If England are eliminated from Euro 2016 on penalties this summer then Roy Hodgson could rue his decision to leave West Ham United captain Mark Noble out of his squad.
Noble has enjoyed a season to remember at Upton Park, scoring five goals and providing a further four assists as the Hammers look to secure European football for next season.
The 28-year-old’s club form even prompted some fans and pundits alike to call for the midfielder to earn an England call-up.
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Capped at five different levels of youth football for the Three Lions, Noble has yet to earn a cap for the senior team despite some impressive performances for West Ham.
Whether Noble is worthy of inclusion remains a source of much debate with several other notable English names such as Jack Wilshere and James Milner also in contention for a place on the plane to France.
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But if there is one area in which Noble has unquestionably fared better than many of his England team rivals it is from the penalty spot.
Noble was on target with two penalties during the Hammers' recent Premier League win over Watford, a result that saw the 28-year-old make it three penalties from three for West Ham in the English top-flight this term.
It comes as part of a wider and equally impressive tally of 26 from 29 in total for Slaven Bilic’s team.
However, it’s when you drill down and look at his recent efforts from the spot that you can see just how impressive Noble has been.
According to research conducted by the official West Ham United website, Noble has missed just one of his last 21 penalties and boasts an overall conversion rate of 90 per cent.
It’s a return that marks him out as a player with the nerve to score from the spot when the chips are really down – something England could most certainly do with going into the European Championships.
England have exited their last two European Championships on penalties – to Portugal in 2004 and Italy in 2012 – but that is only the half of it.
The Three Lions have lost on penalties in five of their last seven appearances at major tournaments as part of a record that dates back to 1986 and Maradona’s Hand of God.
Here is hoping that, regardless of Noble’s absence, there is some divine intervention this time around.
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