"Just so we don't get it twisted here....I'll be in a pub somewhere supporting England this summer! Love the lads!"
Those are Rio Ferdinand's words, which followed after his representative Jamie Moralee had castigated the England coach Roy Hodgson for overlooking selecting Ferdinand to replace Gary Cahill. Moralee is stated to have said: "It's a lack of respect. He wants to play....Rio's very disappointed. He thought he had done enough. It's very difficult to accept. This is a player with 81 caps for his country. I don't know anyone who understands it. It's not been handled in the right way."
Who is Jamie Moralee, in connection with the England squad, the coach and his team? No one. He doesn't choose who plays, who doesn't, who is in to attend the tournament nor who isn't. Hodgson has a tough enough task of covering for now four injured players who are out of the tournament beckoning, three of whom are arguably major omissions (with no disrespect intended towards the Norwich keeper John Ruddy) in Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard and Cahill. He has to blend some fresher faces with some experienced ones in order to get them to gel as a unit, prepared to lead a battle that starts with France, and ends with the Ukraine to ensure progression from the group stage. That's the beginning.
A number of voices I've heard today have stated Hodgson has made a wrong decision in overlooking Ferdinand on this occasion. There's the continuing niggling point the journalists seem to like aiming at Hodgson about what exactly are the 'footballing decisions' he came to that ended with Ferdinand being left out of the squad and John Terry being left in. I don't know why they are doing this, the fact that it's Ferdinand and Terry only being discussed concerning the 'footballing decisions' just gives the game away anyway. Considering these two defenders have held the central rear guard for so long together for England, through thick and thin, and are now not to be currently considered to play for their country together, there's no smokescreen to it. So why continue to ask the same question?!
For Ferdinand, I assume he was OK for Moralee to state those words, as if they also represent Ferdinand's mind on the issue. For me, Hodgson's decision making are practically similar to the decisions by a referee - they're made, rightly or wrongly, and they will not change. Furthermore, it is not up to anyone else to make the decisions, and yet nonetheless there is the constant bemoaning over said decisions as if others know better or could do better. As far as I'm concerned, Hodgson has considered all factors and made his decisions, and it doesn't matter whether anyone else disagrees with him. He is the England coach who is in position to do so, no one else.
My affiliation is with Liverpool FC. Had this been any of our players bemoaning, I would say the same. When Andy Carroll went off substituted at St James' Park last season, he went off in a strop, swore towards the manager. I said he was bang out of order, and had practically written off his chances of playing for Liverpool again. The decision was made to take him off, and, like with other players in identical circumstances, he shouldn't be mouthing off like that towards the manager, regardless what he felt about the change. You come off, respectfully, and you can air your thoughts afterwards to the manager. Behind closed doors. That's because you do not disrespect the manager in front of anyone else.
There are some players who feel their name is an instant insertion into the England squad whenever an international looms. Failing that, one or two players have decided to not be on stand-by, for whatever reason. Micah Richards, another considered as one who should have been selected, may well have been called up to replace Cahill, had he not refrained from being on the list.
I imagine it is frustrating for Ferdinand to be sitting in Manchester or wherever he may be, instead of being one of the England squad preparing for the tournament, is there a player who wouldn't give their limb to be there?! But if you're not chosen to be, then that's it. You certainly do not make your disappointment known in such a manner as he has done via Moralee. The words above I quoted from Ferdinand's Twitter page should have also been included along with those stated by Moralee, not for Ferdinand to have to type them afterwards like some damage limitation move.