Paddy Power

Robbie Fowler: Rio not left out for ‘footballing reasons’

by Paddy Power Admin | June 5, 2012

Robbie Fowler column

There’s not a chance Rio Ferdinand was left out of the England squad for “footballing reasons”. Not a chance. The public knows that too.

The reason is Rio’s brother, Anton, was allegedly racially abused by John Terry.

I’ve read that Ferdinand got in touch with Hodgson shortly after he was appointed as manager to say he was willing to play in the same England team as Terry.

Rio was then overlooked for the Euro 2012 23-man squad for what was described as “purely a footballing decision” by Hodgson.

It’s the choice by Hodgson to replace the injured Chelsea centre-half Gary Cahill with Martin Kelly that has really caused the backlash now.

WOUNDED LION: Rio in action for England during a World Cup qualifier in 2005 (Inpho)

I played with Rio Ferdinand at Leeds United. He is a fantastic player who reads the game brilliantly. He started 30 Premier League games for Manchester United last season and nearly won the league. Footballing reasons?

He is 33-years-old with 81 caps for his country. He’s got five title medals for Manchester United, one FA Cup, and a Champions League winner’s medal. Footballing reasons? Really?

Rio is a quieter defender than John Terry. Terry is more dominant, and yes, England need that. Roy Hodgson doesn’t want to concede goals. I would still have taken Ferdinand.

But this looks like the end of his England career, to be honest.

That said, I’m delighted Martin Kelly has got the call up. He’s a great young lad who has come up through the ranks at Liverpool.

There’s six Liverpool players in the England squad now: Kelly, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll, Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard.

That tells me that Liverpool massively under-performed last season, so every cloud…

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29 Comments

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  1. K said on June 5, 2012 @ 9:58 am

    I think England is still very short on quality. My England squad would include no more than 3 of those 6 Liverpool players (and I don’t support a top-six team)

  2. Paddy Power Blog said on June 5, 2012 @ 11:26 am

    Robbie doesn’t think at least one of those England boys is good enough for the squad. Find out which one this Thursday ;)

  3. Robbie Fowler exclusive: Ireland can beat Croatia | Paddy Power Betting Blog said on June 5, 2012 @ 11:26 am

    [...] Fowler on the Rio Ferdinand Euro 2012 controversy Share this:EmailMoreDigg Pin ItShare on Tumblr [...]

  4. Neil Wareing said on June 5, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. This glaring omission is yet again proof of the FA’s misplaced faith in a man on a racism charge. I’m a Liverpool fan, and as such I have no love for Rio as a United player, but his record both at club and country level speaks for itself, so to say that his omission is for football reasons is a blatant lie. I question how the FA can support Terry’s inclusion knowing that only a month later he may well be found guilty of racism. How can this be allowed to happen? That someone on a racism charge is rewarded by being allowed to represent his country at the highest level? Plain wrong in my opinion.

  5. Rick Crammond said on June 5, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

    I think the media should butt out, its the England coach’s job to pick the team, not the newspapers and their readers.

  6. Paddy Power Blog said on June 5, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

    Hey Rick. Know how you feel – I wouldn’t want anything distracting the team a few days ahead of the tournament. But is it not the media’s job to highlight stories that need to be highlighted – not to just let things go unchecked? For example, if England made it to the Euro final who would you rather in the team – Rio or Martin Kelly?

  7. Mikemacdt@hotmail.com said on June 5, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

    England have under performed with rio in the side for years. Time for a change.

  8. elflaco said on June 5, 2012 @ 3:57 pm

    Yes, it seems probable rather than possible that Ferdinand was left out of the squad for reasons other than footballing ability, but the histrionics of Ferdinand and his cronies are completely out of order. Their attitude and the manner in which they went about making their point is completely ego-centric and goes counter to any spirit of support for the national team. Publicly questioning the manager and the Football Association and undermining the ability of a fellow professional is childish, disrespectful and self-righteous.

    Hodgson declared in his press conference that he wouldn’t be picking Ferdinand and further to that he wasn’t even included in the stand-by list for the squad. Why did it take him so long to figure out that he wouldn’t be part of the managers plans? That penny took an awfully long time to drop.

    What do Ferdinand and his advisor realistically expect to happen from this public temper tantrum? Surely it isn’t going to persuade Roy Hodgson that in fact he was utterly misguided in his decision, so it can only be that it was an attempt to keep the ego inflated, to remind the world of Ferdinand’s greatness. The only reason he could ever fail to make a squad is due to social rather than footballing reasons and the public should have that fact spelled out to them. If the spotlight dims on Rio he’ll wither and die. Quick, get a lamp!

    Martin Kelly on the other hand has just been taken down a peg or two. A usually proud moment in a footballers career has been undermined by Ferdinand’s whinging. Don’t get too comfortable in that ass-groove sculpted out by Rio in his self-appointed throne, Martin. Ferdinand is better than you and don’t you forget it. Just ask Rio, he’ll confirm it for you.

    In relation to Robbie Fowler’s article – The statement that 6 Liverpool players in the England squad points to a strong Liverpool team is devoid of logic.5 of the Kazakh national team play for Astana. Does that make Astana a good team?
    If England play well and get into the latter stages of the tournament with these players involved it will show that maybe they aren’t the wasters many thought they were. If England flop (again, with these players involved) it will only serve to solidify Liverpool’s mediocrity and prove that their abject performances weren’t a fluke.
    If they don’t play at all it effectively tells us nothing.

  9. elflaco said on June 5, 2012 @ 3:59 pm

    It’s like the world’s worst soap opera :)

  10. Paddy Power Blog said on June 5, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

    Some fair points, elflaco. Then you go on ruin it all with that Astana point.

  11. elflaco said on June 5, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

    How so?

  12. Paddy Power Blog said on June 5, 2012 @ 4:49 pm

    Ah here. Don’t support Liverpool but you can’t honestly compare the quality of six of their players with six players from Astana. Three maybe. Six, no.

  13. Rick Crammond said on June 5, 2012 @ 4:57 pm

    Kelly any day

  14. elflaco said on June 5, 2012 @ 5:02 pm

    Haha, yeah to be honest Stewart Downing would be warming the bench at Astana. My humblest apologies to the people of Kazakhstan.
    It wasn’t a direct comparison of players. I was questioning the use of a national team as the barometer for a players abilities. Often players are chosen for national teams out of necessity. Just because Liverpool have several players in the national team means very little (yet?) and because you play on the world stage does not automatically make you world class.
    The best players invariably play for the best club teams. That’s the barometer.

  15. RafaB said on June 5, 2012 @ 5:18 pm

    “There’s six Liverpool players in the England squad now: Kelly, Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll, Glen Johnson and Steven Gerrard.

    That tells me that Liverpool massively under-performed last season, so every cloud…”

    You serious Robbie??? We think you’re smoking the same delusional pipe as Pat Hand!!? What six Liverpool players on the English squad says to most people is that they have extremely limited talent at their disposal at the moment.

  16. Rio Ferdinand not left out for ‘footballing reasons’, claims Fowler « Recent 24 News said on June 5, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

    [...] squad for ‘footballing reasons’. Not a chance. The public knows that too,” Fowler wrote in his blog for PaddyPower.com. “The reason is Rio’s brother, Anton, was allegedly racially abused by John Terry [who [...]

  17. Rio Ferdinand not left out for ‘footballing reasons’, claims Fowler | Excel-R8 said on June 5, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

    [...] squad for ‘footballing reasons’. Not a chance. The public knows that too,” Fowler wrote in his blog for PaddyPower.com. “The reason is Rio’s brother, Anton, was allegedly racially abused by John Terry [who [...]

  18. Andrew Harris said on June 5, 2012 @ 8:14 pm

    Never Mind Rio, who has has niggling injury worries this season, what about Micha Richards????

  19. Paddy Power Blog said on June 5, 2012 @ 8:59 pm

    England could certainly do with Micha Richards. But why did Mancini drop him too, Andrew? Is there a bit of an attitude problem with him? Powerful player.

  20. Pappie said on June 6, 2012 @ 11:06 am

    …And now they will under-underperform now. How would you feel, your brother has been allegedly hassled by a England team ‘mate’ who had a crap season, missed the CL final for a stupid red card and he goes to the EUROS? And you dont? Give Rio a break for fxxks sake!

  21. Pappie said on June 6, 2012 @ 11:08 am

    So his agent said something so what? Terry should not be going, he should have had his court case and be done with long ago…

  22. Robbie Fowler: Gerrard shines on the big stage | Paddy Power Betting Blog said on June 6, 2012 @ 11:17 am

    [...] Robbie: Rio not left out for ‘footballing reasons’ [...]

  23. Smoggie said on June 6, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

    If this is a straight choice between Terry and Ferdinand, then Terry wins every time.
    He has had a much better season than Ferdinand, playing consistantly well in a solid Chelsea defence. During the last World Cup, Terry was one of the only English players who actually showed any spirit in a lack-lustre campaign, wearing the shirt actually means something to him. I don’t get the same impression from Rio.
    Truth is John Terry acts like a tool at times and has become an easy target for people to hate, but he is a better option than Ferdinand.
    If Terry is found guilty of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, then of course he shouldn’t be allowed to play for England again, nor Chelsea for that matter, but untill then he should.
    It is a shock that Kelly has been called up, all I can think is the manager saw something in him whilst at Liverpool, but I agree Richards would have been a better choice

  24. Don’t mention the R word to Hodgson | Paddy Power Betting Blog said on June 6, 2012 @ 8:43 pm

    [...] The Reds stopper may be one for the future, but picking him ahead of a player with years of experience playing for Manchester United and England? It’s clearly not ‘footballing reasons’ that’s keeping Rio out of the team as the Paddy Power Blog’s columnist Robbie Fowler claimed. [...]

  25. England to follow Dutch to Auschwitz? | Paddy Power Betting Blog said on June 6, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

    [...] The Reds stopper may be one for the future, but picking him ahead of a player with years of experience playing for Manchester United and England? It’s clearly not ‘footballing reasons’ that’s keeping Rio out of the team as the Paddy Power Blog’s columnist Robbie Fowler claimed. [...]

  26. Dave said on June 7, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

    Rio this Rio that! smear after smear not just on our new manager but on the squad! The racist row continues! why the hell John terry was not dealt with in court sooner i will never know! and then maybe this stupid mess could of been averted. Our media are a bloody disgrace, with only days to go do we really need this? We have a tournement to play and hopefully win! I dont see any other countries media battering their national sides…. Come on England!!!

  27. Dave said on June 7, 2012 @ 3:08 pm

    Now you have an excuse if we lose!

  28. Dave said on June 7, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

    6 players dont make a bloody squad you know! and do you think any games will involves all 6 at once? It would of been nice to pluck our best English players from Chelsea,Man u,Arsenal etc….but you may have noticed the ammount of foreigners in their teams so take your hypocritical nonsence and put it with your “disrespectful and self-righteous”

  29. Ivan said on June 8, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

    Personally i agree with most iv read here,to leave Rio out was not a footballing reason it was sure as hell a personal one,,Terry sould not be allowed to go into a tournement Riddled with Racism slurs already with a court appearence in the wings,,,makes a joke of the F.A before our boys have even kicked a ball..and now to choose Kelly over Rio ? to replace Cahill..Hodgeson is commiting managerial suicide,,,,unless that is we do well,in wich case all the papers will be talking about will be how well the F.A chose there man,,,,it stinks of Bullshit the whole mess,,But then again should we be surprised afterall this is a England Football campaign and we all know from previous tourny`s that really the Press and the F.A couldnt give a T””S*,,,,,,As long as they sell papers and Tickets respectivly,,,,,,
    Disgruntled England fan

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