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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