Ferdinand’s dignified silence in the face of Hodgson’s “total lack of respect”



On the Thames this past Sunday more than 1,000 boats, canoes and ships followed the Queen’s gold-adorned barge from Battersea to Tower Bridge in the first mass flotilla on London’s artery for more than 300 years. The outpouring of national pride and ubiquitous presence of the Union Flag, so infrequently displayed on these shores, was more akin to a sporting contest, than a Monarch’s anniversary.

As ever – for this is a British summer after all – the weather threatened to spoil the occasion, which had been planned, by some, for months if not years. Despite the autumnal weather, driving rain, and high tide none of the throng is believed to have sunk.

It’s hard to draw the same conclusion about the Football Association’s public relations department though, which is going down without a trace this summer. Not so much light drizzle at FA HQ, but a force 10 gale.

First, the FA bungled its decision to strip John Terry of the England team captaincy this summer; attempting to strike a balance between accepting a man’s innocent until proven otherwise, and protecting the national game’s already tarnished image. The governing body did neither, fudging the only acceptable decision, which was to leave Terry at home while the criminal case surrounding the Chelsea captain’s alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand was concluded.

Worse still, in ‘protecting’ Terry the FA has run roughshod over 81-cap Rio Ferdinand – a player, who despite an unprecedented FA ban and national team exclusion for missing a mandatory drugs test in 2003, has given everything and more for the national shirt. Plenty of Manchester United supporters have little love to lose for England, and indeed the player’s international career could have come to an end earlier, but Ferdinand has never hidden his passion for the Three Lions.

Yet, when Ferdinand was unexpectedly not selected for England’s European Championship squad on the ill-hidden pretence of “football reasons” the defender held his tongue with a dignified silence. Few players with Ferdinand’s global media appeal, and huge audience, would have refrained from hitting the tabloids.

There seemed little justification for the omission on any grounds, least of all quality or fitness. After all, having played in each of of United’s last 16 Premier League matches in the season just finished – and been an outstanding performer to boot – there was little reason to believe Ferdinand had not earned his place in Hodgson’s side, let alone squad. Four games in 13 days over Easter proved Ferdinand’s ability to complete several matches in a short time-frame, whatever Sir Alex Ferguson’s observation to the contrary.

Indeed, while many excluded players had already departed on summer holidays to popular footballers’ destinations such as Aya Napa, Miami Beach and the Gulf, Ferdinand has been training. Hard. The 33-year-old former West Ham United defender even played in Park Ji-Sung’s charity match in Bangkok, while maintaining championship levels of fitness.

The insult of being excluded from Hodgson’s initial squad was compounded on Sunday when Chelsea’s Gary Cahill, injured against Belgium during England’s tedious 1-0 win at Wembley on Saturday, was ruled out of the Championships with a broken jaw. Would Ferdinand be called up as an experienced alternative? Not a chance, with Hodgson instead selecting Liverpool’s reserve right-back Martin Kelly. A fine player though the 22-year-old may become, Kelly started just 10 Premier League games in the past season and has just two minutes international experience.

“Football reasons,” Hodgson had stated. “What reasons????!!!” retorted Ferdinand on Twitter, Sunday evening. And there was little surprise that the Ferdinand camp, although not the player, finally broke its silence following the latest snub. Enough was apparently, and finally, enough.

“Lampard, Terry, Barry, Gerrard; all ageing but they go to the tournament. Why is Rio different?” asked former Millwall midfielder, and Rio’s representative,Jamie Moralee. “To treat a player that has captained and served his country 81 times in this manner is nothing short of disgraceful. Total lack of respect from Hodgson and the FA as far as I am concerned.”

After all few now believe that Ferdinand has become anything bar the sacrificial lamb to protect Terry’s place in the England set-up. Rio dropped, essentially, for being the Anton’s brother. Race will play a key role in England’s team this summer after all.

And let there be no mistake that this was, on some level, Ferdinand’s decision – the United defender has always been willing to work with Terry despite the obvious enmity between the pair. In that there is no little disgrace; Ferdinand the martyr for Terry’s continued presence in the national side.

There could be long-term consequences in the FA’s stance though. After all, should the case go against 30-year-old Terry when court proceedings reconvene on 9 July England’s campaign will be forever be associated with a criminally guilty racist. Whether Terry is captain, or not.

In that scenario heads must surely roll at the FA. Perhaps even Hodgson’s. After all the former Liverpool manager, together with FA Chairman David Bernstein, have bet their chips on Terry in the face of national and global incredulity at Ferdinand’s omission.

Hodgson’s insistence – both in public and in a private phone call with the United defender – that football alone dictates the make-up of the national squad now flies in the face of common sense, and Ferdinand’s intelligence. Lingering suspicion of a conspiracy was all but confirmed with Kelly’s call-up on Sunday.

If the FA thought that stripping Terry of the captaincy would remove the focus on the Chelsea player’s upcoming court case then Ferdinand’s treatment has only intensified the spotlight. Indeed, Hodgson’s techy response to questions about Ferdinand’s omission when the England squad was announced in May will ill-become the 64-year-old coach during Euro 2012. But questions Hodgson will face, especially if Terry performs his usual tournament trick of being caught horribly out-of-position against any reasonably mobile or technical opponent.

Few United supporters will feel any sympathy for Hodgson though; this managerial crisis is of the coach’s own making.

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Comments

  1. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    Well one thing is for certain… if this all turns to shit… the FA will find a way to dump the whole load on Hodgson, if they can… they are, after all nothing, if not self serving swine.

  2. Stevie D says:

    Great piece Ed. This whole sorry episode is nothing short of disgraceful.

    The FA are portraying themselves in an awfully bad light. One could be forgiven for concluding that with the England group games taking place in Ukraine, the FA want neo-Nazi style thug John Terry to be their poster boy to garner support from the locals. Granted that is conspiracy theory at it’s most extreme!

    England’s loss; United’s gain.

  3. Terry’s performance was at best under inspired his defensive role penetrated more times then a Bangkok lap dancer, while his past ability to make darting runs into the box during set pieces now found him arriving later than British Rail during a blizzard.

    One broadcaster made the remake boarding on heresy that Terry had lost a yard of pace in other words time to move on old man joining the bulging ranks of Stevie ‘not guilty m’laud’ Gerrard, Frank ‘fat’ Lampard and Darren ‘I’m a legend in my own lunchtime’ Bent.
    England won by a single own goal united of course
    Expect Terry to be amongst the New Year honors list, get divorced and marry the Duchess of York. (Providing of course he can stay on his feet.)

    • Please don’t knock him. Remember he gave us that crowningly beautiful moment in Moscow when he burst into tears: the golden cherry on the cake of our victory. And his slip in taking the penalty: one must study hard under the masters of the game before one is able to perfect something as memorable as that.

      But I do think a career in politics awaits him: the British nation needs someone in number 10 who can top Blair.

  4. I actually think Ferdinand’s representatives have made him look in the wrong particularly over the last 24 hours. No matter how good a player has been no 33 year old should be expectant to be in an international squad. I would have taken Micah Richards over both Ferdinand and Kelly if it came down to ‘footballing reasons. He has also spoken out against Terry both publicly and privately since the Terry – Anton Ferdinand incident.

    Also in my view the FA must be expectant of Terry been cleared in his upcoming trial. Forget innocent before proven guilty, if the FA felt that Terry would be convicted they would privately not allow him to be picked to avoid an almighty shit storm brewing at the start of next season.

    It looked clear enough to me but either Terry will get the same jury Redknapp got or the FA’s initial inquiries have uncovered more to the story.

  5. Sq – I’m not sure about that. Absolutely, for footballing reasons rio and micah over kelly.

    I think rio would get it marginally over micah too. micah is effectively second choice at citeh. rio has had a solid season, not stellar but remember rio having a solid season is probably excellent for most defenders. also, rio has massive experience. international, UCL, EPLs, Cups – you name it he has done it.

    this is clearly a terry v. rio issue and to behonest quite why the FA did not get rio and terry in one room and say, we know you don’t like each other, we don’t care but if you want to play, then work together with us. that is it.

    another damining indictment of FA management. instead we have the indignified stance that Hodgson has been forced to take which is completely synthetic.

    what a dogs breakfast

  6. Micah Richards was second choice for City more towards the end of the season but it perplexes me. Zabaleta clearly better going forward but Richards has not played badly for City in my view. I think he is a brilliant player and I have for years and he genuinely offers cover at both Centre half and Full back. I would probably take both and take Glen Johnson out.

    It’s an almighty dogs dinner though and I could genuinely see Hodgson gone before the start of next year if England have a disastrous Euros and Terry gets convicted. Hodgson not good with the media and this could be a pr disaster.

  7. Just when you think the FA are starting to make a step in the right direction when they banned Suarez and Barton, they take several backwards with this episode.
    One thing is for sure, all these slogans like Kick Racism out of Football and Respect mean absolutely zero. The Euros and WC go to Ukraine and Russia who have a track record of racism and players continue to abuse officials not just on the pitch but now online too.
    Luckily people are hooked on the game and the rampant tribalism of it. In any other circumstance people would leave in droves. Sad.

  8. squigs said:
    I actually think Ferdinand’s representatives have made him look in the wrong particularly over the last 24 hours. No matter how good a player has been no 33 year old should be expectant to be in an international squad.

    That’s not at all true for a defender. Fabio Cannavaro captained Italy to victory in the 2006 world cup and was FIFA’s player of the year at the age of 32 or 33.

  9. uncleknobheadffs uncleknobheadforfucksake says:

    possibly one of the reasons harry didn’t get the job?

    he’s massively pro rio and wouldn’t go along with this

  10. Always politics when in comes down to it. Britain revels in this kind of stuff. Should be about the football.

  11. It’s more the exception to the rule. Cannavaro did not carry as many injuries as Ferdinand. I would take Ferdinand but he has acted as if he had a divine right to be taken when questions about his age and fitness are perfectly valid.

    • squigs – in what way has he “acted as if he has a devine right to be taken”? He has said precisely nothing. NOTHING!! The sum total of this supposed act has been to favourite a tweet in which I said he was getting shafted and then to tweet “What reasons????!”. No interviews, no strop. Nothing but dignified silence. He’s every right after 10 years and 81 caps to get the truth. He got lied to big time.

      Questions about age and fitness fine in 2010.. but now when he’s just played a 40 game season?

  12. We all know some players don’t get on but Rio has a legitimate claim here. Terry has allegations of racially abusing Rio’s brother hanging over him. And they have picked Terry! When they sacked him as captain they should have placed on gardening leave as an England player. That is what would happen in any other walk of life. A sorry sorry affair. Again sends out a message that winning a football match is more important than anything, including racism. I bet Harry is glad he avoided this job!

  13. Rio should have gone. The Richards decision should’ve been between him and Jones. I would’ve taken Rio + Richards over Jones – Rio is a better CB, Richards is a better RB.

    If Terry over Rio was for football, maybe he wanted the team chemistry between cahill, terry and cole. After all, despite chelsea’s cup runs, Lescott + Rio have had better seasons than terry/cahill. Can only imagine his ‘football reasons’ (if they were that) was because he realised England would have to defend for their lives and the chelsea 3 had a lot of practice. Lescott (and to an extent Rio) play in more dominant teams, which is definitely not going to be the status quo for England this summer.

    He’s handled a lot of it badly, delegating phone calls etc., especially after Capello got ripped apart for doing the same thing. Maybe if he’d had more time he would have had led things better. Still, while the FA made plenty of mistakes with Terry, that didn’t mean Hodgson had to do the same thing.

    Hodgson seems to put his own ego ahead of the team. I’m sure if he’d bothered to call Richards he would have gone. I expect it would’ve been a similar situation with Carrick and maybe Scholes too. Imagine how good those too would’ve been with a proper DM behind them.

  14. squigs said:
    It’s more the exception to the rule. Cannavaro did not carry as many injuries as Ferdinand. I would take Ferdinand but he has acted as if he had a divine right to be taken when questions about his age and fitness are perfectly valid.

    He took Gerrard who has had an injury disrupted season. He made 28 appearances, 18 in the league. Rio made 38, with 30 in the league. If you have questions about Rio why not Gerrard?

  15. Absoloutely I would have some similar questions about Gerrard, I think if Hodgson doesn’t bring him it would be a positive for 2014. But with no Wilshire, no Barry and no Lampard, England are short of options in midfield.

    A player like Richards would have offered a better option then Ferdinand.

    • squigs – would Richards have been an option. I can tell you how many times Richards played at centre back last season. Zero.

  16. Hodgson seems an educated & decent man, but trying to deal with childish politics and behaviour of bratpack British footballers is probably not what he was built for.
    Noticeably he worked well in Scandinavia, Switzerland and some mid table teams where egos aren’t as rife as they are with the English national team and Liverpool.
    He has been dealt a very difficult hand in trying to sort this out. I think he has being to stay loyal with the players who got England to the finals and this has meant picking Terry. Hodgson knew that he couldn’t pick both Rio and Terry.
    The problem is Rio has done nothing wrong, and essentially being punished for standing up against racism and standing by his brother. Two very good human qualities, but in football that seems to matter for little.
    The best thing could be for England to go out in the group stages and then jettison Terry forever under the name of a new beginning. Only Gerrard then to stay of the supposed “golden” generation.

  17. It was a dignified silence, now perhaps less so. Unfortunately Rio has no chance of being brought in now, no matter how many more injuries occur. He might as well announce is international retirement – but wait till after the tournament.

    What I do not understand is this complete on-going infatuation with Terry. Surely after the 2010 WC in which he was shown up to be a very ordinary defender on the pitch and then a divisive influence off it, that should have been that.

    Hodgson has got off to a bad start by slavishly following what is the Terry myth.

  18. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    squigs said:
    It’s more the exception to the rule. Cannavaro did not carry as many injuries as Ferdinand. I would take Ferdinand but he has acted as if he had a divine right to be taken when questions about his age and fitness are perfectly valid.

    I don’t think he’s “acted as if he had a divine right to be taken”… more like… what’s he done wrong, to be ignored?… especially, after Cahill was crocked, and Hodgson then chooses Kelly…

    Kelly, over Ferdinand?… come on… that’s an insult.

  19. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    squigs said:
    Absoloutely I would have some similar questions about Gerrard, I think if Hodgson doesn’t bring him it would be a positive for 2014. But with no Wilshire, no Barry and no Lampard, England are short of options in midfield.
    A player like Richards would have offered a better option then Ferdinand.

    The question isn’t Rio or Richards though, is it?
    That’s YOUR choice… and maybe a good one… but the real choice here is Rio or Kelly…
    And that’s just farcical.

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  20. There’s no way Ferdinand can go to Euros and play alongside the bloke who is going to stand trial for racially abusing his brother
    The squad would be divided – more divided than it probably already is
    Keane said the players will be “dreading” the tournament. The last thing you want to do is complicate it with another narrative, especially one as serious as racism. Fights would quickly break out when you’ve got two big players, two captains, who won’t shake hands or speak to each other
    Hodgson should have picked Ferdinand over Terry originally, but I understand the argument football wise why he didn’t, because although Rio has played a lot of games this season, what if he he gets injured before a ball is kicked like last time – you’re a man down already. Terry is a bit shit now and got destroyed at international level last time, but he can raise his game, and he can stay fit… although it looks like he’s actually injured, and Hodgson isn’t saying so, so that shits on what I’m saying really… but then tbf he’ll probably play injured, and be an abomination, but he is Mr Lionheart after all

    • sidney – thing is Ferdinand is popular, Terry is not. It would have been an easy (and I’d argue the right football) decision to drop Terry. I think Terry has no right to be at these CHampionships. That’s not to say he’s guilty. I hope he’s not, because as much as I think he’s an uber-twat I don’t actually want racism to be prevalent in our game. But an England footballer should be beyond reproach. Tough on the innocent but protection from all this nonsense going on now. It boggles my mind that the FA would go out of its way to protect Terry and it’s got to be coming from the top. In Italy two players have been accused (nothing more) of match fixing and they’ve been hung out to dry.

  21. No it’s not right, Of course Kelly is not the answer at this stage but I would question the wisdom of bringing Ferdinand.

    I suppose I’m trying to ask if he called up Richards who would a more credible then Kelly would there be such a furore?

  22. This whole escapade highlights all that is wrong with English football. Too many egos, too many people stuck in the past and passion over technique.

  23. squigs said:
    No it’s not right, Of course Kelly is not the answer at this stage but I would question the wisdom of bringing Ferdinand.

    I suppose I’m trying to ask if he called up Richards who would a more credible then Kelly would there be such a furore?

    No there’d be less of a furore because Richards should be in the squad already, and many argue that he should be the first choice right back. But the fact that Hodgson has chosen to replace one of his first-choice centre backs with some kid who doesn’t even play in that position is crazy with Rio sitting there available.

  24. Richards and Carrick both weren’t interested in being on standby, Carrick had better reasons than Richards. Ferdinand available for selection, but as long as Terry was in the squad he wasn’t in. Wrong on so many levels!

    • Bill – seems pretty clear that Hodgson made NO effort at all to talk to Richards or Carrick. It’s easy to accuse the players of arrogance in not wanting to be on standby, but isn’t international football leadership all about man management? When the manager gets two days with the players it’s not about coaching. Hodsgon has quickly proven himself to be a poor man manager and that’s a shame for England because he’s a hugely experienced and rounded coach. One phone call would have brought Richards and Carrick into the squad. Instead England has Henderson and Kelly? Only the most one-eye Liverpool fans could claim that’s better.

  25. squigs said:
    Absoloutely I would have some similar questions about Gerrard, I think if Hodgson doesn’t bring him it would be a positive for 2014. But with no Wilshire, no Barry and no Lampard, England are short of options in midfield.

    A player like Richards would have offered a better option then Ferdinand.

    You don’t think we’re equally short of options at CB? Not convinced there’s more quality in Terry, Lescott, Jagielka, Jones, Kelly than Gerrard, Milner, Henderson, Parker.

    He took Jones for his versatility (so he could take 7 defenders) and has ended up taking 8 defenders anyway – just take two RBs. We don’t need 3 strikers for 2 games when we are only playing with one striker. Why take Carroll?

    These days a manager has to be a good man manager. None of Henderson, Kelly, Downing, Carroll or Chamberlain should be there. Manager’s job is to assemble the best XI on the pitch he can. Should’ve taken Richards, Rio, Carrick, Scholes and Johnsen. It is his job to talk to players and convince them to change their minds. A change of manager is a big enough change for players to reconsider their decision.

  26. Again how Henderson is in the squad and Johnson isn’t is another nonsense. Its obvious who the better player is.

  27. Don’t worry, everyone. Stewart Downing will save the day for England by becoming top goalscorer at the tournament. He is world class and has all the potential to be an England legend.

  28. FA is racist, thats all

  29. I am in definite agreement that Richards and Carrick are better players than Henderson and Kelly. He should have done a better initial job of speaking to the players to assure them that they had a role to play in the campaign. That’s where a Harry type would have been better. Hodgson doesn’t seem the salesman type.

    In terms of UEFA rules, once a player drops out does a manager have to go to his replacement list? If this is the case then once there were injures and the two Lpool players were named as replacements then he had no choice but to select them or another player on the standby list.

  30. Squigs,
    in your attempt to be very clever you have chatted more dust than can be found in a carpenter’s workshop!!!

    Knobby is absolutely spot on that this is the reason Redknapp did not get the job – he would have taken Rio. End of.

    Oh God, and the BBC are going to town about Ukraine and racism and yet a footballer is left at home cos of racist events? Lord have mercy.

  31. Calvino said:
    Oh God, and the BBC are going to town about Ukraine and racism and yet a footballer is left at home cos of racist events? Lord have mercy.

    Yeah, that’s pretty funny actually.

    I think Richards and Carrick’s position was perfectly understandable — I’m sure both would have jumped at the chance to be involved if the new manager had indicated that he actually valued them. They’ve both been completely ignored by previous England managers — why waste your summer with that shite? Get all dressed up and go down to South Africa just to watch from the bench as the chosen golden boys make a fucking spectacle of themselves? Carrick has been by far the best English central midfielder for his club this season, he’s been a cornerstone of by far the dominant club side in England and one of the dominant sides in Europe for the past five seasons.

  32. Ed said:
    squigs – in what way has he “acted as if he has a devine right to be taken”? He has said precisely nothing. NOTHING!! The sum total of this supposed act has been to favourite a tweet in which I said he was getting shafted and then to tweet “What reasons????!”. No interviews, no strop. Nothing but dignified silence. He’s every right after 10 years and 81 caps to get the truth. He got lied to big time.

    Questions about age and fitness fine in 2010.. but now when he’s just played a 40 game season?

    I think he nicked his comment from here: (Barnes and Pleat)
    http://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/england-boss-hodgson-receives-support-over-failure-recall-ferdinand-3217451
    What was Hodgson saying about not surrounding himself with yes men? Wonder what G Nev will say.

  33. Barnes was the first flat track bully in English football. Awesome for Liverpool yet stank out the international scene every time he wore the England shirt. He won 79 caps or whatever, but probably played well in only about 10 games – half of them friendlies!! Euro ’88 he was a disgrace. World Cup ’90 it was not until he was dropped that England had a decent game. So he can talk.

    Pleat? Rent a quote fool.

    Gaz has crossed over.

  34. Ed said:
    squigs – would Richards have been an option. I can tell you how many times Richards played at centre back last season. Zero.

    Yes that explains why he has taken Kelly who has played centre half only for a youth team, He has centre half cover, Terry, Jones, Lescott and Jagielka can all play centre half. Jones effectively is shifted cover at centre half instead of covering right back.

    He is not going to play Martin Kelly centre half.

    • squigs – I don’t get your argument. Are you saying that because Kelly has played centre back at youth level he’s good enough to play for the national team in a tournament. I’d like some of what you’re smoking.

      But, no, you manage to contradict yourself inside the same paragraph. So Kelly’s a right back now… awesome so Glen Johnson’s understudy is now the understudy at international level. Makes leaving Richards out in the first place all the more riddiculous.

      As for Jones at centre back ahead of Rio… now there’s a good way to relieve the constipation of any England fans.

  35. marlon said:
    I think he nicked his comment from here: (Barnes and Pleat)
    http://www.tribalfootball.com/articles/england-boss-hodgson-receives-support-over-failure-recall-ferdinand-3217451
    What was Hodgson saying about not surrounding himself with yes men? Wonder what G Nev will say.

    Hadn’t read it and I think Pleat is a tosser but what he is saying is fair enough.

  36. squigs said:
    He has also spoken out against Terry both publicly and privately since the Terry – Anton Ferdinand incident.

    Terry hurls racist abuse at his brother and then calls him a liar? Do you expect Rio not to defend his brother?
    I don’t think putting family first is a reason to exclude someone from the squad.

    From the beginning, if he took one of them it was going to be perceived as taking sides, no matter the intent. It was also obvious that if there were injuries (given that this is an england squad, maybe he could have seen this coming) the other could not be called up.
    It would have been better to take neither. Lescott/Cahill partnership would’ve have been fine with Jagielka backing up.

    All the talk around the england camp this year has been about avoiding the previous experiences of wags etc. Surely the upside that terry/Rio bring to the side is not worth the furore. The england players will know about what is going on. They will be talking about it. As far as I know Rio is quite popular, I’m sure a lot of guys in the squad would take his side over Terry.

  37. Calvino said:
    Squigs,

    Knobby is absolutely spot on that this is the reason Redknapp did not get the job – he would have taken Rio. End of.

    Yes, a manager is appointed on a long term contract for millions of pounds a year because he might pick one player at one tournament.

    Ed said:
    squigs – in what way has he “acted as if he has a devine right to be taken”? He has said precisely nothing. NOTHING!! The sum total of this supposed act has been to favourite a tweet in which I said he was getting shafted and then to tweet “What reasons????!”. No interviews, no strop. Nothing but dignified silence. He’s every right after 10 years and 81 caps to get the truth. He got lied to big time.

    Questions about age and fitness fine in 2010.. but now when he’s just played a 40 game season?

    He has quite clearly made his feelings known through his representatives. His representatives have put his point across and have been vocal. You as someone who has a strong working knowledge of the media would be well aware of this.

    Lampard, Terry, Barry, Gerrard; all ageing but they go to the tournament,”

    “Why is Rio different? To treat a player that has captained and served his country 81 times (in this manner) is nothing short of disgraceful. Total lack of respect from Hodgson and the FA as far as I am concerned.”

    Yes, Rio Ferdinand who has made 9 appearances for England in 3 years It’s a surprise that Kelly has been picked but it’s not a total lack of respect.

    • squigs – he was injured through 2009-11 hence the low number of caps. But he wasn’t in the past year so tell me why the number of appearances for England three years ago matters one jot? How many times did Martin Kelly play for England in the past three years?

      The disrespect is that Ferdinand is not being told the truth about his exclusion – not that he’s out of the squad. It’s unprecedented that a reserve right-back is brought into the squad ahead of a fit 81-cap proven central defender to play central defence on the eve of the tournament. It beggars belief in fact because the Terry situation is clearly playing a part.

      Do you believe that Terry’s case has nothing to do with this at all? Just how naive are you?

  38. The mistake was picking Terry in the first place. When you have to pick one or the other and cloak the omission under the guise of “footballing reasons” you could probably see Rio with his tendancy to break down (over recent years) as the greater liability. I’d have risked it – Terry’s behaviour is somewhat sociopathic and i dont really understand why he was not given the heave-ho long ago. Any way fuck it, Rio will be fresh next season

  39. The mistake was picking Terry in the first place. When you have to pick one or the other and cloak the omission under the guise of “footballing reasons” you could probably see Rio with his tendancy to break down (over recent years) as the greater liability. I’d have risked it – Terry’s behaviour is somewhat sociopathic and i dont really understand why he was not given the heave-ho long ago. Any way fuck it, Rio will be fresh next season.

  40. baggio365 says:

    hodgson is an idiot. he’s created this mess for himself, and if england crash and burn at the euros, which they usually do, then after 2 months as manager, everyone will be calling for his head. why on earth the FA would give him a 4 year contract beggars belief.
    the squad he has chosen is a shambles. the football so far has been very ordinary. and he’s inviting more and more controversy with every move he makes.
    Ferdinand should have been in the original squad. not Terry, a man with a pathetic record as a human being. but if we wanted to avoid that controversy, then leave both out. richards should have been in the original squad, best english RB this year. and even jones, as much as i think he will be very good in years to come, should not be in the english squad, much less the united first team. jagielka, who is much better than jones, should have been in the squad to start with.
    and what about defoe. why the fuck is he around. he cant even start for spurs. meanwhile, gary hooper, at celtic, is blasting goals in left right and centre, is no where to be seen. not even given a chance as a standby player! the SPL is rubbish, but if want to take a striker along to a major tournament, at least take one that is scoring goals.
    less said about the likes of downing and henderson the better. average footballers at an average club.
    the only conclusion i can make is that as part of his severance package from liverpool, hodgson agreed to pick all their english players if he ever become national team manager. how else can you explain the presence of carroll, glen johnson, downing, henderson and kelly, with gerrard as captain
    the only good out of all of this will be that carrick and ferdinand will be well rested for next season, and that hopefully jones and welbeck learn something from being at a international tournament. now to hope that rooney doesnt get injured

  41. Alfonso Bedoya Alfonso Bedoya says:

    I honestly believe that Hodgson was given this job, because he bent to the whims of the FA…
    This job was Redknapps all day long… it was all but decided by the whole country that “Arry” would be the manager.
    So what happened?… like Knobby said… Redknapp wouldn’t do what he was told.
    Hodgson seems a decent bloke, but he’s got a real “yes man” look about him, and unfortunately… he’s got a real “whipping boy” look about him, as well.
    When this all turn to shit… and it will… Hodgson will cop the lot.
    What is it about the FA/UEFA/FIFA?
    Is it a prerequisite of the “club”, that you have to be a completely cock, before you can be a part of it?

    “Badges, to god-damned hell with badges! We have no badges. In fact, we don’t need badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges, you god-damned cabrón and ching’ tu madre! Come out from that shit-hole of yours. I have to speak to you.”

  42. Agree with a lot of that Baggio.

  43. Hopefully rooney will be well rested too (if England fail to get out of group stage).

  44. Zombie Cucumber says:

    I’m going to laugh like hell when England punks out in the group stage.
    The squad has more Liverpool players than Spain has Real Madrid players or Germany has Dortmund players.
    Crash and burn, Lions.

  45. Ed said:
    squigs – he was injured, but he wasn’t in the past year so tell me why the number of appearances for England three years ago matters one jot. The disrespect is that Ferdinand is not being told the truth – not that he’s out of the squad. It’s unprecedented that a reserve right-back is brought into the squad ahead of a fit 81-cap proven central defender to play central defence on the eve of the tournament. It beggars belief in fact.

    I think the disrespect is not being told. He got a text yesterday from the senile plonker. What a shambles. A fucking text?!

  46. The court case matters; I have said if the FA think Terry would be found guilty he probably wouldn’t be picked. It’s the wrong way to come to the decision but I don’t think it’s a bad decision.

    As I see it Kelly if he plays (Which barring injuries he won’t) will be at right back. Hodgson wants a set number of defenders but has cover at centre half. He has stuck to who he had on his standby list and I’m not sure that’s right. Effectively he wants Jones/Jagielka covering centre half over Ferdinand.

    Hodgson rightly wants his squad players such as Jones to be players able to cover more then one position. It’s sound logic when you are covering injuries. He has 3 specialist centre halves in Terry, Lescott and Jagielka, and has Jones as a Right Back/Central Defender. Is it wise to include a 33 year old defender with fitness concerns echoed by his own manager and who is only able to play one position as a squad player? For this reason the non-inclusion of Richards is ridiculous I have stated that more then once it’s an even greater oversight then not picking Ferdinand.

    On Ferdinand’s fitness, he has not played for England this season and he has been free from serious injury. Fergie has stated that he thinks Rio can’t play two games in 4 days. I don’t think it’s stretching probability that if hasn’t made an appearance in the last 11 months for England that he wasn’t going to be in the squad. Hodgson is also looking to the future, Ferdinand himself was picked in the world cup 98 squad and he didn’t have much more experience then Kelly.

    I am probably biased though and I have always felt that Hodgson should have culled more then Ferdinand, he should look to players for the future and should have wiped himself clear of most of that entire ‘Golden Generation’ they had experience but that experience fell way short at International level. Picking Terry,Ferdiands,Lampards and Gerrards, is not going to win you tournaments suddenly when they are in the twilight of their careers. You take out these big names and a lot of younger players will see that they can make names for themselves at international level and they have a manager that doesn’t buy into reputations. I would have culled all 4.

    If the kids get beaten big deal, they will be a lot better for the experience look at all the new faces the Germans brought into their team post 2006, it has evolved into a brilliant side playing a completely different style of football and one that will go really close in this upcoming tournament. Mezut Ozil, Sami Khedira and Tomas Muller would not have been picked in 2010 if they had been English. Someone like Khedira would not Someone as good as Micah Richards would be picked for the Germans. Would Kyle Walker have started for England if he had been fit? Probably not and Kyle Walker is a brilliant young player who will be involved with England for years to come and 2012 would have been a great competition to blood him.

    England have the players, look at the England team who played in the final of the u21 championships in 09, only two of that starting 11 Milner and Walcott are in the squad which is ridiculous. These were an excellent England U21 side. The Germans who lined up against England have 6 players who started in their squad and you would expect at least 4 of them to be in the strongest first team.

    • squigs – Rio played 4 in 13 days over Easter. He certainly can play that many games when his back isn’t causing trouble. And it isn’t. Fergie’s protecting United’s interests with Vidic out for some time still, Smalling has a groin problem, Evans an ankle problem. Conceivable none of those three will start the season. Ferdinand’s vital. I can’t blame Ferguson for saying that in public but two weeks before (before Evans and Smalling injuries) he was saying Ferdinand definitely should go to the Euros!!!

      Ferdinand has played lots more for United in the past season than Kelly. Jaglielka, Lescott, Kelly, Jones, Baines have almost no tournament experience between them. In that context its just plain madness not taking another experienced hand.

      But this is all the smokescreen the FA wants. Kelly’s inclusion shows this has nothing to do with fitness or form – it’s nonsense to believe Hodgson is looking to the future on a player that’s played 31 games in five years. It’s not as if the guy is new – he’s been around a while, just hasn’t developed or broken through as people thought he might at 18. The season Rio went to the World Cup in 1998 he played a full campaign for West Ham as first choice central defender. He wasn’t some kid plucked out the reserves.

      But if it’s about blooding new players why was Lampard picked? Or Gerrard? And why on the eve of a tournament. Not as if either had stellar seasons. Jeeze – if you wanted to just pick players on form you wouldn’t even pick Terry. Had his worst season in a decade.

      Either Hodgson is a shockingly poor judge of player or there’s a lot more at play.

  47. Certainly a fair point but I don’t think the lack of tournament experience is a bad thing as the last two England campaigns in particular have been so awfully run off the pitch. Certain ego’s in particular Terry have been particularly prevalent in this. That these players haven’t been involved in the disasters of previous tournaments.

    The selection of Kelly of anyone is extremely puzzling though I agree.

  48. Our ‘talented’ youngsters are not on the level of Ozil & co. Its not a comparable situation.

    It’s ridiculous to suggest that experience doesn’t win trophies. People go on about youngsters winning so much because its rare. How many titles have Giggs, Scholes, VDs etc. won in their 30s? Chelsea’s ageing, past-it squad just won the CL.

    You can’t pick Terry and not Rio because you think Terry will end up being innocent. That is not a reason to exclude a player who called Hodgson and told him and said he would work with Terry.

    Hodgson did not pick Kelly ‘for the future’. He has said that he is going to this tournament to try and win, not for the next generation to get some experience.

    It’s a shame Rio’s England career has ended this way.

  49. The England youngsters were playing a final tournament against the likes of Ozil and having beaten teams such as Spain along they way. It’s comparable enough, take Ozil out I’m sure England had youngsters as good as Khedira in 2010. It’s not exactly a massive stretch to suggest that the talent is there.

    Spain won Euro 2008 with the youngest team in the competition leaving players such as Raul and Guti out. There would be outrage if England did this but Spain went from perennial under achievers to European and World champions in 2 years. The two above players were seen as disruptive to previous Spain teams and journalists involved with the Spain camp were quick to point out that it was the best training camp Spain had run and

    It would be more of an excuse to leave out senior players in particular Terry after his attempted coup d’etat at the last world cup.

    Germany in 2010 were the 3rd youngest team out of 32 and Spain were the 5 youngest out of 32. Uruguay were the 9th youngest, Holland bucked the trend as the 10th oldest team in the competition.

    The two teams that arguably disappointed the most at the world cup in 2010. Brazil and England were the oldest and second oldest squads respectively.

    Players who had been part of the past generation but whose time at international level had come and gone. I bracket Ferdinand in the same group and would do similar to Lampard, Gerrard and Terry.

    Before someone bites back and says that France and Italy were the oldest team in 2006, yes that is true but I believe tournament football has moved in another direction over the last 4 years and the younger squads are often doing very well.

    You can’t pick Terry and not Rio because you think Terry will end up being innocent. That is not a reason to exclude a player who called Hodgson and told him and said he would work with Terry.

    Terry was likely picked because he has played more often for England and he was going to be partnered with a central defensive partner at Chelsea and alongside a left back he is familiar with.

    Hodgson did not pick Kelly ‘for the future’. He has said that he is going to this tournament to try and win, not for the next generation to get some experience.

    England tried to win WC 98 and Rio was picked for the future. A manager isn’t going to say he isn’t going to try and win a tournament but I do think a European championships should be used as a testing ground for a world cup, similar to what Brazil do with the Copa America. A lot of this England squad won’t be around for 2014 so they shouldn’t have been picked for Euro 2012 in my view.

  50. England btw have gone for one of the youngest squads at these European Championships and while I don’t think they have gone far enough it’s a more positive squad then previous tournaments and they will be tangible benefit and great experience for the world cup in 2 years.

    Germany are the second favorites for the tournament and are the youngest team in the tournament by a distance.

    • squigs – Fair point. Mind you Germany is a strange one. Loads of young players but also seven players in the top 20 most capped Germans ever. Young squad, experienced core team.

  51. I think it’s the blue print though, I think you should blood them young weather or not your sure if they are 100% ready. The experience will stand to them. Germany haven’t won anything yet but I think there time is going to come weather it be 2012 or the world cup in 2014 when they will be approaching close to the peak. If you told an England manager don’t worry about instant success but worry about having a team able to realistically have a strong chance of winning a world cup in 5 years I think similar could be achievable.

  52. Spudiator Spudiator says:

    squigs said:
    I think it’s the blue print though, I think you should blood them young weather or not your sure if they are 100% ready. The experience will stand to them. Germany haven’t won anything yet but I think there time is going to come weather it be 2012 or the world cup in 2014 when they will be approaching close to the peak. If you told an England manager don’t worry about instant success but worry about having a team able to realistically have a strong chance of winning a world cup in 5 years I think similar could be achievable.

    Never gonna happen though, is it! Most England fans are notoriously unrealistic in their expectations, irrespective of the blatant shortage of world-class talent in the team. Trouble is, the long-term plan would also require a long-term manager, and for that the FA really should’ve looked at bringing in a younger, more hungry manager who could’ve been around for a long time, given that Roy Hodgson is already 64 (and fans-favourite Harry Redknapp about the same kind of age), this seems like more of a stop-gap appointment than a long-term building exercise, and therein lies the trouble with the England team, a complete lack of long-term vision. The squad selected is very short-term-minded, and so is the managerial appointment.

  53. http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/18377694

    Classy to the end. Not something that can be said of Terry.

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