Huddlestone: Hodgson not watching Hull enough
Having enjoyed perhaps one of his most consistent seasons in 2013/14, the 27-year-old Hull City midfielder admitted his frustration at not adding to his international caps under Roy Hodgson since November 2012.
Speaking exclusively to FourFourTwo, he said: “I have been a little surprised, to be honest. Not so much this season - I don't think I've started as well this season as I did last year - but certainly last season it was disappointing not to be called up.
It does seem to be a factor... I know Jake Livermore has had a similar situation; he wasn't playing that regularly at Spurs but got in the squad and made his debut
“I started 35 of the league games - my performance levels were maybe even at the most consistent they've been over a longer period of time - but I didn't get in.
"Whereas during my last season at Spurs, I played four or five matches after having been injured for 18 months, then I was back in the squad when I wasn't fully fit.”
The Nottingham-born midfielder was an integral part of a successful campaign for his Yorkshire employers last season – one that saw them not only avoid relegation but also reach their first ever FA Cup final.
However, Huddlestone maintains he has not heard anything about England duty and believes he is not the only player at the KC Stadium to have been overlooked.
“I haven't spoken to Roy Hodgson. I've not had any dealings with him or anybody at the FA since my last game against Sweden,” he said.
“I know Jake Livermore has had a similar situation; he wasn't playing that regularly at Spurs but got in the squad and made his debut, then he came to Hull and started playing well week-in and week-out, and he hasn't had a sniff.
"It [the fact they play for Hull over Spurs] does seem to be a factor, but I'd say playing every week is the most important thing on a personal level, so I've got no regrets with the decision I made to come here.”
His comments follow an international break which witnessed the debut of full-back Nathaniel Clyne of high-flying Southampton, as well as call-ups for Stewart Downing and Saido Berahino of West Ham and West Brom respectively, which does argue that, despite Huddlestone's claims, Hodgson and his staff are giving opportunities to players from 'lower profile' Premier League sides.
Hodgson’s men have enjoyed a positive end to 2014 following their early World Cup exit in Brazil – beginning their European Championship qualifying campaign with a 100% record from four games, as well as friendly wins over Norway and Scotland.
“It's frustrating, but managers are paid to pick their squads," Huddlestone added. "England's recent record has been fairly good, so you can't really argue with it."