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Off-field problems add to Hodgson's England headache

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Phil McNulty | 17:57 UK time, Sunday, 3 June 2012

Two words on Rio Ferdinand's Twitter timeline poured fuel on the fire of a debate that now threatens to overshadow England's final preparations for Euro 2012.

When Belgium's Dries Mertens needlessly and nastily shoved Gary Cahill into goalkeeper Joe Hart in England's 1-0 win at Wembley on Saturday, he not only caused Chelsea's defender a double fracture of the jaw, he also gave new manager Roy Hodgson a serious headache.

With Cahill a serious doubt from the moment the incident occurred - his absence was confirmed on Sunday afternoon - it was clear much of the attention would centre on whether Hodgson would turn to Manchester United defender Ferdinand as his replacement.

Ferdinand was the most high-profile exclusion from Hodgson's 23-man squad for Poland and Ukraine and the questions surrounding his absence will no doubt be revisited in the build-up to England's first game against France in Donetsk on 11 June.

Hodgson was at great pains to point out the omission had been for "footballing reasons" and not because of any diplomatic difficulties surrounding the court case involving fellow defender John Terry, who will stand trial after Euro 2012 for alleged racist abuse of Ferdinand's brother Anton, a charge he denies.

But once it emerged that Liverpool's young defender Martin Kelly was the preferred choice to replace Cahill, Rio Ferdinand made his feelings clear, tweeting: "What reasons?????!!!"
Hardly a coded message, it is a clear indicator that Ferdinand still questions the rationale behind Hodgson leaving him out of the summer showpiece.

Hodgson has said "footballing reasons" are behind his decision to omit Rio Ferdinand, not perceived difficulties in selecting both him and John Terry. Photo: PA

Those supporting Ferdinand's case will point to his vast experience, especially after the loss of wise heads Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard to injury, and his proven ability to handle the biggest games in a long, distinguished and successful career.

His representative Jamie Moralee said: "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."

The case against, meanwhile, may actually have been articulated most clearly by his own manager at Old Trafford, Sir Alex Ferguson saying before England's Euro 2012 squad selection: "You play something like a game every four days. Rio Ferdinand couldn't do that."

If Hodgson is minded to elaborate on the "footballing reasons" behind his decision to leave Ferdinand out of his plans, he may well use Ferguson's fears about his fitness.

Terry himself has now been passed fit after complaining about a tight hamstring against Belgium - and England's central defensive pairing will now exercise Hodgson's mind in the coming days.

Kelly will act as deputy for his Liverpool colleague Glen Johnson at right-back and has very limited experience as central defender - not enough to be seriously considered as an option in this tournament.

Of course Manchester City's Micah Richards could also have come into the equation had he felt able to make himself available for England's stand-by list.

This decision looked increasingly rash on Sunday afternoon and for all the injustice Ferdinand clearly feels he has suffered, he has at no point suggested he feels hurt enough to withdraw his international services - although it remains to be seen how long that remains the case.

It also means the list of potential tasks to be performed by Manchester United youngster Phil Jones now includes cover at right-back, central defence and central midfield. Hodgson will hope he does not go lame between now and the time the action starts.

Manchester City's Joleon Lescott, who had an outstanding season at Etihad Stadium, is now favourite to partner Terry although there is a logistical difficulty in that both prefer the left side of the central positions.

There is another alternative partnership embedded in England's squad, however, one that is tried and tested and one that may yet come to the rescue in the coming weeks.

Lescott and Everton's Phil Jagielka formed a formidable partnership at club level when they played together at Goodison Park and they have looked comfortable together for England. It is something Hodgson will be very aware of.

Belgium's Mertens has a lot to answer for after his awful barge on Cahill. He has not only caused an opponent to fracture his jaw in two places - he has potentially disturbed the peace of England's preparations for Euro 2012.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Bit harsh on Ferdinand but I think Carrick and Richards might be rueing their decisions to not be on the stand by list - think both would have been first choice replacements for Lampard and Cahill.

  • Comment number 2.

    It is obvious that Ferdinand should have been in the squad in the first place......along with Carrick, Scholes, Bryan Robson, Ray wilkins, Gordon Hill, in fact any Englishman that has ever plavyed for MU.
    Every England manager for 40 years can't see what is so obvious to the football guru The Trawler.

  • Comment number 3.

    Martin Kelly as the preferred replacement??? Roy must still think he's at Liverpool!!!

    If he doesn't pick Ferdinand because he doesn't feel Rio is up to playing every four days or for some other reason, surely Micah Richards who is not only a better RB than Kelly but also can play CB would be the obvious choice

  • Comment number 4.

    Ever since Roy Hodgson was appointed we've been told by the media that Rio Ferdinand did not want to play alongside John Terry and that Roy had a big decision to make regarding which (if either) to take to Euro 2012.

    He made that decision, and now we're being told by the media that Ferdinand SHOULD'VE been picked as a replacement for Gary Cahill, to be in the squad WITH John Terry. He even posted on Twitter to air his own frustrations about not being called up.

    So which one is it? Either way, yet again, the media and tabloid press have been making up stories to the detriment of the England team.

    We're not going to win either way, so I couldn't care less who is called up to replace Cahill, but given the choice I'd rather go for a promising youngster as Rio won't be around for future tournaments.

    As for Carrick and Richards, I wish they were in the squad but I have very little sympathy for either, particularly Micah, who is now paying for his petulant childish whining about being on the standby list!

  • Comment number 5.

    No. 3.

    Richards was not prepared to go on the stand bye list.

  • Comment number 6.

    I'm a Hodgson supporter, but his man management of this situation has been appalling. While Redknapp might have his flaws, surely he would not have ostracised so many of the fringe players in so short a space of time that England are now forced to drag journeymen on the plane with them to make up numbers.

  • Comment number 7.

    Although Rio should have been in the squad the first time round, his exclusion this time is even more suprising. If Hodgson was to use the youth argument i could understand Rio's exclusion. But when Micah Richards, a far better player than Kelly at the moment and a player who is young, doesn't get selected; the youth argument becomes void.

    This standby list is the most ridiculous thing ever. All it does is belittle players who should be going and ends up alienating them.

    Finally, you cant use the argument that Rio is injury prone. Because so is Gerrard. The player, rightfully, selected captain. Also, we have a number of players who have been injured leading up to the tournament with Parker, Welbeck, Johnson etc.

  • Comment number 8.

    This is typical of modern player-power. Roy Hodgson is England manager and for better or for worse he picks the players he wants and doesn't have to justify them. I for example wanted Richards and Johnson to go but it's not my choice. The friend of Rio's who called Hodgson a 'disgrace' is himself one.

  • Comment number 9.

    Phil. I am disappointed that you also have chosen to misrepresent Rio's tweet. His tweet is in response to one addressed to him as follows:
    "disgusting decision and the reasons behind it are even more disgraceful! Nothing to do with football! Shameful for all concerned!"
    So he has not "poured fuel on the fire of a debate that now threatens to overtake England's final preparations for Euro 2012." Nor is it a coded message. He has continued to act with great dignity. So please can the BBC not follow the appalling examples of the Tabloids, refrain from causing trouble and do what they do better than any of the world's media. Stick to reporting the facts.

  • Comment number 10.

    what is the situation with richards? why doesn't he want to play? richards was better than johnson when he was 3.

  • Comment number 11.

    Is there any English Liverpool player left to be selected to the squad now other than Jamie Pensioner?

    The FA are bungling this whole situation to new levels of epicness. Their attempts to insist that Rio is excluded for "footballing reasons" are right up there with Basil Fawlty trying not to mention the war - it's fooling nobody.

  • Comment number 12.

    Micah Richards must have something seriously wrong with his game that we have not noticed, to be ignored by Capello and now Hodgson, and to not be trusted in big games by Mancini.

    On the other hand I hope Kelly will get a few minutes, he will make strong case to be England's right back in coming years and needs experience.

  • Comment number 13.

    surely there are two possibilities here

    1) hodgson really does prefer other defenders to ferdinand, which is fair enough- ferdinand is good but almost certainly can't play every game

    2) its political, and hodgson really doesn't want to put ferdinand and terry together, after all a settled dressing room is much easier on a new coach

    either way, i think its a fair enough decision. but thats just me!

  • Comment number 14.

    I agree. Rio Ferdinand's own club manager has said he's not up to playing two games in four days. And who would argue with Sir Alex?

    I do think though that Terry should not have been picked. His best days as an England player are behind him. Not to mention he stands accused of a criminal offence. That aside, if Cahill is out - and the challenge by Dries Mertens was an accident. He was going at speed after all - then Jagielka is the obvious replacement. Play him alongside Lescott - the two know each other's game so well from their time at Goodison - and that is the pairing I would go with.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    It's hardly relevant who plays in centre back for England at Euro 2012, as Ferdinand is clearly well over the hill (not that he was ever up to much anyway) and there are no other half-decent defenders Hodgson could choose to replace Cahill.

    It would be a travesty for football, and to either Sweden or the Ukraine, should England qualify out of that group. Even with a full-strength side, with the likes of Bent and Wilshere fit for play, qualification would have been a tall order.

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    The modern centre half has to be able to move quickly out to the wings and also be able to turn quickly and still get the tackle in. Ferdninand was always well equipped to do the former but not the latter but I'm afraid he fails on both counts these days. Though always a master at both those skills I have a feeling that John Terry may be participating in his last international competition for he too is losing those required skills.

  • Comment number 19.

    We're not going to the Euro's with the expectation of lifting that trophy, we go there with the expectation to win it in four years time. If Ferdinand was, like Gerrard and Lampard, a player who could benefit the team substantially a case could be made. The fact is he wont start, he's not better than Terry or Lescott. Give Kelly the experience he needs at a major tournament.

    Furthermore the public exclamation on twitter typifies the modern footballer. Who is he to question the decision of the England manager publicly? If you've been dropped, accept the decision publicly and query it privately and professionally. Rio Ferdinand has no divine right to be in that side, the way he's played this year he's lucky to even be in the frame. It is an honour to be called up to your country not your right. Immature, unprofessional and above all delusional and disgusting arrogance.

  • Comment number 20.

    I don't see the problem? So another young player gets experience of being part of the england set up, something that can only be an advantage for the future of the England team. Ferdinand has also been made out to be this incredible ball playing centre half, but frankly I've never believed it myself- just another of the over rated golden generation.... We're not good enough to win this tournament, so lets use it build the experience of players who have a realistic chance at representing us at the next world cup and beyond

  • Comment number 21.

    Ferdinand may have been left out originally for footballing reasons, but no doubt his petulant response to that has made sure he's not going to get called up now.

  • Comment number 22.

    No. 19.
    Great post.

  • Comment number 23.

    Who in their right mind wants a guy who cant remember to go for a drugs test after a game.

  • Comment number 24.

    You have to feel for Rio, he must be incredibly frustrated.

    I mean, think about it, first this prat is accused of racially abusing his brother, and because of that Rio is forced out of the national team, that he has never disgraced like the old captain has done, and now when injuries have cursed Roy has shown it was always about the potential rift between the country's most hated player and Rio that played a part in his thinking and not footballing reasons as he overlooks him in favour of these replacements.

    Shocking !!

  • Comment number 25.

    As a Liverpool fan, I'm astounded Kelly's in the squad. He's a wonderful defender (imo better than Glen Johnson) but while he is young, he is fragile and injury prone, more-so than Rio, who should be in the squad.

    That being said, Hodgson is the England manager. Give him the respect that he deserves. No-one has a god-given right to be in the team, even if you're a veteran. Was it not long ago that arguing decisions like this got you booted out of a team altogether? Rio Ferdinand is a professional, and shouldn't be using twitter to vent his anger about things relating to his job.

  • Comment number 26.

    Roy Hodgson had a choice. Not one he is willing to share publicly. Roy Hodgson has put team harmony above individual merit regarding this particular selection. It was John Terry or Rio Ferdinand. In terms of ability, there is very little to choose between the two. Roy thinks Terry is the better player. To avoid the media circus, he has chosen Terry. And it is quite clear, Hodgson wants an older head partnered with younger legs in the centre half positions. This means Terry and Ferdinand won't work from a footballing point of view, and in terms of cordiality, swerving any potential squad divide or disruption.

    Tactically, from the previous two games and Roy's recent experiences in club management, he is setting up his team to defend. He didn't get the time or the resources to play expansive football at Liverpool. With Fulham and West Brom, he set them up to be hard to beat.

    Martin Kelly is not the cavalier player that Jones is in that right back position. The reality has sunk in that England don't keep the ball very well. If Jones and the winger in front of him are high up the pitch without the ball, they're in trouble. Richards would have got in but he didn't want to be a reserve.

    Only with the absence of John Terry would Rio Ferdinand find a place in the team. If only Hodgson had intimated this to Rio from the beginning.

  • Comment number 27.

    Kelly is 6th choice right back for England behind walker Richards Johnson Jones and Smalling, whereas Rio is perhaps England's most capable centre back.

  • Comment number 28.

    It is hardly conceivable that Hodgson could replace Cahill with who .........Martin Kelly? The few times I saw him play for Liverpool he looked a very dodgy defender in terms of tackling. With Glenn Johnson also looking massively suspect against Belgium it's looking rather worrying on the right side of the defence.
    England survived intense pressure against Norway and Belgium but I can't see it lasting against France and I believe that Johnson will have a torrid time trying to deal with Ribery who will leave him kicking fresh air.

  • Comment number 29.

    We wish Hodgson luck. He should be man enough to tell Rio that he will not be part of his plans. Or should he have picked Rio hoping he would have declined as long as Terry was part of same squad? As usual, the press is thriving on the debacle.

  • Comment number 30.

    #9 - The twitter post that you refer to was actually posted more than an hour after Rio Ferdinand posted his twitter comment. The response is a reply to Rio's comment, not the other way around.

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    If number 9's comment is accurate, then I am seriously disappointed with the author of this blog. The BBC is not a tabloid. Don't be so disrespectful and treat it like one.

  • Comment number 33.

    and... #30 thanks for clearing that up.

  • Comment number 34.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 35.

    Even though I am going to be cheering for Spain through the tournament (I am English but I refuse to support until John Terry is no longer playing for England) I must say the drivvle that I watched yesterday was the most boring, un-inspiring football I have seen since watching Chelsea defend their way to two cups.

    On the Martin Kelly issue..I don't blame Hodgson, I Blame the F.A. They don't want any controversy to put off sponsors. Money is all they care for.

  • Comment number 36.

    Roy Hodgson picks the squad that he wanted. The people who are not chosen do not deserve, or warrant explanation, the people who have been chosen are the important people.
    Why does Ferdinand think he deserves to be treated differently to others who are finished at international level?

  • Comment number 37.

    This blg serves only to stir the ****.

    You should be ashamed.

  • Comment number 38.

    Everyone misses the point when he lost Barry he replaced with Jageilka and that was when he brought in extra centre half. Now he's brought in a right back. He clearly now wishes he'd not brought along is Phil Jones who now clearly is felt can cover neither position.

    Another ageing centre half is hardly the answer

  • Comment number 39.

    blog, sorry.

  • Comment number 40.

    I like how you end with Mertens "has potentially disturbed the peace of England's preparations for Euro 2012". His push was snide and dangerous, and deserved alot more than a yellow in my opinion - Cahill and Hart got lucky, it could've been alot worse - but he does not have to answer for anything more than that. The FA have created this problem. I feel for Rio, he's clearly not had it properly justified to him as to why Hodgson doesn't want anything to do with him.

    A mention on Carrick - he has merely stuck to his principles as a professional footballer - not someone who puts his country first like all these self righteous hypocrits expect him and other professional footballers to do so. If being the most consistent, improved and rounded English midfielder for the best part of the last 12 months is not enough to cement you into the squad isn't enough, then his response is hardly surprising.

    Seeing that Richards also did this, then Walker should've been called up ahead of Kelly. Same level of experience but a young player of the year award to his name and a more regular player of a more successful team. Should've been an absolute no brainer.

  • Comment number 41.

    Picking Rio here would have been a ridiculous decision and I'd have called Hodgson out on it. England do not need 5 CB's. Kelly is england's best available RB.

    But England don't need 8 defenders. They're the only nation to have 8. Spain are only taking 6.

  • Comment number 42.

    Just seeing this as a storm in a teacup. As usual I note that the debate has now got lost in Hodgson appeasing LFC. Pity.

    Rio's form has hardly been good, even at club level, with him complicit quite a few times in their defense this past season. That aside, it is Hodgson's team to choose, approved by his employers the FA. Surely, he didn't see Rio in it. What becomes the problem right now? I feel, purely as a neutral, that this kind of attitude(s) is what makes the Three Lions underperform internationally. The team does possess genuine stars in it, but the overall attitude, fueled by a very partisan media, sucks.

  • Comment number 43.

    Roy is a better choice than Rednapp, despite what some people think on this blog. Arry would have recalled Beckham, Scholes, Shearer, Sherringham and all the other ex England players, because he is simply obsessed in picking experience rather than youth. However I think Hodgson has made a mistake in picking Downing, Henderson and Kelly who havn't impressed at all this season.

  • Comment number 44.

    Are you saying Terry isn't finished at international level? He got found out against Germany 2 years ago in the World Cup. Just because he throws himself in front of the ball, it does not make him a good defender.

  • Comment number 45.

    Some players think they are bigger than the country and decided to throw toys from the pram so shouldn't be chosen to travel.Fair play to Roy for picking youngsters who are the future of England teams and taking them for the experiance..

    We aint going to win this 1 by any stretch of the imagination and are using it as a starting tool for 2014 and beyond and that can only be a benefit to England as a whole
    Simon le Bon once sang 'His name is RIO and he's watching from the stands'

  • Comment number 46.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 47.

    Liverpool may have finished 8th but they made two cup finals and Euro2012 is a Cup Competition, agree though that Micah Richards might feel hard done by but Rio is nowhere near the player he was. The younger defenders at OT have carried him a lot this season - he's been very poor which may be due to injury but he's not done enough for me. JT is lucky to be there as well on recent form but he was better earlier in the season when Luiz was letting him down every week.

  • Comment number 48.

    Rio is history.Lets look forward.If we fail at the Euros it's not the end of the world.Time
    to start anew without all the baggage of those players passed their prime.
    Other countries take a chance on new blood why not us

  • Comment number 49.

    @7 ... Spot on!

  • Comment number 50.

    Spain are only taking 6 defenders because of the system they use. Their high pressing, trundle passing system can be used with only 3 defenders instead of 4 which is what Barcelona use alot. However Hodgson and England on the other hand have gone for a more basic 4-4-2, long ball, defensively compact style, in other words park the bus style, whoch requires 4 defenders and more defenders in the squad.

  • Comment number 51.

    What's all the blah about?? Undermined squad, upsetting team harmony, causing unrest.... What a load of pish! Rio I have seen cream turn quicker than you mate, elder statesman who needs to stop trying. If I was you I would spend my time trying to figure out how to maintain your squad place at Utd and leave international football up to those who can play two matches in four days!!

  • Comment number 52.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 53.

    Who does Rio think he is?? There is no given right to play for your country! He's old and not as good as Terry, even Sir Alex is losing faith in him. Get over yourself!

  • Comment number 54.

    The issue here is bigger than football and Rio (as much as i am a fan of him) is trying to force the FA to make a decision on Terry that they should have made a long time ago. Despite his ability as a defender John Terry has in recent years caused Capello to lose the services of his 2nd choice left back in Wayne Bridge (no great loss but the principle is important.) He has been stripped of the captaincy twice, and now not only Rio but Anton Ferdinand cannot be selected for England because they rightly will not play with him.

    Whatever my or anyone's opinion on the ability of either Ferdinand is actually irrelevant in this case. The principle and the example this whole thing is setting is causing the FA a great deal of bother and they are effectively now protecting Terry. Yes i understand that his court case has yet to be heard but if the FA were willing to act in stripping him of the armband surely they should have suspended him from intentionally duty pending the court case (which is what happens to teachers for example accused of misconduct with children as soon as the allegation is made).

    The FA are going to have to punish Terry if he is convicted of the offence in court, so how does it look to teh public that they are effectively punishing Rio for not wanting to play with someone accused of racially abusing his brother.

  • Comment number 55.

    40 - Walker's Injured otherwise would have been in squad and up for starting at 2

  • Comment number 56.

    Re 27:

    Yes good point. Kelly is England's 6th choice right back and shouldn't get any stick for not setting the world alight. He is decent with some potential and he should be applauded for being prepared to cancel his holidays with zero chance of playing.

  • Comment number 57.

    Ferguson only said what he said because he wants Rio fresh for next season. Since when did international managers pick players because the club manager says he should?
    Ferdinand has played 38 times for United this season. Thats more than the likes of Gerrard ar 28, Ashley Young and others. So for the life of me I cannot buy 'footballing reasons'. I share this view primarily because how can you be teling me that Ferdinand is not England's 5th choice centre half. Whats the need for Kelly when you have Johnson and Jones and even in times of need Milner, Jagielka and Baines (players do have two feet). And not to turn to Richards is ridiculous. He played 37 times for the title winners, not 20 times for a mid-table finish like Kelly.
    There can be no other argument than England and the FA have chosen an alleged racial abuser in Terry, over a world class, patriotic player in Ferdinand.

  • Comment number 58.

    I think most people are missing the point here. I don't think Ferdinand is arguing that he should be somehow nailed on for the squad. I think it's pretty clear the only thing he's asking for is to be told why he's not in the squad. This vague term, for footballing reasons, is ridiculous and in the wider context of the issue, does nothi but fan the flames. I don't really mind who goes, I don't think Ferdinand would make much difference to be honest, the team is pretty much woeful anyway. The only thing that angers me is the lack of honesty from the FA and Hodgson. If this really was for footballing reasons, do you not think that RH would have told RF what they were, which apparently hasn't happened as RF is none the wiser himself. This lead everyone to believe its purely about the Terry issue, which should then be acknowledged so everyone could move on and forget about it.

  • Comment number 59.

    You can have a go at the ton of LFC players all you like.

    LFC were crap because they had a comedy manager and have done since, ironically, Hodgson.

    There isn't a bad LFC player in that squad. But at least it gives everyone the opportunity to blame LFC if it all goes tits up.

    Hilariously, it's the LFC fans that couldn't give a monkeys when it comes to international football. Irony is a wonderfiul thing.

    I just hope they all do well and get us as far as they can.

  • Comment number 60.

    Post No. 9 brings a clarity to the situation which was impossible to see from Phil's article. One can only hope that Mr. McNulty had no knowledge of the previous Twitter or he could be accused of taking statements out of context, or misrepresenting the facts.

    Either way, the England Manager has made his decision on the addition to his squad which is seemingly other than a replacement for the injured Cahill. Perhaps more to offer greater flexibility in his use of defenders generally and/or to further advance the cause of youth.

    As for the case of Micah Richards specifically, and others generally, it seems obvious there is very wide disparity in views of his abilities at the very highest level. This is not limited to the average fan but to those who we perceive as being far more knowledgeable on the subject.

    Personal perceptions are wonderful and the divergence of opinions is one of the things which make conversations around soccer even more wonderful. For instance; how many would still rate Stan Mathews as England's best right winger of all time.

    Finally; Phil, please respond to the 'prior twitter'.

  • Comment number 61.

    Hodgson is the manager and he can pick who he likes. Frankly it doesn't matter if he picks somebody from Liverpool, Man Utd or the Blue Square or what ever as England never perform as they should at any championship. Perhaps some new blood and younger legs is just what the team needs. However I do feel very sorry for Cahill to miss out in such an appalling way. As for Ferdinand, grow up you earn more money per year than most do in a lifetime, just accept that a new manager has different ideas, it worked for the England Rugby team!

  • Comment number 62.

    Ferdinand should be there.
    Terry's hearing should have happened long before the euro's.
    Were going to get knocked out by some rubbish defending then blame it on this

    The FA need to look at themselves...................

  • Comment number 63.

    The real point here is that at least 5 members of the England squad, the "senior" players (I have a "senior" rail card) are well past it. This is a golden opportunity for the manager to get rid of several of them. Let's hope he takes it!!

  • Comment number 64.

    Rio would have been VOCAL agains RACIST and FASCIST in the Ukraine and this doesn't suit the FA.
    I'm a Liverpool supporter regardless of loyalties to my club Rio has been treated disgustingly.

  • Comment number 65.

    As Marc Chamberlain posted on Twitter .. 19th May Rio posts a pic saying "Woy am i bovvered?" ... hardly a way to ingratiate yourself into the managers plans should the need arise. I believe he has also stated that he doesn't want to play in an england team alongside Terry, so the options for Roy are pick him and then in theory drop Terry? Don't think that will happen. As the blog mentions Jags, Jones, Lescott, Terry are the centre backs, so we've cover there without Rio ... we will have Johnson and Kelly for right back and then Cole Baines for left back. Rio can only concivably come back into the squad if Terry is unable to play.

  • Comment number 66.

    These blogs get more embarrassing by the day.

  • Comment number 67.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 68.

    Just hope Roy give's the centre half partnership some thought....Lescott and Terry both prefer leftside, I remember the last time we played two left sided centre half's together Upson and Terry against Germany in South Africa, what a shambles that was.
    I think he should go Terry,Jaggy, but could go Terry, Jones or Lescott,Jaggy......

    I guess the press will be on Roy's back about Ferdinand, but we still have good options, just not Terry,Lescott....

  • Comment number 69.

    The controversy is not about Liverpool FC nor the inclusion of Kelly (nor the other 5 Liverpool Players in the squad despite the criticism of Liverpool supporters about their players) but the duplicity and naivity of the Manager. When will they ever learn that the true unbiased supporters just wants honesty.

  • Comment number 70.

    Not gonna get involved in the huge debate kicking off, but I will make the following point:

    For years now (most vocally at the WC 2010 after our latest humiliation), England fans have campaigned to get these older players and the surviving dredges from the 'golden generation' out of the squad for good, argueing that Lampard/Gerrard/Rio/Terry et al have failed too many times and need to be moved on. And yet, we've seen in the past week a furore erupt over how 'devastating' a blow it is to loose Lampard, and now a massive fuss over the refusal to select Rio.

    Clearly some England fans here wanting to have one's cake and eat it too. Or suffering from short-term amnesia? Either way, how any England manager can be expected to make progress when he is either derided for sticking by the old guard or abused and called clueless when he drops them is beyond me.

    Patriotism is the only reason I have left to support England, and it isn't quite enough. I wonder if I had a German grandmother...

  • Comment number 71.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 72.

    8.At 19:49 3rd Jun 2012, morleymcgrath wrote:
    This is typical of modern player-power. Roy Hodgson is England manager and for better or for worse he picks the players he wants and doesn't have to justify them. I for example wanted Richards and Johnson to go but it's not my choice. The friend of Rio's who called Hodgson a 'disgrace' is himself one.

    Spot on mate.

    Remind me what has Ferdinand,part of the "Golden Generation", actually achieved in an England shirt ?

    When Hodgson was offered the job, he should have said yes BUT only on the basis that ALL the failures these past 10 years and who are over 30 were being dumped, Euro 2012 and Brazil 2014 are learning curves for the younger players so cut the expectation, build a team of youth so that that we have a chance at France in 2016.

    Then no one would be in any doubt as to what the state of play is but we dont do long termism in this country thats why we continue to pick the failures of the last 10 years.

  • Comment number 73.

    I think Hodgson is actually a good manager and you pretty much know what to expect from him but I find some of the squad choices baffling. You cannot possibly see that apart from injuries the final 23 man squad has the best 23 current English players in it when the likes of Carroll, Henderson and Downing are in and players like Richards, Adam Johnson and Scholes aren't.

  • Comment number 74.

    This is real shoddy journalism and a poor excuse for an article, the tweet was in response to a comment made by another tweeter! It has no hidden meanings .

    We should get behind Roy Hodgson and respect his decisions!!!

  • Comment number 75.

    #30. I stand corrected. Thanks. In that case I am surprised that RF has chosen this time to stir the pot. I am not surprised that the media are doing their level best to do same. I live in the US where it is annoying that sports teams are built way up beyond capabilities and are excused for their failures. In the UK the sports teams and players are broken before they have a chance, no excuses for failure are permitted and the players criticized when they don't want to be involved. A little over 2 weeks ago there was an obsession with undermining Andrew Strauss. Now it's fair game to undermine the England soccer team. Such a shame because the media always win whether the England team does or not.

  • Comment number 76.

    In ref to Richards and Carrick whilst we're at it. I would presume not wanting to be on the stand by list means 'I don't want to be considered if there are injuries'?? Now there are injuries and people are saying those players should be approached again?? I presume Hodgson has selected the players he would consider if players got injured moons back and this is a natural process. If Hodgson believes that Ferdinand has nothing left to offer then it doesn't matter how many injuries the squad get. It would be different if Hodgson had said that Ferdinand had just missed out and was now back tracking.

  • Comment number 77.

    Ps I don't know why my name has come up as 'I love eastenders' ha ha

  • Comment number 78.

    Ferdinand is not a great defender - He certainly used to be... but he should not be selected just on past performances. If he was to pla with Terry, we would have the slowest central defenders in the competition, which would makes even more vulnerable

    I find it forward thinking of Hogson to select Kelly.

  • Comment number 79.

    I am a Man Utd fan lets make that clear

    I do believe the reason Hodgson picked Terry was a footballing decision as he clearly had three of Chelseas back four who know each so well and were going to be in his England starting line up.

    Rio Ferdinand has not had his greatest season however neither have Steven Gerrard and for all Chelseas exploits in the Champions League Terry and Lampard were in a team that finished a country mile behind the top lets not pretend all the others who have been picked have had great seasons. In my opinion Ferdinand is still good enough to play for England...if the manager chooses not to pick him then fair enough football is about opinions.

    Whether it is still a footballing decision...I'm not sure anymore. I think that if Englands remaining centre halfs all fell over and broke their legs in the next day or so Rio Ferdinand still wouldn't get picked!! still a footballing decision?

    Whether right or wrong Kelly is a brave decision and good luck to him because we cannot keep holding onto the old guard. If he had chosen to leave out Terry, Lampard and Ferdinand I would have aplauded the move because somebody needs to change things.....make a footballing decision!!

    As long as we have a press culture like we have I fear this will never happen!

  • Comment number 80.

    Ditto 8.

    Job of England Manager is hard enough, he will succeed or fail on the basis of decision-making which has been entrusted to him and the ensuing performances Give the guy a chance before hanging him out-to-dry.

  • Comment number 81.

    Ferdinand has more experience than anyother ENGLISH defender ! Why isn't he in the team ? Why hasn't Scholes been asked ? There is no better ENGLISH midfielder than Paul Scholes ! England are not going to get far in the euros. They were terrible against Belgium ! Typical England.

  • Comment number 82.

    I went to Liverpool once, am I in?

  • Comment number 83.

    Horrible defender though, 81 caps before anyone figured that out. Injury prone and guilty of losing posession more than keeping it really. Do Engerland need any more like that in the squad....besides, they could do with another fullback.

  • Comment number 84.

    If Ferdinand is past it then Terry certainly is (and Gerrard for that matter). None of them should have gone. And we all know that Terry has England's best interests at heart after the last World Cup don't we? He's nothing but a self-serving egotist.

    Ferdinand is obviously complaining about the disgraceful way all this has been handled (basically people lying through their teeth), he isn't claiming he's got a divine right to be in the squad.

  • Comment number 85.

    Rio's fitness is the problem as fergie recognised; his agent claiming that this is 'disrespectful' just makes him look arrogant.

    Since England have Baines and Cole, Lescott is there as a centre back, with Terry, Jagielka and Jones (who should also be seen as a CB). So I'd say that replacing Cahill with a full back makes sense.. though I would have taken Danny Simpson.

  • Comment number 86.

    This whole saga is about the FA being unable to take a sensible stand on the Terry/Rio issue (they are grown men let them get on with it) and the need to appoint a yes man in Hodgson who signed up to be a puppet with the 3 men in suits pulling the strings.
    When we get thrashed in the Euro's it will be blamed on the injuries to "key players" many of whom should not have been there anyway. When we struggle to cope with the world cup qualifiers the reality will dawn that we are are rubbish and that Hodgson doesn't have a clue in either his selection or tactics. England were dreadful against Belgium and Norway and if you think otherwise you are as deluded as the FA

  • Comment number 87.

    This has gone on long enough..messrs barry,lampard,terry and the said ferdinand should have all retired after the debacle of the world cup. Why are we debating this, none of them should ave been selected in the first place. This 2012 these guys have.been around too long for my liking.

  • Comment number 88.

    I don't think you can take ferdinand and terry, just not going to work.

    Best solution to leave both of them at home.

  • Comment number 89.



    Call ups to England squads are not indefinite, just accept when it's no longer happening.
    Difficult to do admittedly, but professional players should be able to rise to this.
    Petulance on Twitter is so stupid, do they think it's not going to spark a reaction?

  • Comment number 90.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 91.

    lol, this article was nothing more than food for the trollers and whingers.

    Just as well Jagielka is looking good however.

  • Comment number 92.

    has it ever occured to anyone that rio might of been left out completely because maybe stuart pearce has plans to use him in team gb?
    rios tweets might however see to it he gets left out of that aswell!

    as for the team we had the second youngest squad at the euros when cahill was in it, now hes replaced with someone younger in kelly maybe we have the youngest squad there now, isnt it time you all tried backing these young players?

    i had to make a name on this site to point a few things out cos no one else seems to and it really bugs me reading all these comments like you all know better than roy hodgson, end of the day you all know as much as my gran and thats nothing.

    and as for all the calls for scholes carrick and richards, they all effectively ruled themselves out, they turned their backs on england and most of you still want them!

    also see a lot of posts on why theres so many liverpool players, considering they were 8th, if you actually watched most of their games they were very pleasing on the eye, if they didnt hit the woodwork 40 odd times how many assists would the so called useless downing of got then? and henderson instead of carrick? what exactly does carrick do thats so much better appart from being too good for an england standby call up?

    considering the ammount of injuries england has we still have a more than capable team, give spain germany and france the same ammount of injuries to their first 11 and then ask who has the best team.

  • Comment number 93.

    Maybe Roy is worried by Rio's self confessed poor memory ;)

  • Comment number 94.

    "lampard, terry, barry and Gerrard" why didnt he mention cole? is he questioning race?

  • Comment number 95.

    This will be, in all likelihood, Terry's last tournament with England and he was picked due to his experience - nothing more.

    I cannot see England getting out of their group. They face bogey sides in Sweden (one win in nearly 50 years) and France (one win in twenty years) before a match with the host nation, Ukraine, in front of a fanatical sell-out crowd in Donetsk. If they do, then it will be a momentous achievement.

    My tip to win it? Can't look past Spain or Germany but I've got a sneak feeling for Holland.

  • Comment number 96.

    Obviously Ferdinand isn't going because of the Terry issue. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to pull their head out of the sand. John Terry is nothing short of a disgrace and shouldn't ever pull on an England shirt again.

    I couldn't care less what happens to England while that idiot wears the shirt...

    Typical drivel...

  • Comment number 97.

    I think they should put what team the blogger supports by their name; you will soon see a pattern of who wants Rio to play and who does not. The England manager picks the team that he feels is best or I thought that’s what he did, obviously the public and the tabloids pick the team silly me. Just start supporting England and get behind the chaps whoever plays?

  • Comment number 98.

    I would think WBA fan's are alittle disappointed non of their squad are going to the Euro's...Roy seems to of picked all the Liverpool players he can....I bet Zamora, Murphy and Johnson are abit surprised he has forgotten them from his day's at Fulham....

  • Comment number 99.

    CoalitionOfTheWilting ; Comedy manager? How many PL titles have you won?

  • Comment number 100.

    Let's face it.....Pick whoever you want Hodgie, but England are still not good enough to win the Euro's. They'll just end up getting the Quarter Finals syndrome again...............(if they're lucky!)


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