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Johnson: England squads not based on form

The Sunderland winger produced a scintillating spell of form at the start of the year that saw him score seven goals in seven matches in all competitions, leading some to suggest he could be in line for an international return.

However, the 26-year-old was not included in the squad that faced Denmark earlier this month and he believes there is a bias towards players from the top clubs.

Johnson has collected 12 England caps in his career, but all those came when he was playing for Manchester City, which he feels proves his point about players at some clubs being overlooked.

"I think a lot of people were surprised," Johnson told the Northern Echo regarding his omission from Roy Hodgson's squad for the 1-0 Wembley win over Denmark.

"I think a lot of people saw me as almost a certainty but if you look at the last squad it was almost all top eight bar (Steven) Caulker, who wasn't meant to be in it but for (Phil) Jagielka's injury.

"I think that says a lot about the selection. I don't think it really matters how well you're playing, it's who you play for.

"It's a fact isn't it? If you look at the last 10 squads: Southampton have been playing well, they're in the top eight – and the rest are Everton, Tottenham, Man United, City, clubs like that.

"All my caps came when I was at City. Sometimes I got picked when I wasn't playing. Now I'm playing more and I can't get a cap. It's just a fact. It's not me being sour. Some of the players, if they weren't playing for the big clubs, wouldn't be anywhere near it.

"I came to Sunderland to play more, rather than thinking about England. But some games I wasn't even on the bench at City but I was still in the England squad."

Jonhson's last England appearance came in the 2-1 victory over Italy in August 2012.