Is Rio Ferdinand really too old for England? Erm, what about Lampard?

Rio Ferdinand was left out of England’s Euro 2012 squad for “footballing reasons” according to Roy Hodgson, although it is widely accepted that the England manager preferred John Terry and the two couldn’t be in the same squad following the Chelsea captain shouting “black cunt” at Rio’s brother. The fact Martin Kelly, who had struggled to get in the starting XI of the 8th best team in the country, got the nod ahead of Rio when injuries struck the squad, made Hodgson’s excuses about “footballing reasons” appear ridiculous.

Terry went to the Euros, although the FA decided to strip him of the captaincy. In hindsight, this was a good decision, given that the FA have since ruled that Terry did racially abuse Anton last season. The damage it would have done England’s reputation to have a captain who has been deemed guilty of racial abuse would have been huge. You could even argue that his inclusion in the squad at all hasn’t painted England in the best light.

In court, the chief magistrate concluded that Terry’s version of events was “unlikely” and that the not guilty verdict was given because “nobody could prove Mr Terry was lying“. The FA rule on a basis of probabilities, rather than beyond reasonable doubt, and their conclusion was he was guilty of the offence.

If Hodgson had his way, he would have likely chosen Terry as his captain, but unlike Fabio Capello, he wasn’t willing to use this disagreement as a way out of the job. Instead, he chose Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard, who went on to have a very good tournament for England. With Frank Lampard forced out of the Euros through injury, Hodgson picked Scott Parker to play alongside Gerrard in midfield throughout the tournament.

Terry was picked for all England’s games following Euro 2012 but he still chose to retire, bizarrely claiming that the FA had made his position “untenable” by persuing the charge against him. The fact that the FA had allowed Terry to represent England in the Euros, despite having a criminal charge hanging over him, made a mockery of Terry’s excuse. Essentially, he knew he was going to be found guilty by the FA and his ego couldn’t bear the thought of being kicked out of the squad, so he jumped before he was pushed. It might have been a bit hasty on his part though, considering Hodgson would have still wanted to pick him anyway, claiming that he “reluctantly” accepted Terry’s decision.

Since Terry’s retirement, discussion has been on-going as to who should replace him in England’s defence. There have been some calls for Gary Cahill to take up the spot, although he only gets a game for Chelsea when Terry or David Luiz are unavailable. Phil Jagielka is probably nothing more than a squad player but will still throw his hat in to the ring. Manchester United’s Chris Smalling and Phil Jones might be earmarked for the future. Manchester City’s Joleon Lescott is probably the strongest contender for the spot though.

Reports have emerged this morning claiming that whoever Hodgson uses at Terry’s replacement though, it won’t be Rio Ferdinand. Hodgson told fans on the tube that Rio’s England career had reached “the end of the road”. The player who was chosen as captain for England’s last World Cup two summers ago, is no longer in contention. “I have to say it is over for him and England,” Hodgson reportedly said. “He is pushing 34 and hasn’t played for England for a long, long time.”

Whilst Rio is still first choice for Manchester United, it’s hard to see why Hodgson would think his age prevents him even being an option for England, particularly when you consider Hodgson’s other team selections.

Lampard, Hodgson’s choice for vice captain, is 34-years-old, Gerrard is 32, Scott Parker turns 32 next week, Ashley Cole turns 32 this year and Gareth Barry turns 32 in four months time.

Hogson was found out as being disingenuous when blaming Rio’s exclusion on “footballing reasons” and now to claim that Rio is too old for England, when Hodgson’s chosen vice captain is older than him, is ridiculous.

Why Hodgson seems to hold a grudge against Rio is unknown, although even now Terry has gone, Ashley Cole remains in the squad, so there would certainly be friction if Rio was called up again. The Manchester United defender laughed at someone on Twitter referring to Cole as a “choc ice”, implying that he had betrayed his race in supporting Terry’s “unlikely” version of events in court, suggesting there is animosity between the two now.

Just as Hodgson didn’t want to admit that Terry’s racial abuse of Anton is what really kept Rio out of the squad, he is strill struggling to be straight about the real reasons behind Rio’s omission.

What’s wrong with a bit of honesty, Roy?

How could Hodgson get it so wrong over toxic Terry?
It will hurt but now is the time for John Terry to see the error of his ways

12 Comments on "Is Rio Ferdinand really too old for England? Erm, what about Lampard?"

  1. Rio hasn’t been part of the England team for 4 years now!

  2. This whole argument/article falls through considering Terry wasn´t convicted of racial abuse. Sorry

    • The Seal – the FA found him guilty of racially abusing Anton. That is fact. I don’t see how that has any relevance to Roy’s claim that Rio is too old for England though. The argument of this article has nothing to do with the fact the FA found Terry guilty of racially abusing Anton.

      • Wrong, that is not fact, not until such time as one of the parties makes public the FA’s written decision and reasoning for the decision. Until then it is merely conjecture.
        However, as you say JT has nothing to do with Rio’s ommission. If JT didnt exist, Rio would still be struggling to earn a place against the likes of Cahill and Shawcross. The ability is more or less still there, most of the time anyway, but his lapses of concentration make him a liability, and he has been a liability for almost two seasons.
        Rio will have maybe 8 or 10 outstanding games this season, the rest of the time he will be a bystander like he was against Spurs.
        He is jaded, too slow and prone to poor position every time he plays these days. He should be allowed to retire gracefully as the almost-great player he was for Man U and the run of the mill player he was for England.

        • “almost great”. Your argument falls down with that comment – if you spent any time watching rio between 2007 – 2009 you’ll have seen he was one of, if not the best central defender in the game, winning a European cup, reaching another final and winning 3 straight league titles. Plus that clean sheet run. Your failure to acknowledge his greatness suggests you have it in for him and therefore can’t present a neutral argument.

  3. He is being honest, Rio has lost his pace and is injury prone. Did you see how Bale went round him for the goal against Utd? Rio of old would have got his body in the way and prevented the shot but Rio of today is a yard or two slower.

    Sometimes as much as you media like to stir…there really is no hidden agenda just common sense. Lets see once all the Utd defence are fit whether Rio is still the rock in their defence…imo his time has passed.

  4. maybe roy’s not picking rio cos he was found guilty by the fa of racially abusing a fellow pro on twitter.

    or maybe he’s not picking rio because when rio wasn’t picked for the euros (after not having played for his country for 2 years) he started openly goading the england manager on twitter.

    or maybe he’s not picking rio cos he’s sh*t.

    who knows?

  5. well everybody got what they wanted no more terry lets watch our defence fall apart our next best centre back is cahill who is a second string chelsea player

  6. Ferdinand omission has nothin to do with terry,as for lampard and the older players you mentioned,they have more to offer the team than ferdinand..ferdinand has past it he shud just retire bcos the defence is overcrowded,is rio better than jagielka,cahill,jones,lescott,caulker and even richards?

  7. eltricolor2014 | October 4, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply

    It’s time to turn the page; Rio can only handle the EPL and not counted to play for country. Same goes for Lamps and Gerrard, I mean, both fellas can even sprint down the pitch any more. England has up and rising stars in both midfield and defense, it’s time to start bleeding them and giving them some experience. Only experienced players I’d keep using is Parker and Rooney, build a team around them and leave the old folks home.

  8. Rio is done! It’s not only his age but all the other defenders that are in the England team is better then Wat he is. He was the one who let the goals in the weekend. Cahill replaces terry at Chelsea when terry doesn’t play so it will only be wise to do the same as England. And for lampard, he still the best in Wat he does and that’s being a goal scoring midfielder. He works hard and he doesn’t show any signs of aging SO TO THE WRITER DON’T COMPARE RIO TO FRANK!! It’s like saying mini’s are better then mercs!!!

  9. So Rio had one bad game against Spurs, where he got outpaced by Bale (like 90% of defenders would). Are you guys forgetting 6 days previously, when he had a terrific game against Liverpool? Had Suarez in his pocket?

    Or how about his excellent run of form in the second half of last season? Him and Lescott were by a country mile the best English centre backs last season.

    If you honestly believe the likes of Jagielka, Jones, Shawcross are better centre backs than Rio, you’re deluded.

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