Goodison Park

Next Game

Everton v Man Utd

Sunday, 20 April 2014, 16:10

Barclays Prem

Allianz Arena

Last Game

Bay Munich 3 - 1 Man Utd

Wednesday, 09 April 2014, 19:45

Champions League Quarter Final

Rio might be wise to end England career

TEAMtalk guest Matt Mulready assesses Rio Ferdinand's England snub - and feels staying in the international wilderness might be best for him.

Last Updated: 22/03/13 at 14:15 Post Comment   

Rio Ferdinand: Might be best to stay out of international arena

Rio Ferdinand: Might be best to stay out of international arena

World Cup 2014

Check out the latest outright odds on next summer's World Cup in Brazil

I would love to know what is going on in Rio Ferdinand's mind right now.

Today, while his England team-mates are playing against San Marino, a squad he was called up for, Ferdinand finds himself in Qatar, talking about the game on the Al Jazeera network.

A couple of years ago, due to his inconsistent form, it wouldn't have been a stretch to conceive Ferdinand entering retirement and pursuing a career in the media. However, such is his current form - guiding Manchester United to the verge of a record 20th and his sixth individual Premier League title - the defender is currently sat on the periphery of ending his international hiatus. Roy Hodgson had no choice but to give Ferdinand, the man he dropped prior to Euro 2012 in favour of John Terry for "football reasons", a reprieve.

The head coach described Ferdinand as the "the right man to do the job for England" and as such he invited the defender to be part of his England squad for the games against San Marino and Montenegro.

The stage was set for England to welcome Ferdinand back - but hopes were dashed, despite guarantees from Rio's club manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, that Ferdinand would "join up" with the Three Lions set-up.

Ferdinand's refusal to play, due to a 'unique personal program' that protects his injury-prone back, has given Hodgson his own back (line) nightmare. John Terry has now retired, Gary Cahill is injured and the remaining options aren't seen as international quality.

It now looks like the power has shifted, with Ferdinand seemingly calling the shots. Hodgson's Euro snub and now this latest episode illustrates that the player and manager aren't afraid to air their 'football laundry' in public.

Ferdinand's justification for withdrawing seems even more bizarre given that he has made the 15-hour round trip to Qatar to be a pundit. This is further reinforced by the fact that only months previously, he was almost pleading for Hodgson to end his 21-month international exile. 

Ferdinand, almost in desperation, said: "If I get picked I'd pack my bags and go straight there". Hodgson took his time but delivered on his part, only for Ferdinand to snub him, making it 1-1 between manager and player.

So was Hodgson too late or was Ferdinand exacting revenge?

Both parties have been quick to dismiss this as a disagreement. Ferdinand has ironically kept the door ajar for future call-ups, and Hodgson has praised Ferdinand's honesty and reinforced the player's desire to win more caps.

But staying in the international wilderness could possibly be the best decision.

Ferdinand has to look no further than team-mates Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs to see how international retirement can prolong careers.

Scholes and Giggs are 37 and 39 years old respectively, and find themselves defying logic by still competing at the highest level.

Ferdinand could and probably should follow their lead, safe in the knowledge he was wanted by the national set-up.

It will be interesting to see what unfolds in the forthcoming weeks and months. It's hard to call what happens next.

Nobody but Ferdinand knows of his true international desires. If he does decide to place 'club before country', he won't be the first, and certainly won't be the last.

World Cup 2014

Check out the latest outright odds on next summer's World Cup in Brazil

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Footer 365

Premier League: Luis Suarez urges Liverpool fans to be calm during title run-in

Luis Suarez has told Liverpool fans to stay calm as the club attempts to win its first top-flight title in 24 years.

Premier League: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says his team can handle pressure

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says his team are able to handle the pressure as they chase fourth spot and an FA Cup win.

Transfer news: Swansea's Ben Davies flattered by transfer talk

Swansea City star Ben Davies admits he is flattered at being linked with the likes of Atletico Madrid.

Mail Box

City: Bottle Jobs, A Laughing Stock...

There are some harsh words for Manchester City and Manuel Pellegrini in the Mailbox this morning, as well as some rather nicer ones for Tony Pulis and his magic hat...

Fatigue No Excuse For Giroud Being Cr*p

We have a long mail on why Giroud isn't very good at all, plus some more thoughts on neutrality. Plus, who do you want out of you club this summer and Liverpool moving buses...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property