Why Rio Ferdinand deserve better than this…

England defender, Rio Ferdinand

So after 15 years of service for his country, Rio Ferdinand’s England career appears to be over.

Whatever your feelings are for Ferdinand, it has to be said that a man who has amassed 81 caps for his country deserves better than to have his international credentials slammed by the manager with passengers on a tube train.

Hodgson privately admitted to commuters that “it was the end of the road” for the 33-year-old, before he embarrassingly contradicted himself, claiming “we won’t be turning our back on him.”

This shoddy treatment dates back to the squad selection for Euro 2012, where the player was omitted from the squad for “footballing reasons.”

Although, it was blatantly obvious that the FA were not keen to have both John Terry and Ferdinand in the same squad, due to the former’s impending court case involving the accusations of racial abuse against Rio’s brother Anton.

But at the time, the England manager’s desire to look towards the future was believable, especially with the inclusions of Phil Jones, Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka in the squad.

Perhaps what the FA did not want in the build up to the tournament was a defensive injury crisis.

Cahill was both ruled out of the competition and led to the question as to who would replace him.

Surely Ferdinand would be considered as someone who made 30 Premier League appearances for Manchester United last season; but instead Hodgson decided to call up Liverpool’s Martin Kelly, who had made just 12 league appearances for his club in the previous campaign.

It confirmed many suspicions, that having Ferdinand and Terry in the same England squad was a potential PR disaster, one which the FA were determined to avoid at all costs.

Although, one might argue that the Manchester United defender’s career has been in decline for some time, as Rio’s former teammate, Gary Neville explained rather bluntly in his usual Monday night football slot for Sky Sports.

He highlighted the fact that Ferdinand had played just three matches under Fabio Capello in the last 18 months and his last competitive appearance in a Three Lions shirt was 12 months before Hodgson took the helm.

Neville also stated that the England manager will not pick players who are approaching their mid-thirties by the time the next World Cup commences in 2014.

Despite these comments, one could question the inclusion of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in the squad, who will be 34 and 36-years-old respectively when the World Cup arrives in Brazil.

Surely the question of age is no longer debatable, when these two midfielders are among the first names on Hodgson’s team sheet.

So the least Ferdinand deserves is to be told in plain English by Hodgson that he no longer features in his plans; and he should not be subjected to living in false hope.