Michael Carrick, like most players at the club, had a pretty awful season for United in 2013-2014. Rio Ferdinand has today claimed that it was a mistake for Roy Hodgson to leave Carrick out of the squad for Brazil though, despite such a poor year.

“As someone involved in that extraordinary campaign, it’s safe to say it was a rollercoaster ride, and draining emotionally,” Rio said. “It’s a real shame for Carrick that one side-effect was losing his place on the greatest stage. He was downbeat about the news — and I know because I was with him when he got the call to say he wasn’t going. Nemanja Vidic and I took him to the pub for a consolation drink. If anything, I was even more shocked than Carrick. If there is an obvious replacement then fine, but there isn’t. He’s been under-appreciated in an England shirt and never had the respect he deserves. He’s the best holding midfielder England have. He knows the role. He’s not constantly wondering whether to stay or go because he plays it, week in, week out. But he’s not been utilised by the national managers, not given that run of eight, nine, 10 games over a sustained period to settle.”

Rio concedes that last season was always going to be difficult without Sir Alex Ferguson, but reckons England might now have a difficult time at the World Cup without Carrick in the squad.

“It was always going to be a tough season,” he added. “Moyes replacing Sir Alex has to be the toughest gig in football. You have to give Moyes some credit for his efforts but it was a tough year — and ultimately Carrick paid. I hope England don’t suffer now, too.”