David James compares snubbed West Ham star to Spain superstar Andres Iniesta

Andres Iniesta Spain

Former West Ham United and England goalkeeper David James has compared snubbed midfielder Mark Noble to Spain superstar Andres Iniesta.

England's David JamesDavid James

England have made an indifferent start to Euro 2016, finishing second in a group they were expected to win comfortably to potentially set up a more difficult path in the knockout stages.

Roy Hodgson is already something of a pantomime villain at West Ham where he has continually ignored their host of English players for call-ups.

That's despite brilliant Premier League performances from the likes of Aaron Cresswell, Michail Antonio and Mark Noble with Andy Carroll - widely considered the only player of his type in the league - also frozen out.

While England have toiled to second place behind Wales in their Euro 2016 group after two draws and a win, Spain have cemented their odds as pre-tournament favourites with some excellent performances.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney in action with West Ham's Mark NobleManchester United's Wayne Rooney in action with West Ham's Mark Noble

James' surprise comparison

And as Barcelona hero Iniesta pulled the strings in Spain's emphatic 3-0 win over Turkey, pundit James took to Twitter to make his surprise comparison.

He said: "Simply put Andrés Iniesta's Noble."

Andres Iniesta celebrates after scoring the third goal for BarcelonaAndres Iniesta celebrates

Comparison to legend highlights Hodgson blunder

James has seen Noble's talents up close recently after playing in the Hammers favourite's testimonial back in March.

While Noble will undoubtedly be thrilled to be compared to one of the world's greatest players for a generation, it does make Hodgson's omission all the more glaring.

A new stat which emerged this week proved Hodgson was wrong to ignore the Canning Town-born star and leave him at home while the Three Lions struggle in France.

West Ham's Mark Noble and Manchester United's Juan Mata in actionWest Ham's Mark Noble and Manchester United's Juan Mata in action

Noble is Premier League's best in so many departments

The stat says Noble has won possession in the middle third of the pitch more times (411) than any other player in the last three Premier League seasons.

Instead Hodgson has opted to use England's all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney in a central midfield role meaning the Manchester United star has had to do a lot of tracking back and is using up his energy at the wrong end of the pitch.

Figures ahead of Hodgson's final selection for the Euros also highlighted how Noble was way ahead of his rivals for a place in the squad.

The stats proved Noble was the top English midfielder in terms of chances created, successful passes, tackles won and pass completion.

And let's not forget he had the best penalty conversion rate in all of Europe at one stage last season.

But the call never came.

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