24 Mar 2013

Rio Owes England And The FA Nothing

Patriotic, idiotic England supporters, have got their knickers in a twist regarding Rio Ferdinand's decision to make himself unavailable for representing England in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro, following a recent call up by manager Roy Hodgson.

Rio Ferdinand owes England and the FA nothing, but all week pundits and ex professionals have been having their say on the Rio matter, the majority of them condemning Ferdinand for his decision to turn down the opportunity to join up with the England squad claiming that its unforgivable to turn down your country's invitation, but why?

Ferdinand and the FA have previous when it comes to being treated unfairly, so why should Rio be bullied into representing his country just because some people think its unforgivable and unthinkable to turn down the opportunity?

The circumstances regarding the way Rio pulled out of the squad were a bit strange, I'm sure Roy Hodgson would have had some kind of assurances from the Ferdinand camp, that if he called up the player, he would be ready to answer the call and help out his country in their time of need.

So when the news broke that Hodgson had called Ferdinand back up into the England squad last week, it must have been a huge slap in the face when he discovered that Ferdinand was in fact, unavailable to play due to his strict and intense training regime at Manchester United.

So where did Ferdinand's decision to turn his back on England come from? My guess is that his club manager, who has had a personal agenda against the FA that stretches back years, put a fatherly arm around Ferdinand and began to explain just how unfairly the association have treated the player over the years.

The first personal battle between the FA and Ferdinand kicked off when the player missed that drugs test back in 2004, England were due to play Turkey in a Euro 2004 qualifier. The FA made the decision to drop Ferdinand from the England squad on the strength of it, without Ferdinand having a fair hearing or trial, they basically judged the player before a verdict had been concluded.

It's a decision that divided the England squad at the time, Gary Neville was so angered by it he considered going on strike and not playing for England. Neville said "This was never a case of trying to get Rio off the hook. He was wrong to miss the drugs test. At the very least he was daft and forgetful. He was going to get punished for it. My point was that the FA must wait until the hearing to punish him. For me, it was a clear case of judging before the evidence had been heard".

It was Ferdinand's fault entirely for missing the drugs test, but dropping him from the squad reflected badly on the player. Imagine for a moment that the recent race row between Rio's brother Anton and John Terry, had a similar punishment by the FA and Terry was dropped from the squad immediately following the race allegations and the television evidence, that we all clearly seen, it would instantly suggest that the FA were handing Terry a guilty charge.

John Terry was not dropped by the England squad, and although a race row and a missed drugs test are entirely different issues, the seriousness of the John Terry allegations were much stronger  compared with Ferdinand's, and what did the FA do? They stood by John Terry, or 'Mr England' as some of us know him by.

As the Anton Ferdinand and John Terry race row heated up, what happened to Rio Ferdinand? He was dropped from the England squad for "Football Reasons". Rio was dropped from the squad to shield John Terry, it was an unbelievable statement by the FA, but they acted quickly to put out the flames by getting their 'Yes Man' Roy Hodgson to explain to the media that it was his choice to drop Rio and not the FA's.

In 2012 Roy Hodgson travelled on a London tube train and was asked a few questions by England supporters, on the matter of Rio Ferdinand returning to the squad he replied "It has got to be the end of the road. He is pushing 34 and hasn’t played for England for a long, long time." 

Rio's call up has desperation written all over it, why call up a player that you claimed had reached the end of the road? Why call up a player who is clearly not in your plans to be in the squad that will travel to Brazil next year for the World Cup?

So why call him up now Roy? Yes, that's right, you're down to the bare bones in central defence and after all the water that has flowed under the bridge, you thought a phone call to one of the best centre backs this country has ever produced, who is still doing it at the highest level for his club side, would be enough to tempt him back into your squad to help you out, help out an association that has treated him unfairly in the past?

I personally believe Ferdinand would have answered England's SOS call, he must have given Hodgson some assurance that he wanted to again be involved in the team. It's just unlucky for England that Sir Alex Ferguson managed to have a few words in Ferdinand's lug hole and make him see sense in this situation.

Rio Ferdinand owes England and the hypocritical FA kretins absolutely nothing, England's loss has, and will continue to be Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United's gain, I'm just disappointed that Rio Ferdinand didn't speak his mind and tell us all the truth regarding his England u-turn. I wonder if the powers at the FA will sit up, take notice and learn anything from this situation? Probably not.