Ferdinand left out of English Euro squad but Terry fate still in balance
RIO Ferdinand has been left out of Roy Hodgson's England squad for Euro 2012, the first of a number of major decisions made by the new manager yesterday.
As well as cutting the 33-year-old veteran Manchester United defender, Hodgson has selected the Liverpool striker Andy Carroll for the squad. Tottenham right-back Kyle Walker is out with injury, and Manchester City right-back Micah Richards has not been included in the party.
On top of that, Hodgson has cancelled England's training camp in Malaga next week at very short notice. Hodgson has ripped up the plans drawn up by his predecessor Fabio Capello because he wants the players to have a shorter week and spend less time away from their families before the tournament.
In the case of Ferdinand, Hodgson met with the 33-year-old last week and also took soundings from Alex Ferguson, who has publicly expressed his doubts as to whether the defender is fit enough to play tournament football. Ferdinand was informed yesterday by Hodgson, who finalised his squad in the late afternoon in a meeting with the FA and his staff.
The new England manager felt that he was taking too much of a risk on the player's fitness, a factor Ferguson mentioned last week.
"You play something like a game every four days," Ferguson said. "Rio couldn't do that." That is understood to have played a major role in Hodgson's decision. Ferdinand played in a United testimonial for former goalkeeper Harry Gregg in Belfast last night.
Hodgson spoke individually with John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Gary Cahill and Daniel Sturridge at Chelsea's training ground yesterday morning but, as of last night, it was not clear whether he intended to select Terry, a decision that has proved the most taxing since he took the job.
Hodgson's major concern since he was appointed by the FA at the start of the month has been the Terry-Ferdinand conundrum.
Terry's court case on 9 July for allegedly racially abusing Ferdinand's younger brother Anton in October hangs over Hodgson's squad. Hodgson has long believed that he could not select both Ferdinand and Terry in the same squad. It is now very possible that he may have left both of them out.
The inclusion of Carroll is a brave step given that the Liverpool striker has only really hit form in his performances against Chelsea in the FA Cup final and in the subsequent league game at Anfield.
The striker has just three caps for England and started only one game for his country, his last cap against Wales in September. Peter Crouch, who has been left out by Hodgson, has scored 22 goals in 42 caps. (© Independent News Service)