England managers are quite regularly accused of having a serious bias towards players who play for the Premier League’s top clubs when it comes to selecting Three Lions teams.
However, former England midfielder Jermaine Jenas, who was a regular squad member during the Golden Generation era, has given some fascinating insight into why perhaps this big club bias occurs.
The 35-year-old former Newcastle and Spurs star has revealed that sometimes it is harder for players of the so called lesser teams to stand out during training international camps, as the level of day-to-day training they encounter at their own clubs is at a lower level than it is for those at sides constantly competing for major honours.
“There was a time when I was battling with Frank Lampard to start in the England midfield alongside Steven Gerrard and maybe that was a missed opportunity for me,” Jenas told Planet Football.
“But he was in a Chelsea side challenging for the Champions League under Jose Mourinho and I was at Newcastle.
“I got the impression that Sven really liked me at the time, but I was at a club that was on the slide a little and that worked against me.
“Training with England was great. Working with all these great players, you lift yourself and when I went back to Newcastle, it felt like I was a few steps ahead of the lads around me.
“Then, by the time you next meet up with England, I was back down at Newcastle levels again and that didn’t work well for me in terms of catching the eye in training with England.
“I was surrounded by winners and their level may have been a bit higher than mine for a variety of reasons.”