's James Tarkowski during the Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche (right) speaks with Burnley's James Tarkowski during the Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle.

If Burnley boss Sean Dyche was to shout "jump", defender James Tarkowski knows the correct response would be to question "how high?"


The Clarets centre back didn't want to delve in to the ins and outs of the situation surrounding Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri and goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in the League Cup final in February, but confirmed that a misunderstanding like that would never arise at Turf Moor.

Chelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga and referee Jon Moss

Chelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga and referee Jon Moss

The club is more of a democracy rather than an autocratic state, with ideas shared throughout the hierarchy, but the final decision on footballing matters lies, indubitably, with the 'gaffer'.

"I don't think anybody here would question the gaffer, he's the manager for a reason and we're there to respect his decisions," said Tarkowski.

"That's the way we look at it; I'm not saying other people at other clubs are disrespecting their managers, though."

Some publications suggested that the mutiny at Wembley, where the Spaniard seemingly undermined the tactical decision of his coach prior to the penalty shootout against Manchester City, was emblematic of Sarri's sinking ship at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri attempts to substitute Kepa Arrizabalaga but the goalkeeper refused to go off

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri attempts to substitute Kepa Arrizabalaga but the goalkeeper refused to go off

They saw the act of insubordination, disobeying the Italian's authority, indicative of a more underlying problem, one that threatened to divide the dressing room.

But Tarkowski believes that the stand-off was glamorised by the press and sensationalised in a manner that made the issue appear to be much worse than it actually was.

"I think it's always made to look a little bit worse in the media," he said. "Internally I don't think it would have been as big as what it was externally.

"I don't think it would have been as bad as the coverage the press gave it. I think internally it would have been 'I'm the manager, this is it'.

"That would have been it dealt with because he's back in the team and doing quite well. Internally things happen all the time but it's our job to keep it among ourselves. It's slightly different here compared to them but I think externally it was a lot worse than what it was."

Tarkowski accepts that he'll be in for a tough afternoon against the Blues and the key challenge for the visitors will be trying to get to grips with Eden Hazard.

The Belgium international, who has netted 16 times this season and created a further 12, floats along the front line and collects the ball in deep positions, making it difficult for the opposition to pin him down.

"It can be difficult," Tarkowski said. "I watched the game at the weekend and I thought he caused quite a few problems for Liverpool with the positions he picked up.

"As a defender you're used to having someone right up against you all the time so it won't be the easiest situation, especially when it's Hazard.

"We always look forward to these games, they're the best ones for us when there's no pressure and nobody expects us to do anything. We can turn up, perform and hopefully pick up some points."

Having beaten Chelsea 3-2 on their own turf at the start of last season, he added: "It was a good start to the season going to Stamford Bridge and beating the champions.

"It's a bit of a different test for us now with a different manager and a different style. They gave us a bit of a beating earlier in the season so hopefully we can turn that around."