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Hard Done By Or Plain Old Deluded?

Once again Roy Hodgson’s choice of player has been questioned and this time it is by Rio Ferdinand, who on finding out he had been overlooked to replace Gary Cahill by Martin Kelly wrote on his twitter account “What reasons ???!!!”

Rio wants the truth more than anything and after his years of service shouldn’t the Man United veteran deserve it?

I’d say yes but I still wouldn’t pick him for my England team because I don’t believe he is needed.

Originally Hodgson said that Rio had been omitted for ‘footballing reasons’ and that was a statement Roy could justify, as Terry and Cahill had formed a formidable partnership together at Chelsea, whereas Rio looked inconsistent for United, the 4-4 game against Everton a prime example. Hodgson also said before his squad announcement that he wanted to focus on youth, helping explain the surprise inclusion of Liverpool’s second choice right back. Yet it still feels like the reasons behind Rio getting overlooked are not to do with football and that is where I can empathise with Rio for being a bit miffed off, to say the least.

Since the allegations about Terry have come to light it is obvious that these two wouldn’t play nice and by picking both of them you’d run a strong risk of creating clique’s in the team. Hodgson played his hand well at first by focusing on Terry and Cahill’s partnership being the potential foundation for a new England team that would be hard to break down, much like Chelsea did in the Champions League, but now one half of that partneship has gone, should Rio’s experience alone get him in the squad?

No is the answer. By calling up Rio, Hodgson would be puting a strain on his squad making any kind of team cohesion impossible and would be safer calling up Joey Barton.He would also be going against his original statement about backing youth and with Jagielka, Lescott and Jones all ready in the squad alongside Terry, we don’t need another centre back.

Rio’s ex-team mate, Gary Neville, made an interesting decision before his appointment as England coach. He was asked to pick his England squad for the Euro’s during Sky Sports “Monday Night Football” and interestingly neither Terry nor Ferdinand was involved. This is something I would have favoured, as by leaving them both out it would have been easier to audition for replacements for the two ageing centre backs and totally avoid any kind of problems due to Terry’s upcoming case.

It would also be insulting to Micah Richards not to mention his name as potential cover for England too. If Rio’s unhappy at not being called up imagine how Richards is feeling. Probably something similar to Bill Murray when he wakes up to Sonny and Cher’s “I got you babe” repeatedly in Groundhog Day.

The Manchester City defender isn’t the most disciplined and I would probably pick Kyle Walker ahead of him but with Walker injured why on earth not just have him as cover for Glen Johnson. This is not an attack on Martin Kelly because Hodgson obviously sees something in him that we don’t having spent more time working with him but given Richards experience both domestically and internationally, he should be getting in ahead of the unproven 21 year old.

Rio ‘s admission from the England squad is not an insult to football but certainly insulting to Rio as he deserves some answers rather than being fobbed off with the excuse of “footballing reasons”. Hodgson is picking youth ahead of experience and should be commended for doing so but by picking Kelly over Richards, adding him to a growing contingent of average Liverpool players in the squad, he is showing a dependency on familiarity and an unwillingness to take risks.

When it comes down to investing in youth, risk taking is an essential component, one Roy is either lacking or saving for when he is more in tune with his team.

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Article title: Hard Done By Or Plain Old Deluded?

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