untxi (untxi) wrote in ontd_football,

Roy Hodgson drops Rio Ferdinand from England squad for Euro 2012


Euro 2012: England squad announcement - live!
Courtesy of The Guardian

Goalkeepers - Green (West Ham), Hart (Man City) Ruddy (Norwich)
Defenders - Baines (Everton), Cahill (Chelsea), Cole (Chelsea), Johnson (Liverpool), Jones (Man Utd), Lescott (Man City), Terry (Chelsea)
Midfielders - Barry (Man City), Downing (Liverpool), Gerrard (Liverpool), Lampard (Chelsea), Milner (Man City), Parker (Tottenham), Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Walcott (Arsenal), Young (Man Utd)
Forwards - Carroll (Liverpool), Rooney (Man Utd), Welbeck (Man Utd), Defoe (Tottenham)

Rio Ferdinand's broken relationship with John Terry may have ended his England career after Roy Hodgson decided to sacrifice the Manchester United defender from his Euro 2012 plans.

Hodgson contacted Ferdinand on Tuesday to inform him that he would not be including him in his squad for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine next month. The England manager then travelled to Chelsea's training ground where he met Terry for the first time since taking the job and spoke at length to him and the club's other England internationals about his plans for the competition.

Hodgson also rang Peter Crouch, the Stoke City striker, and perhaps most surprisingly Micah Richards, the Manchester City right-back, to let them know that they were also being left out.

By that stage Hodgson had learned that Kyle Walker, the Tottenham Hotspur defender, will miss the tournament because of a broken toe. The Professional Footballers' Association's young player of the year suffered the injury during the game at Bolton Wanderers on 2 April and was assessed on Monday night. The 21-year-old would have been Hodgson's first-choice at right‑back and his absence makes it a particular surprise that Richards is being omitted. However, Hodgson does have alternatives for the position in the form of Phil Jones and Glen Johnson.

Ferdinand's own disappointment is tinged by a sense of bitterness as he reflects on the end of a 14-year international career, encompassing 82 caps and three World Cups. The official line Hodgson will use is that it is purely because Ferdinand is now 33 and has suffered from recurrent back and calf injuries over the past three seasons. However, a dismayed Ferdinand is convinced it is directly linked to his issues with Terry and the potential divisions that might have been caused if the two centre-backs were both involved.

Hodgson, who has also cancelled a training camp in Spain next week, is acutely aware of the bad feeling that exists since Terry was accused of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, Rio's younger brother, during Chelsea's match at Queens Park Rangers in October. Terry denies the charge, to be heard at Westminster magistrates' court on 9 July, and Hodgson's early inquiries have revealed that the case has already caused divisions in the England squad. The fear uppermost in Hodgson's mind was that those issues would intensify during a month away when all the feedback he has received has indicated that there is no hope of an end to impasse in the relations. In the end, he has concluded that it is unworkable.

Ferdinand's dismay is not eased by the fact Jones, almost guaranteed to get a place in the squad, is one of his understudies at club level, while Hodgson also planned to select Chris Smalling, another of the players behind him in the pecking order at Old Trafford.

Smalling's groin injury had opened another place but Hodgson has decided Ferdinand's vast tournament experience is not needed when there are younger candidates such as Joleon Lescott and Gary Cahill. Hodgson is also aware Jones can play at right-back or in the centre and that versatility could be particularly useful now Walker is out of the competition. In total, England now have five players ruled out through injury, with Jack Wilshere, Michael Dawson, Tom Huddlestone and Jack Rodwell also not in contention. Darren Bent, battling to prove his fitness after an ankle operation, may be a sixth.

Meanwhile, Steven Gerrard, the first senior England player Hodgson contacted after becoming manager, is favourite to be made captain.

Ferdinand's own injury issues have played a part in Hodgson's thinking. The manager tried to ease the disappointment by ringing Ferdinand to break the news himself and he is entitled to point out it would have been a gamble relying on his fitness when England have three games in a week. Ferdinand, however, has not missed a game through injury since January. He has played all of United's last 12 games and will know, almost certainly, that he will not get another chance at this level.


Uh oh. DRAMA.

Because we all know what this really means, right?

Tags: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, butthurt ahoy!, euro 2012, is this real life?, nt: england, rio ferdinand
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