Former England midfielder Kieron Dyer has told the Daily Express that the selection of players such as Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson over West Ham United star Mark Noble perfectly illustrates that the Three Lions still select stars on reputation alone.
Noble was a high-profile exclusion from Roy Hodgson's Euro 2016 squad despite calls from players and pundits alike for the midfielder to be named as one of the 23 after a fine domestic campaign with the Hammers.
He, along with Leicester City's title-winning star Danny Drinkwater, had been tipped to break into the squad for this summer's tournament after proving influential for their respective high-flying teams.
However, both were ultimately left out by Hodgson in favour of more tried-and-tested internationals such as Jordan Henderson and Jack Wilshere, despite the two players' injury problems.
Despite the fact that England have earned four points from their first two group matches, Dyer believes that was the wrong call to make and highlighted the respective seasons of Noble and Henderson as evidence.
The former midfielder told the Daily Express: "I don’t care what managers say England squads are picked on reputations. Has Jordan Henderson had a better season than Mark Noble? I don’t think he has.
"I don’t think it’s got anything to do with if you’re at a lesser club, managers have a reputation of players at their best. They always expect their players are going to be playing at their best, and that’s how squads are picked, but it’s not the case. Players are out of form.
"After Drinkwater was called up before the 23 was announced, I thought Nobes would definitely be given a try, but Roy Hodgson said those players he picked won 10/10 in qualifying so he has to have some loyalty to that."
Though the experience of travelling to a major tournament would have been a career highlight for Noble, it is unlikely that he would have seen much game time by this stage, with Henderson yet to play a single minute and other midfielders Wilshere and James Milner being reduced to a single late substitute appearance.
Despite the criticism of ex-stars such as Dyer, Hodgson will likely feel that he has been vindicated in his selection thus far as England recorded a draw and a win from their opening two matches of the tournament.