Gary Cahill has a fractured jaw and so has been ruled out of the England squad for Euro 2012. Liverpool’s Martin Kelly has been called up in his place.
Rio Ferdinand, who enjoyed a great season for United, was left out of the initial squad because of “footballing reasons”, according to Roy Hodgson. Nothing to do with the fact John Terry allegedly racially abused Rio’s brother and Hodgson feared disruption in the camp. Rather than getting rid of the poisonous element though, Rio was the one punished, just as Wayne Bridge was in 2010 after Terry slept with the mother of his child.
For Hodgson to include Kelly in the squad, who started just 12 league games for the 8th best team in the country, makes a mockery of his initial excuse for leaving Rio out. Appears as though our defender feels the same way…
“I selected John Terry for footballing reasons and I left out Rio Ferdinand for footballing reasons,” Hodgson said last month. “I’ve spoken to both of them of course. I had to do that. In the last couple of days I’ve spoken to both of them and explained to them why I’ve come to the decision. He [Rio] was obviously disappointed. I’d be surprised had he not been. He was very gracious and he wished myself and the team the very best of luck in the tournament.”
From a United perspective, it is good to know that Rio will get a summer off, as he will be fresher for next season. Nemanja Vidic has said he hopes to be back for the first game but after eight months away from football, it will obviously take time for him to get to full fitness.
Rio played 38 games for United this season which is the highest amount since 2008-2009 when he played 43. Not going to the Euros will mean he is in better condition for our campaign. This obviously doesn’t change the fact that he should be in the squad and Hodgson has been exposed as a liar for claiming that it was simply footballing reasons that kept him away from the team. Is there any other manager in the world who would rather have Martin Kelly in reserve than Rio Ferdinand? Not a chance.
Rio Ferdinand’s representative, Jamie Moralee, has accused Hodgson of “a total lack of respect”. He adds: “Lampard, Terry, Barry and Gerrard are all ageing but they go to the tournament. Why is Rio different? To treat a player that’s served country 81 times like this is nothing short of disgraceful.” Why aren’t the others treated like this? Terry didn’t allegedly racially abuse any of their brothers, obviously.