Pardew: Pair deserve England call
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is surprised that England counterpart Fabio Capello has not called upon in-form duo Joey Barton an Kevin Nolan.
Barton, who has a single senior cap to his name, has been in top form for the Magpies this season, while Nolan, who is yet to appear for his country at senior level, has scored 11 Barclays Premier League goals to date.
Pardew told the Evening Chronicle: "The problem with England is they are always thinking of building a team, and I absolutely disagree with that. For me, it's about picking your best 11 players. If that's the case, Kevin and Joey deserved to be involved."
He added: "There's nothing to build with the England national team. Every game is massive, including the next one, and you have got to play your best team.
"On that basis, I'm surprised Kevin and Joey haven't been involved."
England face Wales in a Euro 2012 qualifier in Cardiff next Saturday and then entertain Ghana in a friendly at Wembley the following Tuesday evening.
Nolan has previously been courted by the Republic of Ireland, while Barton's international chances have been hampered by the problems which have blighted his career on and off the field in recent years.
But the pair, both 28, have been key to Newcastle's drive towards Barclays Premier League survival this season, and will head into Saturday's trip to Stoke looking to add to the 36 points their side have collected so far to edge closer to the finishing line.
Barton has missed the last two games with a thigh injury and the Magpies managed just a single point from home clashes with Bolton and Everton in his absence.
He has a chance of returning at the Britannia Stadium, but Pardew will not risk him if he is not 100% fit.