Stuart Pearce has blasted Roy Hodgson's decision to include Jonjo Shelvey in the England squad for their upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers.
Swansea midfielder Shelvey, whose only previous cap came against San Marino in October 2012, was handed a call-up on Thursday, despite Hodgson admitting that the 22-year-old had refused to play for the Under-21 side since his last game in August 2013 versus Scotland.
"He would have been asked, if you like, to step back down after, in his eyes, stepping up," Hodgson said.
"I believe Gareth [Southgate, the under-21 coach] spoke to him and he was reticent, maybe, to play and as a result Gareth chose other people."
Nottingham Forest manager Pearce, who resigned as Under-21 boss following his side's woeful performance at the European Championship in Israel in 2013, has been quick to criticise Shelvey's recall to the senior side.
"I'll ask the question why hasn't Shelvey been involved in international football for the last year. I'd like to know the answer, he's been fully fit," Pearce is quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
"If he's not made himself available how the hell has he got an England senior call-up?"
Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw, meanwhile, has insisted he does not view his selection for the Under-21 squad as a punishment.
Shaw, who has been troubled by injuries since moving to Old Trafford, said: "I spoke to Roy [Hodgson] about it and he rang me the week before it came out and said it's not a punishment or anything like that. I haven't been playing, so it's for me to help out the Under-21s.
"I've been talking to the manager and we've spoken about and think it's a great idea for me to go to help out with the Under-21s and get some game-time as well.
"It's not just me. We're all happy to help. It's always been a privilege to play for my country, no matter what level it is and I will do it and do my best."
England's senior side take on San Marino at Wembley on Thursday before facing Estonia in Tallinn three days later, while the Under-21s face a Euro 2015 qualifying play-off against Croatia, with the first leg taking place on Friday and the second next Tuesday.