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Time For Rio To Hang Up England Boots

I was pleased when Rio Ferdinand was named England captain. Not because I’m arsed about England but because I was looking forward to the preferential treatment players of this status get, like John Terry and Alan Shearer before him. Kick someone in the head or rugby tackle them, who gives a fuck, you’re England captain, you can do what you like.

Sadly, less than a year later, Rio has had the armband taken away from him and Fabio Capello didn’t even have the decency to talk to him first.

He talked to the newspapers and basically said John Terry was going to get it because Rio gets injured. He didn’t confirm this was what was going to happen but more or less said that was the deal.

He then came to Old Trafford to watch United vs Bolton but didn’t make any formal arrangements to meet Rio, despite telling the press he intended to “talk to” our player then. I guess Rio wasn’t going to run around after him, Fabio didn’t run around after Rio, so they didn’t meet.

That evening, Capello announced that Rio was no longer captain and that after a year without the captaincy, Terry had been punished enough.

When Terry had the captaincy taken away from him, Capello met with him to explain why. We’re not just talking about the morals of the player, because where England players are concerned, Terry is no worse than plenty of others. The issue is with the dressing room. How can you have a captain who is having it off with the mother of his team-mates’ children behind his (and his wife’s) back? If it had been Coleen Rooney who had been wooed by JT and Wayne Rooney who said he wouldn’t be going to the World Cup, would Terry have even got near the team again, let alone had the armband returned? No way. If something is wrong and deserved punishment, it shouldn’t matter which team mate is getting fucked over, whether it was Bridge or Rooney, Milner or Lampard.

So, Terry deserved an explanation but apparently Rio, whose only crime is being injured, doesn’t. Still, maybe there’s some justification behind Capello’s decision, even if there is no justification for the way he has gone about it.

Let’s have a look at the injuries then in the 6 games that have been played since the World Cup.

vs Denmark – Terry played, Rio injured.
vs France – Terry injured, Rio played.
vs Hungary – Terry played, Rio injured.
vs Montenagro – Terry injured, Rio played.
vs Switzerland – Terry injured, Rio injured.
vs Bulgaria – Terry injured, Rio injured.

Both Terry and Rio have been injured for 4 of the 6 games.

So the injuries excuse is rubbish so essentially, for whatever reason, Capello wants Terry as his captain. He made the decision soon after Rio lifted the European Cup with United on a night when Terry missed what would have been the winning penalty and wandered around the pitch crying, making no effort to support his team mates. I can only assume Capello is drawn to losers… the reason why he took the England job in the first place no doubt.

So, what does Rio do now? Not face to face, but again through the press, Capello has said that Rio is still a very important player. Is that good enough for Rio? England have taken the piss out of him. If his injuries are an issue, then take the armband off him and give it to someone who isn’t injury prone too. If his injuries are an issue, then take the armband off him and give it to someone deserving, not someone who shamefully had it stripped off them after doing the dirty on an England team mate.

What consquences this decision has on the England team is not my concern, although you don’t have to be a genius to work out that JT isn’t the most popular man in the England camp, particularly after his World Cup press conference stunt, so it’s hard to imagine everyone in that dressing room will be overjoyed that Terry is captain and the more popular Rio Ferdinand got fucked over in the process. But what is important to us is how it effects our player. He’s been embarrassed by the decision of the FA and Capello and it’s not nice to watch. Will this have a negative effect on him?

Quite honestly, the only bad thing Rio could do in this situation is to carry on playing for England. Fancy having to endure lining up behind Terry, the new captain, knowing that the job should be yours. It’s humiliating.

Like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs before him, Rio needs to get his priorities sorted, and England have given him a great excuse. Quitting International football will give him have a longer club career, representing a team who have always stood by him.

So come on Rio, do the right thing. Don’t just hand over your armband but your boots too.

UNITED > England.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. smartalex says:

    Rio Rio Rio your boat, gently down the stream
    Merrily winning titles, at the Theatre of Dreams.

  2. Red Devil says:

    @denton davey 14:48

    Fantastic post pal…Exactly what I was thinking……no point resigning now, as he’s injured anyway……
    Just win no. 19 with United, perhaps the champions league or FA cup as well and come back stronger and that is the time to stick two fingers up at Fabio Cuntello… fuck the FA and fuck the twats in the england set-up….

  3. dannysoya says:

    @smartalex i’m trying to sing it but i’m having problems fitting in the theatre part. LOL. but great great song. They should sing it on the day Rio finally returns.
    Oh and even though i would love Rio and Rooney to leave the english mess because i care about them a lot, i will fully respect both their decisions to stay on with the team. Hopefully they win something when Rooney is there and he automatically becomes a god. all his sins will be forgiven and the next thing you know we start calling him Sir Wayne Rooney. Wayne rooney will then be free to sleep with whoever he wants even a cow.
    picture this: “WAYNE ROONEY COW ROMP: Coleen understands and decides to forgive him after all he won England the the World cup”. SMH fickle fickle british media.

  4. Rio should stop says:

    Rio should retires from international does him no good whatsoever.he must concentrates hard in getting himself fit most of the time for ManUtd.After all he has given so much to the national team throughout his career.there should b no regrets if he decides to quit now.Capello is treating him like shit.All United fans are pissed of what happened.a legend should not b treated this way.Rio should knows this is the right time to quit.and i believe united players n fans will b very glad if he does..if he does quit,he should has ease of mind, that in Smalling United have his future heir in defense for the club and Rio!!

  5. smartalex says:

    Thanks dannysoya! Maybe the last line is better with “at our Theatre of Dreams”

  6. Sleeksam says:

    I bet its the best move for rio,
    i imply all to go tweet this message to Rio on twitter,
    let him announce his retirement tru twitter,at least that would be a piss on the Capello and the Fa cunts

  7. indiandevil says:

    Totally agree with you here mate, Rio should look to give up on England and hopefully prolong his United career, we stoood by him through thick and thin!

    On to brighter stuff: here’s an interesting piece on Rafael and Fabio-Da Silva twins!

    viva Da Silva!

  8. mufc-manchester says:

    england = united. fact

  9. Zulu-Malta says:

    Come on Rio, make us happy and show your middle finger to those fans who hate United all year round and then after a barage of insults to our players they give you a round of aplaus cos you’r the England captain.
    Show your middle finger to these people who have more faces than the town clock of our beloved MANCHESTER !


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