Whilst Rio Ferdinand has been trophy hoarding over at Manchester United, poor Anton after initially making waves as a young centre back at West Ham has unfortunately gradually seen a decline in his fortunes. After coming through the famed West Ham youth setup just like his brother, the now Sunderland centre back impressed upon being given first team opportunities at the East End club. Having made his debut at the tender age of just 18yrs old the prospects of another Ferdinand name sake reaching the top of the game seemed plausible.
Upon staying with West Ham through relegation and promotion from the Premier League, Ferdinand was seen as an integral part of the clubs squad until 2008 when then Sunderland boss and former Manchester United favourite Roy Keane paid £8 million for the young centre back. Initially Ferdinand settled well into his new role at Sunderland and looked as though the move could take his career to the next level, furthermore following in his brother’s footsteps and gaining full England international honours.
Anton Ferdinand was an integral part of the England U21’s set up from 2003-2007 accumulating a respectable 17 caps, yet it appears unlike his brother at Manchester United, he can’t take that next step up into full England honours. His recent form at Sunderland has been heavily criticised by supporters, the lack of concentration at times from him can be astounding. Allegations of his lack of commitment to the cause and that he is more interested in living the footballer’s high life have been levelled at the player.
Whilst Anton Ferdinand is quite clearly not the player his brother is, he is living in a shadow of one of England’s greatest centre back. Look at the achievements Rio Ferdinand has accomplished at Manchester United and it’s hard to deny. Even now the shadow casts ever larger considering his promotion to England Captain.
Criticism that is levelled at Anton is with cause, there can be no doubt he must shoulder some blame for Sunderland’s appalling defensive record, to give you an idea, Sunderland have shipped as many goals at bottom dwellers Portsmouth. Yet remarkably for a player who seems to have been around forever Anton Ferdinand turns only 25 next week, he has plenty of time to get his career moving forward again. He was never going to be the player his brother is, but then again, who is? Unfortunately for Anton, the highs and lows of his career will be drowned out by the ever sounding roar of glory of brother Rio at Manchester United.