Let’s be honest…..we all knew that John Terry and Rio Ferdinand would not BOTH be included in the England squad for the European Football Championships which begin this weekend.
There was too much bad blood. When Roy Hodgson, the new England manager announced the squad there could have been little surprise that John Terry was included and Rio Ferdinand omitted. I say (I am a Manchester United fan) that John Terry is the better player, has had a better season. Frankly I have never been a big fan of Rio Ferdinand. He is too inconstent for my liking.
Clearly this was the main talking point about the original squad but Roy Hodgson could legitimately get away with claiming that he made the choice on “football reasons”. I think that John Terry was always 95% certain to be included and Rio Ferdinand 70% to be included………and so might (at a stretch) be considered a border-line case.
Since the original selection two players have had to drop out thru injury. The replacement of Gareth Barry by centre back Phil Jagielka seems reasonable enough and does not undermine Hodgson’s original decision to leave out Ferdinand. But Gary Cahill’s withdrawal and his replacement by Martin Kelly, another defender undermines the position which Hodgson has taken. Just how many central defenders are higher up the England ladder than Ferdinand.
I tend to agree with George Cohen, the England full back from the 1960s who states that “football reasons” can be extended to include players who simply have too much bad blood between them. Team morale is arguably more important than choosing BOTH players. Of course this does raise ethical questions about……possibly ……..which player might be considered a better role model.
The point is that the England strategy of selecting one of the two players and riding out the controversy might have worked but two withdrawals thru injury and a seeming unwillingness to select Rio Ferdinand has made the line coming out from Wembley harder to believe.