When Fabio Capello left his post as manager of England, the media and certain players immediately called for Harry Redknapp to be named as the new boss, with Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville labelling Redknapp as the ‘outstanding candidate’.
After weeks of speculation, the FA revealed Roy Hodgson as the new England Manager, who ironically appointed Gary Neville as part of his new coaching team.
While the decision to appoint Neville was described as “inspired”, not all decisions have been met with such enthusiasm. After the injury to Gary Cahill, 22 year-old Liverpool defender Martin Kelly was drafted in as his replacement, despite only having a couple minutes of full international experience. It would be fair to say, that this decision did not go down well at all in the Rio Ferdinand camp, with his agent responding in a statement saying: “To treat a player that has captained and served his country 81 times like this is nothing short of disgraceful… Total lack of respect from Hodgson and the FA as far as I am concerned.” Rio also responded indirectly by posting “What reasons?????!!!” on his official twitter.
Surely though, Rio’s outburst on twitter was a show of frustration and not a genuine question, as Hodgson’s claim that Ferdinand’s exclusion was due to ‘footballing reasons’ seems to be a blatant lie. It has been well publicised that it would be near impossible for both Rio Ferdinand and John Terry to be in the squad, with Terry awaiting a court hearing over alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand, Rio’s brother.
Putting Rio Ferdinand aside, some decisions of Hodgson seem to be dubious as well, with Stewart Downing being preferred, despite the winger not having a s ingle goal or assist in the Premier League this season, over Premier League champion Adam Johnson and the talented Daniel Sturridge. Also, the surprise exclusion of powerhouse Micah Richards has been heavily criticised, especially after being again overlooked after injuries, with Jagielka and Kelly being preferred.
Much has been said about the low expectations for the Euro’s, but since the controversy over certain selections, new England manager needs a solid tournament from his players or could find himself having the blame pinned on certain selections.
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