A host of news outlets in New Zealand have used a critical tone when revealing Winston Reid was "partying with West Ham team-mates in Dubai" last week while the All Whites were playing in nearby Oman.
The All Whites captain returned to the Slaven Bilic's Hammers side for the 1-1 draw with Everton last time out after a month out through injury.
Recovering Reid not selected
Although now fit, Reid was not selected for the match against Oman in Muscat by Kiwis coach Anthony Hudson.
But the press in his homeland were not happy that the defender then chose to use the international break to take a four-day holiday in Dubai - which is 420km from Oman.
Pictures were posted on social networking site Instagram of Reid enjoying fun in the sun with his teammates Andy Carroll and Joey O'Brien and their partners.
One of the pictures was posted by Billi Mucklow, fiancee of former England striker Carroll, and the couple were described as the "ring leaders" in an article on Stuff.co.nz.
Meanwhile the NZHerald reported that Reid had been "living the high life with his West Ham teammates in Dubai while the All Whites played in Oman."
All Whites boss defends decision
All Whites boss Hudson defended the decision not to call on Reid last week saying his player needed time to recover after his recent hip injury.
"This is common sense," Hudson said last week, as reported by Stuff.co.nz.
"Winston would've played 90 minutes (for West Ham). Now for the following days after that he will be on the treatment table.
"Let's throw in there he's had numerous amounts of injections in his hip... with a player that historically has many, many injuries every season that don't just affect us they affect his club.
"To put him on an aeroplane straight after playing his first 90 minutes for four weeks is a huge risk, a huge gamble and potentially he doesn't even play in our game."
Reid is expected to feature for the Hammers in their big London derby against fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.