Following Holland’s defeat to Denmark, an interview with Roy Hodgson was showing on BBC1 with him trying to explain the reasons behind leaving Rio out of his squad.
“No, I don’t think it’s surprised me,” he said. “It’s just a pit that the real story behind it hasn’t been told. I picked twenty three players and left Rio out. At the time that was discussed. When Gary Cahill got injured there was never any question of turning to Rio Ferdinand. My first thought was to turn to someone who could come in at the lower end of the squad, possibly a younger player to get some experience, because I already have sixteen, seventeen, eighteen senior player, four of whom are centre backs, who will cover that position. So my first thought was Kyle Walker because he was one of my original selections. We did get in touch with him just to check whether the toe had cleared up. It hadn’t. So then we turned to Martin Kelly who had been with us before we went to Norway. So there was never any question of which player I should take, should I take Rio or should I take Martin, there was never any question of that.”
Sorry, what? Rather than trying to come up with ridiculous excuses, why not just tell the truth? If you don’t want to admit that it has anything to do with John Terry, fair enough, that would obviously come back to bite them in the arse if he’s found guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand in a few weeks time, but then don’t say anything at all. What on earth is Hodgson trying to say here? He hasn’t picked the best players available because he wants a youngster to get some experience. Nonsense. If Martin Kelly was some bright young spark, like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for example, that would make some sense, even if most people didn’t agree with it. But Kelly is a fucking no mark and for Hodgson to come on the telly and insist his decision has nothing to do with Terry is insulting.
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