Roy Hodgson was praised in many quarters for bringing in Southampton right-back Nathaniel Clyne and recalling Swansea midfielder Jonjo Shelvey into the England set up for upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers, but could he have gone further?
In matches against no hopers like San Marino and Estonia, with the former priced up at 33/1 to win at Wembley, Hodgson could have set up with a view to fixing obvious long-term deficiencies within his team.
With the Three Lions’ central-midfield ranks looking a bit raggedy beyond Jordan Henderson and Jack Wilshire, who is still to nail down the anchorman spot, Hull’s Tom Huddlestone can feel aggrieved to miss out this time.
The four-cap former Spurs man has always had mobility problems at the highest level, but that’s not hampering the Tigers’ excellent progress in the Premier League.
Steve Bruce’s side’s recent 4-2 loss against Manchester City, when they came from behind to equalise twice, was their first at home since the end of last season, when Hull were preparing for an FA Cup final.
They got back to winning ways impressively over the weekend with a 2-0 win at home to Crystal Palace, who were unbeaten over 90 minutes in each of their six previous fixtures.
Huddlestone has played every second of Hull’s home games so far this term, with fellow ex-Tottenham midfielder Jake Livermore practically ever present alongside him. Could their successful partnership also work at international level?
A third past protagonist of White Hart Lane in Swansea’s Wayne Routledge impressed at the weekend, with his second of the Premier League campaign so far in the Welsh side’s 2-2 draw at home to Newcastle.
Meanwhile, actual Spurs winger Andros Townsend sat on the bench for the second Premier League game in a row, having secured a place in Hodgson’s squad.
Without wishing to be disrespectful to either England manager or player, the decision to keep Townsend around rates a puzzling one at present, particularly with the likes of Routledge and Swansea teammate Nathan Dyer in such good form.
In almost a hundred career league starts, the 23-year-old has scored only 12 goals. He can’t dine out on one England strike against Montenegro for ever.