“If Pirlo was English would he have made the [England] squad let alone been on the pitch? I don’t know as his qualities may have been overlooked… Not by just the current manager but maybe those before him too.’ – Rio Ferdinand.
It’s something we all have heard time and time again over the past 2 months. 33 year old Rio Ferdinand launching verbal assaults aimed at England coach, Roy Hodgson. Mainly focussing on team selection – there seems to be one trend that is common throughout his tirades; he is bitter that he was seen as surplus to requirements, and struggles to accept that.
I want to go a step further. If the France Football Association can contemplate banning Samir Nasri for 2 years following his verbal attack on a journalist in defence of himself and his Country, the English FA should consider banning Rio Ferdinand for his divicive, un-helpful, and frankly desruptive on-going comments against the FA and Roy Hodgson.
Ferdinand is of a generation which is no longer needed on the field in an England jersey. That is all too clear, given the odd-and-lacklustre showing at the recent Euros. What is truly appalling though is his desire to still wish to be counted, and his bitter criticism when he is ignored. Criticism like this should not be taken lightly. Respect for managers is key to any teams success, however if a senior player chooses to not respect the current manager – what message is he sending to younger players who are looking for inspiration?
I’m all for freedom of speech. But that freedom should be used responsibly when one has a voice that can be heard. Rio Ferdinand chooses to use that voice to create division, and that attitude warrants punishment.
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