England manager Roy Hodgson opted for “reputation rather than form” by dropping Danny Drinkwater from his Euro 2016 squad, says former striker Alan Shearer.
Leicester midfielder Drinkwater was left out of the final 23-man squad.
Shearer said that by selecting Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson, Hodgson was taking a “gamble” on their fitness.
“Drinkwater should have been in,” Shearer told BBC Radio 5 live. “He’s been one of the standout players.”
Drinkwater, who has won three caps, was voted man of the match on his debut in the 2-1 defeat by the Netherlands in March.
Arsenal midfielder Wilshere played only 141 minutes in the Premier League this season after breaking a leg, while Liverpool’s Henderson was out for five weeks with a knee injury. before returning as a substitute in their final league game at West Brom.
Match of the Day pundit Shearer, who scored 30 goals in 63 games for England between 1992 and 2000, said: “Once again England have gone for reputation rather than form. I hope the manager doesn’t regret it.”
- Football Daily podcast: ‘No surprise at Drinkwater omission’
BBC Sport team selector users agree with Shearer
The verdict of BBC Sport’s England Euro 2016 team selector – after it passed 1m users – matches Shearer’s.
Although BBC Sport users are asked to pick an England XI, rather than a 23-man squad, one third of people (358,000) chose Drinkwater in their team.
He came fifth for midfield selections behind Spurs’ duo Dele Alli (900,000) and Eric Dier (673,000), Manchester United and England captain Wayne Rooney (580,000) and Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling (378,000).
A Premier League champion with Leicester City this season, Drinkwater was a more popular midfield choice than Everton’s Ross Barkley (322,000), Liverpool trio James Milner (286,000), Adam Lallana (282,000) and Jordan Henderson (230,000), and Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere (253,000).
On Hodgson’s other two omissions, BBC Sport users largely agree, with City’s Fabian Delph (34,000) and Newcastle winger Andros Townsend (175,000) the bottom two midfield picks.
But few users chose teenage striker Marcus Rashford (116,000) to start for England in France, even though the Manchester United player scored on his international debut against Australia on Friday.
Shearer said that the 18-year-old deserves to be in the squad because of his performances in the last three months but said he would be “very surprised” if he started.
“If needs be, he can come and make an impact if England are chasing the game,” said Shearer. “Once he gets on, he may force the manager’s hand.”
According to data from the 1m uses so far, a BBC Sport team selector XI for England’s first game against Russia in Marseille on 11 June, would be:
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