England head coach Roy Hodgson has attempted to placate his Manchester United counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson over his decision to recall defender Rio Ferdinand for England’s upcoming Wold Cup qualifying double header.
SOURCE: The Sun
Firstly, England manager Roy Hodgson should be applauded for making the correct, and seemingly obvious, decision to recall Manchester United centre back Rio Ferdinand to the national set up for the Three Lions’ crucial upcoming World Cup qualifying double header against San Marino and Montenegro later this week.
With his back four missing several key performers, as well as other players currently either out of form or not even featuring for their Premier League clubs at present, or both, Hodgson was faced with little choice other than to call the United defender up to the England squad for the very first time since the 34-year-old played against Switzerland in a Euro 2012 qualifier at Wembley under previous manager Fabio Capello in June 2011.
Ferdinand’s two eye catching displays at the heart of the United defence against La Liga title holders Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16 earlier this month would have confirmed for all and sundry that the one time West Ham United and Leeds United centre half is still the country’s best defender – bar none.
And, with Hodgson and Co facing a must not lose qualifier in the tricky looking surroundings of Montenegro in the second of their two World Cup ties, it seemed an obvious decision to bring Ferdinand back into the fold, although that still left the national manager with the unenviable task of persuading his United counterpart that Ferdinand’s fitness would be looked after while the defender was away with England.
Hodgson took the sensible decision to speak to the Scot prior to recalling Ferdinand to assure him that the defender’s best interests would be looked after and that Ferdinand would not be forced to play two taxing internationals in the space of four days.
Instead, Ferdinand will only be used in the second of England’s two qualifiers, the harder looking tie away in Podgorica, which will suit both parties, especially as the Three Lions should be able to get past the challenge of minnows San Marino at Wembley with few worries in their first qualifier this Friday.