Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott's lacklustre campaign with Arsenal has cost him a place at Euro 2016Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

With just 26 days remaining before England begin their Euro 2016 campaign against Group B rivals Russia in Marseille and warm-up clashes against Turkey, Australia and Portugal on the horizon, Roy Hodgson confirmed a provisional squad for the tournament at Wembley Stadium earlier on Monday (16 May). Having given himself an extra four days to assess the condition of any injury concerns, the experienced boss named a 26-man travelling party to be pruned to 23 before the official Uefa deadline later this month.

In keeping with Hodgson's rather conservative reputation, the announcement was hardly littered with shocks and curveballs that nobody saw coming. The inclusions of Fabian Delph, Andros Townsend and talented young Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford certainly raised a few eyebrows, as have the identities of the biggest casualties.

So who were the most high-profile omissions and where do they go from here? IBTimes UK takes a brief look ...

Theo Walcott

The most notable absentee from the squad was Walcott, who has 43 senior international caps to his name but was passed over in favour of Newcastle United winger Andros Townsend due chiefly to a lack of regular first-team football. It has been yet another frustrating domestic campaign for the 27-year-old, featuring just 15 Premier League starts and only five top-flight goals amid yet more endless debate over his most effective position.

With West Ham having been tenatively linked with a £20m ($28.7m) summer swoop for his services, it is hard to argue against the notion that the time has come for Walcott to continue his increasingly stagnant career elsewhere. His international future may depend on it.

Phil Jagielka

Phil Jagielka
Everton defender Phil Jagielka's England career may have reached its conclusionAlex Livesey/Getty Images

One exclusion that caught many off-guard was the decision to leave out Phil Jagielka. The Everton captain has been a regular fixture in the squad over recent years and is still at the top of a pack of worryingly thin pool of viable English central defenders. However, he failed to retain his place as Hodgson opted for only three specialist centre-backs in the knowledge that both Eric Dier and Ryan Bertrand can be deployed in the position if required.

It will be seen as a risky move by some, with Dier having flourished in a holding midfield role at Tottenham Hotspur and Bertrand far more comfortable in his natural position at left-back. There can also be legitimate question marks over whether John Stones is more worthy of a place than his Everton teammate after a difficult season under Roberto Martinez in which the defence was roundly criticised. Despite his experience, obvious leadership qualities and professionalism, it is difficult to see how 33-year-old Jagielka can work his way back into contention at this stage of his career. If he does, it sadly probably says more about the lack of options available to Hodgson and his eventual successor.

Michael Carrick

One name that seems to have flown slightly under the radar today amid debate over the presence and possible demotions of Delph and Danny Drinkwater is that of Michael Carrick. The composed Manchester United midfielder's career has been something of a paradox, consistently lauded for his impact at club level but often cruelly dismissed and disregarded as not good enough to hold down a regular place for England.

Many would consider it a travesty that he has earned just only 33 more caps since making his debut against Mexico in 2001 and has only made one solitary appearance for his country at a major tournament, despite routinely being hailed as their best passer. Much like Jagielka, this feels like the end of the road for Carrick at international level and he is likely to face a sizable decision over his domestic future this summer with his current contract at Manchester United due to expire and no sign of an imminent extension.

Jermain Defoe

Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe is the third highest goal-scorer in the Premier League this season, behind Kane and VardyIan MacNicol/Getty Images

With Harry Kane claiming the Premier League's Golden Boot award, Daniel Sturridge notching five goal in his last eight, Jamie Vardy spearheading Leicester City to one of the greatest feats in the history of team sport and Wayne Rooney retaining his importance to Hodgson as captain and leading scorer, competition for places in the final third is at its highest level for many years.

But that has not stopped the clamour for one or two older faces to rejoin the party. Perhaps the strongest of these calls was for Jermain Defoe, who defied his advancing years to dispatch 18 goals in all competitions for Sunderland and guide the Black Cats to yet another escape from relegation. Kane and Vardy are the only top-flight Englishmen to have outscored the 33-year-old this term, yet his hopes of a Three Lions swansong seems to have been dashed.

Aaron Cresswell

West Ham have often captured the imagination during cult hero Slaven Bilic's first season in charge and a number of the English contingent can feel rightfully miffed about their respective snubs. While Mark Noble, Michail Antonio and perhaps Andy Carroll may have been worthy of significant discussion, Cresswell should be most aggrieved after a stellar year in which he has demonstrated quality and consistency in equal measure.

The international retirement of long-term incumbent Ashley Cole before the 2014 World Cup blew the regular left-back role right open and it now appears to be up for grabs again with Leighton Baines having regressed to the point where he is no longer in the squad. No-one is disputing that Bertrand and Danny Rose were worthy of their respective places, but few complaints would have been registered if Cresswell was chosen ahead of either. At 26, time is on his side, although the return of Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw next season following a double leg fracture poses another significant threat to any England ambition.