Training is under way and it’s a case of ‘same old England’.
“I can guarantee we have 23 men who are ready to run through brick walls for each other,” Joe Cole said in a press conference. I can only assume these are a different 23 men who allowed both Croatia and Russia to finish ahead of them in the Euro 2008 qualifiers.
Rio Ferdinand, Wes Brown and Wayne Rooney are in the squad, with Michael Carrick being forced to withdraw following his injury against Portsmouth.
Whilst I don’t take an interest in England, particularly not pointless friendlies, this is a match that should get our attention, with a new captain set to be revealed.
Ferdinand has long been the favourite to take over from Chelsea’s Terry, who lost support within the Football Association last year for his aggressive on-pitch antics, which were not deemed suitable for an England captain.
Rio Ferdinand has done just about all he can this summer to convince Fabio Capello that he is the man for the job, with his charity work in Nigeria and his avoidance of Wayne Rooney’s drunken bash in Italy. The press have him down as favourite, whilst John Terry has busied himself with a ‘war of words’ with Sir Alex Ferguson, claiming that a team who’s three most effective players last season weren’t over the age of 23-years-old, have peaked.
Whilst Rio Ferdinand has current Manchester United captain fighting his corner, John Terry’s friend and team mate, Joe Cole, suggests his club captain can’t decide between the two.
“Rio and John are both very similar, with all the right attributes and well respected by the team,” he said. “They’re both top internationals at the peak of their game, very experienced, vocal in the dressing-room and lead by example.”
Fabio Capello, who tipped United to become European Champions back in February, saw the two men come up against each other as captains in Moscow. Rio Ferdinand lifted the trophy whilst John Terry sobbed his heart out in an embarrassing self-obsessed manner. Who wants a captain who is so self-absorbed they spend the hours following a defeat only concerned for themselves, not for their team? He didn’t go around picking up his heartbroken team mates, instead, made the occasion all about himself and his pain, as he does every time Chelsea or England lose important games.
Before the summer, Rio Ferdinand was happy to admit he wanted the armband, but acknowledged there were several good candidates. In contrast, JT tipped himself as the man for the job.
“If Mr Capello wants someone who is going to go out there, desperate to win and to do everything it takes, then I’ll be his right choice,” Terry continued. “If not, that’s down to him to make the decision.” What a dick.
So, do we want Rio Ferdinand to be named England captain today, ahead of the friendly tomorrow?
Morale – he wants to be England captain, so it will be a great boost to his morale
Experience – most reds see him as the man to take over from Gary Neville, so to have the practice and confidence that comes with doing the job for his country can only serve as an advantage for us
Off the pitch – the partying lifestyle which Rio seems to be trying to leave behind will certainly be given a miss if he has the reputation of England captain to protect
The press – just like with David Beckham, the press who enjoy giving Rio a hard time for his wrong doings in the past, should step back and focus on all his positives (for the time being at least)
UNITED > England – the less involved our players are with the England set up, the better
Injuries – the ‘sick notes’ for seemingly pointless International games won’t go down as well if Rio is captain
The press – the moment things go wrong for England, Rio Ferdinand will be up for a pasting from the media and all the stories from his past will be brought up again