Instead of trying to force his way into the England lineup via the media, Rio Ferdinand should try and focus on actually playing well for Manchester United, which he hasn’t done so far this season. Roy Hodgson isn’t presented with incredible options at centre back, but it doesn’t mean the former national team captain deserves a spot on it.
Long gone are the days when Ferdinand and Vidic was the best centre back duo in Europe, or when Ferdinand was considered to be among the best in the position around Europe and the world. After 81 caps for the national side, experience can’t make up for everything time has taken away from him. His speed, his physicality and his timing in both tackles and dealing with crosses. Just watching the way United have struggled with even the easiest of heading clearances, plenty of times with Ferdinand in the centre back duo makes it quite clear.
Not that the option ahead of him are much better. Gary Cahill isn’t a starter for Chelsea, while Joeleon Lescott, Phil Jageilka and Ryan Shawcross each have their faults. Not to mention that defending is much more than who you have in the middle of the defense. Playing a central midfield duo of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard isn’t going to help your defensive player too much, so Hodgson needs to figure out what he does with the whole defending game he has.
I have to say it is over for him and England. It has got to be the end of the road. He is pushing 34 and hasn’t played for England for a long, long time. (Roy Hodgson)
Still, when it comes to pure individual abilites at the moment, Ferdinand isn’t just way past his prime, he just isn’t that good anymore. It’s not about a nation football team like England see themselves shouldn’t have players at this current playing level; you make do with what you’re given on the national level. There are simply better players than him at the moment. Same goes for his Manchester United gig, where it’s much easier replacing someone because you can just buy someone new.
Ferdinand has a bit more trust from his Manchester United manager, Alex Ferguson. He’s also lucky that it’s been one injury after another for Vidic, Smalling and Phil Jones. For any other top European club, thinking about league titles and champions league trophies, Ferdinand would be nothing more than a bench player.