Mark Noble could be ready to join England’s new-look pride

Our Canning Town born star desvers his chance for the Three Lions

As England trudged off the pitch following another premature elimination from a Fifa World Cup, the faces of the captain and vice-captain painted a very clear picture.

For an entire decade, midfield duo Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard had been the heartbeat of England’s national side and this, their final swan-song, had ended in typically anti-climatic circumstances. In fairness, nobody expected Roy Hogdson’s side to go all the way in Brazil, but the manner of their early exit still came as another bitter pill to swallow in a long line of international disappointments.

With left-back Ashley Cole announcing his international retirement just weeks before the tournament, the realisation that England’s ‘Golden Generation’ had failed to ever win a trophy really begins to set in. This was meant to be our national team’s great hope and yet, for all their promise, they never once made it past the quarter-final stage of a major tournament.

The dawn of a new era in Three Lions history is upon us and the departures of key men offers fresh faces a chance to stake their claim as Hodgson looks to build a team ready to take on Europe in two years’ time. Could Mark Noble be the next man to join the pride?

As well as the withdrawals of Gerrard and Lampard, England could well have to deal with a number of other international retirements. The ageing talents of Gareth Barry, 33, and Michael Carrick, 32, could decide to join their fellow midfielders in hanging up their international boots. This may force Hodgson’s hand into giving new faces a try. However, as we saw in his selections for Brazil 2014, this isn’t something the England boss will shirk from.

In terms of attack-minded players, England are blessed with a number of young talented players with Ross Barkley, Raheem Sterling and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain just three of the names on a long list of options available to Hodgson. However, when it comes to defensive midfielders the pool of talent is particularly shallow. Despite playing a prominent role in the national setup at youth level, Noble has never had the chance to prove his worth in the international arena.

The Canning Town– born Hammer has often been mentioned as a potential candidate for inclusion in the senior squad but for whatever reason has been ignored by a string of England manager’s, who have often opted to employ a ‘big club bias’ when selecting their squads. However, with the severe lack of homegrown talent amongst the top clubs at this current time, this new batch of England stars promises to be more diverse than any generation since the Premier League’s inception in 1992. This may just offer our favourite Hammer one final shot at launching an international career.

The Canning Town– born Hammer has often been mentioned as a potential candidate for inclusion in the senior squad but for whatever reason has been ignored by a string of England manager’s, who have often opted to employ a ‘big club bias’ when selecting their squads. However, with the severe lack of homegrown talent amongst the top clubs at this current time, this new batch of England stars promises to be more diverse than any generation since the Premier League’s inception in 1992. This may just offer our favourite Hammer one final shot at launching an international career.

For a variety of reasons, most of England’s young defensive midfielders simply have not blossomed into the stars that we’d all wished for. The likes of Jack Rodwell and Josh McEachran have yet to reach the heights that had been forecast while one of our other most gifted young talents in recent years, Fabrice Muamba, will never realise his dream of representing the senior side for much sadder reasons.

This leaves a huge void at the heart of England’s midfield and aside from Jordan Henderson there doesn’t appear to be many alternative choices in the bid to fill it. At 27, some questions may be raised about the midfielder’s potential longevity as he’ll be 29 by France 2016 and 31 by the time the next World Cup rolls around. However, manager Roy Hodgson has already shown with the introduction of Rickie Lambert that the door is open to any English player with the required ability and therefore age should not be used as an issue regarding Noble’s international credentials.

Besides, these should theoretically be Noble’s prime years and he shouldn’t be overlooked simply because he wasn’t embedded into the national squad early on. The two-time Hammer of the Year has been one of English football’s most consistent performers over recent years and his tireless work ethic would surely benefit those players in front of him. Noble may lack experience on the senior international stage but he more than compensates for that with over 200 Premier League appearances to his name.

Not only is he one of the top performing midfeielders that this country has to offer, his ability to influence those around him has to be another potentially key asset to England’s youthful side. The fact Hodgson afforded players like Luke Shaw and Raheem Sterling some valuable tournament experience will undoubtedly help the Three Lions in the long run, but you cannot overestimate the calming presence of a cool head when times are tough.

Again, despite lacking international experience, Noble is easily one of the leading candidates for the role.

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