Joey Barton claims Fabio Capello's reluctance to offer him a second chance with England has made him all the more determined to impress.
The Queens Park Rangers midfielder does have one international outing to his name, but that came way back in 2007.
Barton can consider himself unfortunate not to have added further caps to his tally in the years that have followed, with his performances at club level having been of a consistently high level.
He is, however, paying the price for misdemeanours off the field and a tendency to suffer moments of madness on the pitch when things go against him.
Barton is refusing to give up, though, and insists Fabio Capello's reluctance to take a chance on him will help to ensure that his standards do not drop.
He said: "If the team was picked on form I'd have been picked 18 months ago. It's obvious it's not. So I'm not going to sit and moan about it.
"I see people playing there who I think I'm better than, that's my opinion. It's a game of opinions and, at the end of the day, the only person whose opinion counts is Fabio Capello and he doesn't think that.
"I saw the article in which he said I was too dangerous to play for England because I play cards and that kind of thing. I didn't totally agree with it - of course - but a couple of weeks later I pulled Gervinho up. So I go and confirm it for him.
"If I'm deemed good enough to be selected then so be it. All I can do is perform on a Saturday and I believe I've done that for the last two years.
"I thrive on proving people wrong. Capello's done me a massive favour. Given me the perfect ammunition to go out and perform.
"I'm English, I've got a wealth of experience and I just want the opportunity to prove it. If I get a chance and I'm not good enough then I'm not good enough."