Date: 15th November 2010 at 8:47am
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Whilst I am fully aware there is loads of time for Phil Jones to make headway into the English national set up I can’t help but feel a tinge of disappointment at the exclusion of the Rovers man from the full squad to face France in the upcoming friendly.

After being initially included in the provisional squad Jones was later dropped when the crunch came to pass in favour of Manchester United’s Chris Smalling.

If there was ever any doubts over the bias afforded by the national set up to the so called ‘big’ clubs the decision to favour Smalling over Jonesy makes it clear.

Capello has always said he would pick players based on form so his decision to pick a player who has played two games for the Red Devils over a player who has excelled in two positions for his club,is an ever present in the starting line up and is bang in form is contradictory to say the least.

Some may argue this will benefit Rovers as it takes attention away from the boy tipped as the new John Terry and keeps him out of the spotlight and ultimately lessens the chance of him being on the vultures radars but I can’t help think this is a chance missed to test whether Jones is ready for that step up to international level.

It is a match against France which will amount to a kick about friendly with little significance and the opportunity to blood other youngsters such as the impressive Jordan Henderson is being taken – why not our boy?

What don’t we know about Rio Ferdinand? Why pick him when we are all fully aware of what he can offer? Similarly Gareth Barry.

Aren’t friendlies supposed to be for finding new stuff out?

For more proof of the daftness of this decision please have a look a little lower down the squad list and see the inclusion of sometimes quality, often lazy, former Rover Jay Bothroyd.

Chance missed, big time.

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