John Barnes has a theory why West Ham's Mark Noble was not called up

Ex-England ace John Barnes believes that age played a role in Roy Hodgson's decision not to bring West Ham's Mark Noble into the international fold.

Former England star John Barnes has claimed on his column for Titan Bet that West Ham United hero Mark Noble's omission from another Three Lions squad was down to his age.

The 28-year-old, who turns 29 in May, has never won a cap for his country but it was suggested that his excellent form this season for the Hammers could see him invited to the international stage.

However, manager Roy Hodgson opted against selecting the Irons captain for tonight's friendly with Germany in Berlin and the visit of the Netherlands to Wembley on Tuesday.

Leicester City's Danny Drinkwater, who turned 26 this month, was given the nod instead, and Barnes believes that Noble's age suggests to Hodgson that he is not one for the future.

"The overall squad selection got some negative attention last week. Many have cried ‘big club bias’, with Mark Noble’s exclusion in particular drawing attention," he wrote in his column for Titan Bet.

"Although the West Ham man has been good this season, he’ll be 29 soon and this England side needs to build for the future with the 2018 World Cup the important one on the horizon."


To be fair, the Liverpool legend might just have a point. Noble would be 31 by the time that the next World Cup begins and Hodgson may be justified in preferring to nurture younger players in preparation for the qualification campaign.

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