The press have devoted numerous column inches about Roy Hodgson decision not to select Nolan and Noble to play for England. As all Hammers fans know, both players are having their best season ever and, without doubt, are more than capable of holding their own in the current England squad.
Nolan has gone public and made his feelings known about his own situation and fully accepts that the opportunity may have passed him by. He feels that playing in the same era as Lampard and Gerrard put paid to his chances of getting called up to the national team. Noble, to the best of my knowledge, has kept his thoughts to himself and most probably only shared them with those close to him.
It must be disheartening for them both to see players like Tom Huddlestone of Spurs getting the nod from Roy instead of them, bearing in mind the impressive form they have shown so far this season. Both Nolan, for his goal contribution, and Noble, for his work rate, have contributed to our current league position. Weekly match stats support their case and make a compelling argument for them to receive an England call-up.
On a selfish note I am relaxed about the situation, seeing as neither player is at risk of picking up an injury, especially whilst playing in a meaningless, mid-season friendly international match. On the other hand, I sympathise with Nolan and Noble for not getting the recognition their performances deserve. Hodgson may eventually rue his decision not to select one or both of them if results start going against England. Hodgson’s loss is our gain and I for one will be happy for the Hammers to benefit from their exclusion from the England squad – well for the time being anyway.