Matt Le Tissier has accused Roy Hodgson of being the latest in a long line of England managers who favour players from big clubs. Questioning why West Ham pair Mark Noble and Aaron Cresswell have again been overlooked for the squad that played Germany on Saturday, and the Netherlands on Tuesday evening, Le Tissier said: “History tells you that if you are playing for a big club, you’ve got much more chance of being in an England squad.
“Even now, you can be sat on the bench at a big club every week and get in before someone who is playing every week at a so-called lesser team, and I think that’s something that needs to be addressed.
“You see this player or that player who is not playing very much for his club... just because he’s earning more money at a bigger club doesn’t necessarily make him a better footballer than another guy who’s playing well every week in the same position.
“In all fairness to Roy, I don’t think that’s a criticism you can just level at him – that has gone on forever and a day with England, and I’m not just saying that because I was overlooked a bit.” Le Tissier won only eight England caps despite scoring more than 200 career goals from midfield – and creating many more – for Southampton. Speaking in conjunction with Lidl’s backing for the FA Skills coaches scheme, he said, “I played in a team that didn’t win every week, but I dealt with that by not letting it affect my confidence. As players, you tend to look after yourself first and if you keep your confidence high, that’s going to help your team.”
“One player who has impressed me every time I’ve watched him this season is Aaron Cresswell at West Ham. When you look at our options, Ryan Bertrand is [injured], Luke Shaw’s not back from his broken leg, Leighton Baines has only just returned from a long-term injury and Kieran Gibbs is not in the Arsenal team every week. There’s an opportunity to have a look at another left-back and Cresswell has performed well for West Ham.
“And we seem to have been talking about Mark Noble getting an international call-up for a long time now. You look at some of the midfielders who have played for England over the last few years and think ‘Blimey, how has he won a cap and yet Noble, who has been so consistent over a long period of time, has got no caps whatsoever?’
“Danny Drinkwater has had a fantastic season, and it’s great to see players like him being rewarded for a great season with an England call-up. But would Drinkwater have got in the squad if everyone had been fit? Probably not.”
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