The only lack of respect is from Rio
Euro 2012 was supposed to be a win-win tournament for Roy Hodgson, having been given the England job just weeks before the tournament started, the 64-year-old was supposed to be building a team for Brazil 2014, so why the uproar that Rio Ferdinand hasn’t been selected?
Following the John Terry racism incident with Anton Ferdinand, selecting the pair of them was never going to be an option for Roy. At his first press conference, he stated he would speak to both players to see if they would play together.
Then, when he named his squad, only Terry was included, and Rio not even named as first replacement, fair enough to me; Terry, despite his off-the-field activities, has had a better season than Rio, and has an FA Cup and Champions League winners medal on his bedroom table, whilst Rio had a season of injury and heartache.
Due to injury, Gareth Barry pulled out of the tournament and was replaced by Phil Jagielka, the first replacement for the defence. Then on Saturday, Gary Cahill suffered a broken jaw and he too was ruled out. People wrongly expected Rio to be called up, but it was Martin Kelly, who actually was selected the next replacement in line.
But even if he hadn’t been chosen, is it such a bad thing that Roy is taking younger players to a major competition? After all, he is building for Brazil 2014, a tournament that Rio will certainly play no part in, so surely it’s more beneficial to England that a younger player can have more international experience?
Some of Roy’s squad picks have been confusing, like Stewart Downing – who has no goals and no assists in 36 Premier-League games – or Jordan Henderson as first replacement, over somebody like Michael Carrick. But the decision to leave out Rio makes sense.
Martin Kelly is a promising young defender, who has impressed during his 12 appearances with Liverpool this season and somebody who worked with Hodgson at Liverpool. If he continues his progress, there is no doubt he will play a big role with England in the future.
Rio’s representative Jamie Moralee said: “Lampard, Terry, Barry, Gerrard: all ageing but they go to the tournament. Why is Rio different? To treat a player who has captained and served his country 81 times [in this manner] is nothing short of disgraceful. A total lack of respect from Hodgson and the FA, as far as I am concerned.”
However, Lampard, Terry and Barry have all had better seasons than Rio and deserved their place in the squad, while Gerrard was named captain, so it would defy all logic to not name him in the squad.
What Rio’s people have done by releasing such a statement is make Rio look bitter and twisted, he should really have made a statement saying he would have no problem playing alongside Terry and that it shouldn’t be seen as a problem.
I’m sure Micah Richards is absolutely fuming at being left out of the squad after the title winning season he has had. For years, people have wanted the England squad picked on form not reputation, so I am struggling to see how the decision not to select Rio is showing any “lack of respect”. The only lack of respect here is from Rio to Hodgson. Rio can kiss goodbye to his international career, although I’m sure Sir Alex will be delighted.