When the last England squad was selected the omission from one player from both the England senior team and under-21 squad raised eyebrows.
Where was the in-form Liverpool full-back Jon Flanagan?
It sparked rumours that the player had decided to represent Ireland - but that is not believed to be the case which made the decision not to give him a go all the more bizarre.
Capable of playing both at left and right back the young Liverpudlian has been in great form this campaign - helping his side launch a late offensive for the Premier League title.
Based on current form you would have to say that at the very least he deserves a mention ahead of the out of touch Kyle Walker.
The idea of taking both him and Glen Johnson may be a bit overly Liverpool to some people’s liking - but if they are the best then they are the best.
But are they the best.
We decided to take a look at Flanagan and Walker, assuming Glen Johnson will be first-choice this summer, to see he should go in support.
Collating the stats was difficult - as Walker has played a lot more than the emerging Flanagan this campaign - so the results were based on a minutes per … status.
Firstly, the defensive vitals for both are shown below…
|Name||Team||Pos||mins / Blocked Cross||mins / Interception Won||mins / Total Tackle||mins / Duel Won||mins / Effective Clearance||mins / Aerial Won||Apps||Mins|
As you can see Walker is better in the air, blocks more crosses and makes more interceptions than the young Liverpool man.
However Flanagan roars back. He makes more tackles, wins more one-on-one physical duels as well as making more effective clearances.
On the defensive side of things - it is fair to say the two are about even.
So it comes down to going forward.
|Name||Team||Pos||mins / Total Cross||mins / Accurate Cross||mins / Att Assist Openplay||mins / Won Contest||mins / Accurate Pass||mins / Ball Recovery||mins / Touches||Apps||Mins|
As you can see Walker takes the win on these statistics.
He makes more crosses, more accurate crosses and therefore attempts to directly assist on a much more consistent basis. He also wins more battles going forward, makes more accurate passes and just about has a better ball retention average.
The fact is Walker’s attacking prowess makes him a more effective machine for now.
Unfortunately we won’t get to see the pair go head-to-head when Spurs travel to Anfield this weekend as Kyle Walker is injured.
But he can likely rest easy that his seat on the flight to Brazil is safe for now.