Wembley Stadium

Next Game

England v Lithuania

Friday, 27 March 2015, 19:45

European Qualifiers Group E

Celtic Park

Last Game

Scotland 1 - 3 England

Tuesday, 18 November 2014, 20:00

International Match

Hodgson to reassess options

England boss Roy Hodgson will reassess his defensive options after Rio Ferdinand was forced to withdraw from the squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

Last Updated: 19/03/13 at 10:03 Post Comment

Roy Hodgson: Defensive dilemma for England boss

Roy Hodgson: Defensive dilemma for England boss

Manchester United centre-back Ferdinand, who had been recalled to the squad after a lengthy absence, was poised to feature in the two Group H games but pulled out after speaking to Hodgson on Monday.

The 34-year-old has a detailed pre-planned training and medical programme he has been told to follow to help manage a long-standing back problem.

Hodgson has also lost Tottenham central defender Michael Dawson after he was injured in Sunday's 1-0 defeat to Fulham and has called up Dawson's Spurs team-mate Steven Caulker from the U21 squad as cover.

Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott was also added to the squad on Sunday evening, while Hodgson's other options in the centre of his defence are Gary Cahill and Chris Smalling, with Phil Jagielka another absentee and John Terry now retired from international football.

Meanwhile, Ferdinand has hit back at his critics following his withdrawal.

He tweeted: "I thought these ex sportsman who have experience with injuries + maintenance would know better than to chat rubbish like they are doing."

'Gutted'

Ferdinand had been desperate to resume his 81-cap international career, but accepted it was not worth the risk and travelled to London on Sunday to tell Hodgson in person.

"I'm gutted I had to pull out of England squad," Ferdinand said.

"But it was the right decision for my intricate pre-planned programme.

"It was important for me to be able to speak with Roy face to face and explain the situation.

"One thing I made clear was that my passion and commitment to represent my country is as strong as ever.

"It is disappointing that I won't be able to play a part in the upcoming games but I told Roy that I want to continue to be available for England and I look forward to working with him in the future."

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has expressed his disappointment at Ferdinand's withdrawal but backed the Manchester United man to play for his country again, while he says the other players in the squad can fill the void.

"He plays for a club like Manchester United so the experience that he can bring to us from his club team and the level he plays at - Champions League football - would be brilliant," said Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

T

he thing is, footballers are role models, and children are influenced by them. I watched the Chelsea game with my 6 year old, and at school the next day she stamped on Emre Can.

megabrow (cufc)
Diego Costa: The Patron Saint Of S**thousery

Y

et again Barcelona try to convince the world that they only play the most virtuous of football. I've never seen a team so willing and able to dish out lumps but feel so self-righteous that no opposition player should ever have the audacity to tackle them.

charsmatcengma
Enrique hauls Neymar to safety

I

d love to see a United v Liverpool FA cup final. It would certainly fit the narrative. Obv I'd want the ending to be one of an O.G. and tears as he collects his runner-up medal.

GVMUFC
Gerrard Constantly Searching For That Final Hurrah

Footer 365

Premier League: Nigel Pearson insists his players must forget about their win against Manchester United

Nigel Pearson has been trying to make Leicester forget about their Manchester United win ever since they beat them 5-3.

Transfer news: Andre Schurrle nears Chelsea exit after agreeing personal terms with Wolfsburg

Chelsea forward Andre Schurrle is closing on a move back to Germany after agreeing to personal terms with Wolfsburg.

Premier League: Roberto Mancini could make a return to English football

Roberto Mancini has not ruled out a return to Manchester City in the future.

Mail Box

It's A Massive, Big, Brilliant Mailbox

And we left lots of Suarez/Costa mails unopened. What we do have is a video of some rotten Suarez tackles and views on the future of football, Spurs, Liverpool and...

But Biting Doesn't Hurt Like Stamping...

There are Liverpool fans arguing that Luis Suarez is nowhere near Diego Costa's sh*t-house league but we have plenty of love for the agitator too. Oh and Spurs...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company