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English Journalists Need to Get Behind Roy Hodgson’s Decision to Exclude Rio Ferdinand

rio ferdinand england English Journalists Need to Get Behind Roy Hodgsons Decision to Exclude Rio Ferdinand

There’s a struggle happening on the pitch in England, and it’s not between the footballers. Instead, it’s a battle of words between England manager Roy Hodgson and many of the English tabloid journalists over the exclusion of Manchester United centre-half Rio Ferdinand.

Hodgson has already explained that Ferdinand has been excluded from the squad because of footballing reasons. However, many of the English tabloid journalists won’t accept that for an answer, particularly after Martin Kelly got pulled into the squad due to Gary Cahill’s injury. Plus, the way many of the English tabloid journalists are talking, they sound like they think they have a better idea of who should and shouldn’t be in the squad than Hodgson.

I believe it’s time for the English journos to shut up. Hodgson is the manager, and he’s the one that makes the decisions. The England manager will have his reasons why Ferdinand wasn’t selected. But if the English journalists would like to grill someone with questions, perhaps they should divert their attention to Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson who said to MUTV, just a few weeks ago, “You play something like a game every four days. Rio Ferdinand couldn’t do that.”

Why would Hodgson want to recruit a defender who could only play a game or two during the tournament? Ferdinand is an experienced defender, but he’s no good if he’s sitting on the bench recovering from too much playing time.

This entry was posted in England, Euro 2012, Leagues: EPL. Bookmark the permalink.

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Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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39 Responses to English Journalists Need to Get Behind Roy Hodgson’s Decision to Exclude Rio Ferdinand

  1. AM says:

    Man, that is a whole bunch of BS as Hodgson has said that fitness is not the reason he has not selected Rio Ferdinand. There’s no doubt Rio is a class defender and one who would add experience and steel to the England team. The dude is well liked in the England dressing room and he would add to the team.

    However, Hodgson has decided to bet his tenure on Terry who is the last person you want for kids to aspire to. Let us not forget that Hodgson has selected Kelly ahead of Micah Richards as well so I really do not know what he is thinking.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Again, Hodgson knows the full story, but there have been rumors that Micah Richards was selected to play for Team GB instead and that his father didn’t want him to sit on the bench with England. Plus, Hodgson said that Ferdinand wasn’t included because of footballing reasons, which I would include fitness as part of that.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • AM says:

        All news reports suggest otherwise…. Seems hypocritical to take Rooney who is guaranteed to miss 2 games and leave Rio at home…

        “Even when he announced Ferdinand’s initial omission, Hodgson did not question the 33-year-old’s fitness. As it stands Ferdinand is understood to be in the country and training every day at his gym at home. He is ready to play. Micah Richards, on the other hand, turned down the opportunity to go on stand-by when the squad was selected on the basis that it was Stuart Pearce and not Hodgson who called him with the news.”

        • sucka99 says:

          Exactly. This decision, and indeed the decision to keep riding with all of the old guys including Terry show that Hodgson is just a puppet for the FA. Someone should come out and just admit they don’t want Rio there with JT. It would seem that, had someone been honest with Rio up front, you wouldn’t have gotten this reaction yesterday.

          And I call BS on blaming SAF. He has and will say anything to keep his best players out of tournaments.

          Once again the FA are gutless cowards. They take the safe pick with Hodgson and try to sweep any English player racism under the carpet. Luis Suarez, though, gets the flashy show trial

      • Derek says:

        Richards also declined to be on the call-up list. Since he was named into the 23 man squad he refused. Therefore Hodgson could not call him up. I feel bad for Kelly, kid get’s called up and as per usual everyone is bashing him. It seems pretty obvious that Rio wasn’t called upon for footballing reasons but who cares…I hate Terry but fact is he is on the team, my team and I will be backing them 100%.

  2. brn442 says:

    Well said Gaffer, I don’t know if Hodgson was “right” to exclude Rio (results on the pitch will tell us) but he is certainly entitled to pick his squad as he sees fit, if we take his word it was for “footballing reasons.”

    Martin Kelly has proven that he is good enough to at least be in the squad, although as a right back, I don’t see how he replaces Cahill.

    I thought Ferdinand’s agent was way out of order with his self-entitled diatribe – that Hodgson picking other “ageing” players in Gerrard, Lampard, and Terry should somehow make Rio’s selection automatic.

    Rio is no longer guaranteed a spot with his own club but he should be guaranteed one for his country? Really?

  3. Michael says:

    As a Man United fan, its a win-win for me. On one hand, he really should be in the lineup because you don’t necessarily have to use him every 4 days. You could start him on the 11th against France and then save him for Ukraine on the 18th. I would start Ferdinand every other game because he’s obviously a better replacement for Cahill then Martin Kelly is. On the other hand, not playing for England is not devastating to me because I’m first and foremost, a Manchester United supporter. If England doesn’t want him or Carrick, Scholes or even Cleverley, that’s fine by me because that gives them time to rest and prepare for the next EPL season.

    In regards to Richards, that just continues to baffle me. I believe this may be a situation where politics involving the FA are playing a role in keeping him out which doesn’t make sense because they are keeping one of the best full backs in the country out of the roster.

  4. Mekias says:

    I think fitness, age, injury history and recent form told Hodgson that Terry was more valuable than Ferdinand. It’s clear to me that Hodgson would only take one of those two. Either the FA told him he could only take one or Hodgson himself decided on that solution.

    It’s not a great situation and it’s not Hodgson’s fault that Terry and Ferdinand are fueding. He (or the FA) have decided that having both on the team would be detrimental to the squad’s chemistry and communication. I think there is some validity to that. And, to be honest, having the “current” Ferdinand on the team probably won’t make a huge difference. I think he’s lost a step in recent years and personally I would rather have a faster option partnering Terry at center back.

    The Richards issue is another matter. He said he didn’t want to be considered as a reserve. I think I would have offered him an olive branch in this case but it’s not up to me and Hodgson is entirely in his right to bypass Richards (and Carrick) after they decided to spurn their country.

    • Pete says:

      Richards said he didn’t want to be considered as a reserve? If that’s the case good riddance, I’ve no time for people like that, Carrick can take a walk too as this was his attitude.
      Who do they think they are? Richards has had one good season and Carrick has been hit and miss for years and now they want to dictate terms on when and if they play for England.

      They wouldn’t get near my team with that attitude.

  5. CH says:

    He may or may not have been right not to include Ferdinand, but he is dead wrong to include Terry. Ask Spain what happenend when they got rid of World Class player and well known locker room cancer Raul b4 the 2008 Euros. They finally had team chemistry.

  6. Larry says:

    Going away tomorrow to visit my grandma, so excited!

  7. Ken A says:

    You can’t please everyone. Hodgson has to make the tough decisions. It’s his team, and he knows whats best.

  8. Joe956 says:

    I’m also a United fan and from USA so I hope jolly old England gets beat first round. That way Rooney gets more rest for the fall. Rio? Ah, he’s an old man, he should play in it and then retire.

  9. Spenser says:

    Spot on, Gaffer! Rio is old and crocked so screw him!

  10. dust says:

    Roy bet on the back 3 being chelsea so made the decision to not split the camp and try to minimize issues off the field with the accused racist john terry. It turns out that Roy doesn’t have his chelsea connection, and has tied himself to Terry. This is still the reason that Rio can’t be chosen.

    IMO Lescott deserved the job over Terry and should have played alongside Cahill, but, I guess Roy felt chemistry was more important than ability. Rio would be a backup and a much better option than Martin Kelly. There are so many hypocrisies with Roy’s decisions and statements about those decisions.

    The 6 liverpool picks alone make it all a joke. You can’t on one hand say “based on what I saw though out the season with injuries and performance, for footballing reasons and those only I did not pick Rio” (I’m Paraphrasing) and then pick 6 players from liverpool with the following. Gerrard, was he injured this season? oh yeah thats right he was, ALOT, did he play well? he was ok i guess against everton but outside of that. Jordan Henderson, really? how many words are needed to describe how rubbish he was, or stuart downing who had injury and didn’t even score for liverpool in regular play all season! Andy Carrol, what! are you kidding, 11/12 Appearances: 45 (17 from bench) 11/12 Goals: 9 11/12 Assists: 4 Minutes on pitch: 2817 mins Minutes per goal: 313 mins instead of crouch? what a joke. Martin kelly played 12 games all season, 12 games!

    Anyways you add all hose things up plus many more, I don’t have time at the second to highlight.
    c’mon, its a joke

    • Mufc77 says:

      That’ gets a official thumbs up from me.

      As for Rio he should have learned his lesson with England after the way he was treated by the fa over the missed drugs test and the captins arm band farce. I’m all for having pride in your country but when you keep getting shafted and still go back for more you are partly to blame.

  11. Bishopville Red says:

    England Journalists need to ask questions. The also need to call bullsh*t if they believe the answers to those questions insincere or subsequent actions that follow render the answers inconsistent with whey they see and know.

    Their job is NOT to pump the England Manager’s tires. The FA can put their PR department on that propaganda task.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Hodgson has already answered the press. What more does he have to say? The British press are beating a dead horse regarding the Ferdinand story. Time for the British media to move on, and to get behind England and the national team.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • AM says:

        Sorry Gaffer but I have to disagree with your point of view. The job of the British press is to report on events that happen instead of “getting behind” the national team. The exclusion of Ferdinand qualifies as a major event that is of public interest. Through no fault of his own Ferdinand is being forced out and as such will finish his career without having played in the Euros.

        I am not a Man United or a Ferdinand fan but this just feels wrong when John Terry who let us face it is a c**t is going at Rio’s expense.

        • Pete says:

          Actually your wrong, Roy Hodgson’s job is to pick the team and squad. That’s what he gets paid for. If he thinks it’s best that Ferdinand doesn’t go then that’s his choice, not mine, not yours and not the madia’s.
          Ferdinand is old, injury prone and long past his best, he’s hardly kicked a ball in anger this season and now people think he should walk straight into a starting spot for England? Get real folks, this is the second biggest tourney in the world, not some pre-season friendly.

  12. Barry says:

    So Hodgson picks Kelly who has two minutes of international experience, in a friendly mind you, over a fit Ferdinand who has over 95 international appearances. The omission of Ferdinand both initially and now was never for footballing reasons. That is now obvious. This was always about having either Terry or Ferdinand in the squad but not both.

    Matt Lawton, journalist, put it best: “So England go to Poland and Ukraine, amid concerns about racism in Eastern Europe, without the brother of the player who might have been racially abused as the player who might have racially abused him is already in the squad.”

    • Pete says:

      Oh so now race is being branded about as a reason Ferdinand will miss out. Get real, he;’s played 90 times, 1/3 of the current England side is mixed/black. What a load of bollocks

  13. trickybrkn says:

    The Liverpool National team

    • MNUfan1991 says:

      Jordan Henderson FTW!
      After all, who has more goals and assists in the Prem this past season? *

      *Answer: just about everyone and his mother.

  14. Peter says:

    I’m a Man U fan, and huge supporter of Rio. He’s an excellent defender, and I think England would be a stronger squad with him. However, I agree with the Gaffer that Hodgson is at the helm, and therefore should be able to make his selection as he sees fit.
    The thing I’m most concerned about is Terry’s volatility. I just hope he doesn’t have another lapse of judgment and decide to knee someone like he did in the Champions League. Should that happen, we’d sorely miss Ferdinand’s experience and grit on the pitch…

  15. Ry_Mar says:

    The real reason the press are all over this is all down to ‘Terry-gate’ – nothing to do with Rio per se.

    Rio has actually been fit for more matches this season than Terry, no matter a bit-time player like Kelly. And while I’m all for giving youth a chance, you don’t tend to do that with your defence – especially in a major tournament.

    All Hodgson’s decisions SHOULD have come down to is: if John Terry and Joleon Lescott get hurt, who would I rather have as an option – Rio Ferdinand or Martin Kelly.

    But clearly the FA have told Hodgson that Terry is the favoured son, and hence Rio has to be sacrificed. It’s sad, Rio has, despite all of his detractors, always been a great player for England, and always been available when fit. He’s well respected and liked in the dressing room, and just came off his best season for 3 years. But, his brother had the temerity to be racially abused by the real England captain, and hence he must sit at home.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Personally I think the real reason the English press is all over this one because they’re trying to create controversy, which they hope will sell newspapers. This would be a great time for English newspapers to raise the bar for coverage of the national team, instead of focusing on something that has already been decided.

      God forbid the English tabloids and radio sports shows concentrate on other more important topics.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  16. dan says:

    another stupid post gaffer. this has nothing to do with football! can you honestly tell me martin kelly, a liverpool reserve, is better than rio ferdinand?
    He is being left out because his brother was racially abused by terry, nothing else.
    if it’s about his fitness then how come he played 3 games in 9 days from april 2-11?

    • The Gaffer says:

      Dan, ask Fergie. He’s the one who said Rio can’t play 1 game every four days.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Bishopville Red says:

        Fergie’s agenda is not England’s agenda, Gaffer. If it were up to him, all his established players would stay home. This is the same guy who declared Ryan Giggs too iffy to play for Wales 10+ years ago.

        • The Gaffer says:

          I agree. But it’s quite possible Hodgson based his decision on Fergie’s assessment of Ferdinand’s fitness levels. If Rio is upset, perhaps he should speak to Fergie?

          Cheers,
          The Gaffer

  17. Smokey Bacon says:

    Everyone involved should be embarrassed over this circus. Hodgson clearly wanted Terry because he wanted three of his starting back four to be Chelsea. Once he went with Terry he could never pick Ferdinand. Ferdinand has been hard done by but he needs to get over it instead of whining on Twitter. In fact, the number of players who have said they don’t want to be considered for one reason or another is a disgrace. Show’s how little an England cap means to these overpaid jokers. Richards, Carrick, Foster etc. F*ck em if they don’t want to play for England. Hodgson doesn’t need to explain himself to any of them, although I do find his preference for Liverpool players is a little disturbing.

  18. justafan says:

    Come on Gaffer, I usually agree with you, but not this time. Ferdinand would obviously be a better replacement than Kelly even though he’s slowed down some. Experience counts for a lot in these major tournaments, especially for a defender.

    Hodgson’s the manager, so he does make the decisions, but saying Rio is out due to footballing reasons is BS.

    Rooney won’t be playing all the games, so why take him and not Rio?

    Mr. Terry has been injured a few times this year, and he’s not known for his brain . Remember this is the person who “allegedly” slept with a teammates wife, “allegedly” racially abused an opposition player and definitely kneed a player and got red carded. The man has also slowed down, and is no better or worse than Rio. JT needed to be left behind, and not Rio.

    Luckily, none of this will matter much, because this is one of the least skilled/talented & boring England teams I’ve ever seen, and making it to the quarters in a weak group will be a struggle.

  19. Wan says:

    “Time for the English journos to shut up”

    A better title for the article :)

  20. Will Willows says:

    Time to stand down Rio. You are slow and past it, even your own manager said you can’t play two matches in four days. As to Micah Richards, Team GB all the way. He opted out of being on the standby list. The pundits and the blab and blather journalists need to get behind the English manager and let him make the decisions. Then slaughter him if the team don’t show up. Fair? Seems like. Roy doesn’t tell them what to write, they shouldn’t tell him who to play. Gerroffit.

  21. Baz says:

    Just get on with throwing our support behind the England team ? Cobblers! I’ve supported them through the decades and they’ve always let us down but that’s largely down to us not having the required ability to win tournaments. The latest scandal is a scandal of The FA’s & Hodgson’s own making. It’s a newsworthy one because let’s face it, there’s usually sod all to talk about in the run-up to a tournament except for various injuries to whoever. Had Hodgson had the guts to omit Terry as well as Ferdinand then we wouldn’t be where we are. But he chose to include that lesion that is Terry in the squad. Totally daft. Ever noticed that whenever there’s a “hand-shaking controversy”, he’s usually in the thick of it ? The Evra-Suarez episode being 1 notable exception.

    As Players Terry & Ferdinand are much of a muchness anyway. Who can say Terry had a far better season than Ferdinand did ? The insult is in being told that Ferdinand’s been left out for bloody “Footballing Reason’s”. As a person of colour that’s beyond insulting. And i’m surprised that Gaffer has fallen for this line. If you like things swept under the carpet because you don’t want to face an uncomfortable truth then go with Gaffer’s patriotic-bury-your-head-in-the-sand line. If you’re the sort that wants to search for truth then you will at the very least question this daft decision.

  22. Travis says:

    Personally I don’t see the big deal. Firstly with Jagielka, Lescott, Terry Jones etc already there, it is unlikely that Martin Kelly will even get a game. Second as well as his own manager saying he wasn’t fit enough, Ferdinand has played once for England since the 2010 world cup, which was now two years ago. He has played 9 times in the past three or four seasons. John Terry, in comparison, has played around 30 times. And more than all that Hodgson has been goddamn unlucky to have so many injuries in the first place! The Cahill injury was particularly unlucky!

  23. Frank says:

    I have a lot of sympathy for Martin Kelly as this is not his doing. The real question is why was Ferdinand omitted from the squad to begin with and why was he overlooked again when a replacement was needed due to Cahill’s injury. To that end it is Hodgson that has to answer these questions. For Hodgson to say that Ferdinand’s exclusion was due to “footballing reasons” is an insult to one’s intelligence if your definition of footballing reasons is that he is not good enough.

    Of course, “footballing reasons” could mean anything, from not being good enough, won’t fit into the system, or will be a distraction that will adversely affect the squad because of the Terry-Anton Ferdinand race case. Personally I think it is because of the race case that Rio was left out. The manager has the right to leave out an individual, no matter how talented, if he feels it will help the squad by not being a distraction. What should not be allowed to go unchallenged is the manager’s reason when it does not make sense or when people know it’s not really true. This is Hodgson’s own making that unfortunately will hang over the England squad as Rio’s name will come up time and again during the tournament.

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