In March, McClaren to handed Preston's David Nugent his first senior cap, even though the striker had never played a top-flight game.
The lack of a successful alternative to David Beckham on England's right flank has forced McClaren to bring the former skipper back from the cold for tomorrow night's friendly with Brazil at Wembley.
Once again, it is argued, too many foreign players are hindering the development of homegrown talent and confirmation on Wednesday night that Manchester United will sign Brazilian youngster Anderson and Portugal international Nani this summer is hardly likely to help.
McClaren does accept the base of his squad could be bigger. But, when he looks at the men who can realistically break onto the international stage, the former Middlesbrough chief does not believe England are suffering.
"There has been a lot of debate about foreign players but, for me, foreign players have improved our league," he said.
"The Premier League is the top league in the world and our players have to catch up and maintain that standard.
"Maybe the base below needs to be bigger and wider but the good thing is the majority of our strongest team are playing in the Champions League and playing at the very top of that competition."