The 26-year-old was widely tipped to make the Three Lions’ last squad for their friendly with Denmark on the back of a string of impressive displays that helped his side reach the Capital One Cup final.
However Johnson did not feature in Hodgson’s set-up, which was composed mainly of players plying their trade with teams at the top end of the Premier League.
Although there were a few exceptions, the 26-year-old winger feels that players are being picked more on their reputation and the standing of their club sides rather than on merit:
“I think a lot of people saw me as almost a certainty [for the Denmark squad] but if you look at the last squad, it was almost all top-eight [players] bar [Cardiff defender Steven] Caulker.” He is quoted by The Metro.
“I think that says a lot about the selection. I don’t think it really matters how well you are playing – it’s who you play for.
“If you look at the last ten squads, Southampton have been playing well, they are in the top eight – and the rest are Everton, Tottenham, Man United, City, clubs like that.”
Johnson – whose last England appearance came almost two years ago – says that his words are not born from frustration, and that he feels he deserves another chance:
“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.
“Now I’m playing more and I can’t get a cap. It’s just a fact – it’s not me being sour. Some players, if they weren’t playing for the big clubs, wouldn’t be anywhere near it [the squad].”