Tomkins: Playing at the Olympics was a waste of time

The West Ham defender missed pre-season with his club after being called up to represent Team GB and feels that his involvement at London 2012 has cost him this season
West Ham defender James Tomkins has expressed regret over his involvement with the Team GB Olympic squad, suggesting that his time away over the summer has cost him his place in the Hammers' first team.

The 23-year-old made just one appearance for Stuart Pearce's side at London 2012, against the United Arab Emirates in the second group game, and had to settle for a place on the bench in the other three matches.

50/1 James Tomkins is 50/1 with PaddyPower to score the last goal in West Ham v Arsenal
And he has continued to play that role for his club since the start of the Premier League season, as James Collins and Winston Reid have established themselves as Sam Allardyce's first-choice centre-back partnership.

Tomkins feels that his relegation to the bench is down hs lack of pre-season with West Ham, telling the Daily Star: "It is always hard, of course. I wanted to represent Great Britain and the manager gave me the chance.

"I went there expecting to play more than I did in the end. Obviously I wasted a lot of time and then Ginge [Collins] and Reidy played a lot together in pre-season.

"It was disappointing for me but I suppose that is what football is like."

Tomkins has made just one start for West Ham this season, coming off the bench on three occasions.