England’s preparations for the upcoming European Championship have been dealt another blow as Chelsea’s Gary Cahill will miss the tournament after breaking his jaw against Belgium on Saturday.
Last week it was Cahill’s Chelsea team-mate Frank Lampard who was forced to withdraw from the England squad due to injury. Then England boss Roy Hodgson turned to Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson instead of Manchester United’s Michael Carrick to replace Lampard. Henderson really struggled in his first season at Anfield while Carrick was one of Man United’s best players the second half of the season.
While that decision had some England fans shaking their heads, the decision to replace Cahill with Liverpool’s Martin Kelly instead of United’s Rio Ferdinand is totally baffling.
When Hodgson named his England squad last month, he was asked why Ferdinand was not in the squad. Hodgson’s answer was:
“I selected John Terry for footballing reasons and I left out Rio Ferdinand for footballing reasons,” Hodgson said last month. “I’ve spoken to both of them of course. I had to do that. In the last couple of days I’ve spoken to both of them and explained to them why I’ve come to the decision. He [Rio] was obviously disappointed. I’d be surprised had he not been. He was very gracious and he wished myself and the team the very best of luck in the tournament.”
We know that this is not about “footballing reasons”. John Terry has been charged with racially abusing Rio’s brother and has a court trial after the Euros. The FA has obviously decided that they don’t want Terry and Rio in the same England squad. They have decided that for “footballing reasons” that a player that started just 12 league games for Liverpool last seasons makes the England team better defensively than their former captain who has represented his country 81 times.
No wonder that Rio Ferdinand’s representative, Jamie Moralee on Sunday accused Hodgson of “a total lack of respect” saying:
“Lampard, Terry, Barry, Gerrard; all ageing but they go to the tournament.
“Why is Rio different? To treat a player that has captained and served his country 81 times (in this manner) is nothing short of disgraceful. Total lack of respect from Hodgson and the FA as far as I am concerned.”
What do you think of the FA and Hodgson’s decision to replace Cahill with Kelly and not Ferdinand?