Roy Hodgson announced his latest England squad yesterday, and there were a number of surprise picks.
Fresh faces included defenders Calum Chambers and Danny Rose, and in midfield Jack Colback and Fabian Delph were called up.
Overlooked once again was consistent West Ham midfielder Mark Noble. Reports in the Mail over the last 24 hours suggest the 27-year-old is mulling over the idea of representing the Republic of Ireland, for who he is also eligible.
While the midfielder has stayed silent on the matter, teammate Ravel Morrison, unafraid of ruffling a few feathers, had his say via Twitter:
England team Don't understand why mark noble didn't get called up a few funny names in that team.— ra'vel (@morrisonravel) August 28, 2014
It was only a year ago that Morrison's sensational early season form had him touted as a future international, but off field matters and a loan to the Championship has seen his star wane, but the opportunity will still be there in the future if he can get back on track.
As for Noble, he has certainly been unfairly overlooked, as his early start to the season illustrates:
|Team||Pass Accuracy %||Touches||Won Tackles||Interceptions||Key Passes||Ball Recovery||Poss Won in Def 3rd||Mins|
|Mark Noble||West Ham||87.27||204||7||4||3||25||12||180|
|Fabian Delph||Aston Villa||76.19||122||3||2||2||13||4||180|
Noble's form shows Morrison's comments are valid rather than just hot air. He has had significantly more touches of the ball than either Colback or Delph in the same number of minutes played, and more more than double the number of tackles than either.
He has recovered the ball more than either played put together, and also won possession in West Ham's defensive third three times as many as Delph or Colback have in theirs, illustrating just how key he is in shielding the defence.
If the reports about Ireland prove accurate Roy Hodgson may have lost out on Noble for good.