Date: 20th March 2011 at 3:18am
Written by:
Rio Ferdinand England

"If you all hate Scousers clap your hands"

News that Fabio Capello has handed the England captaincy to John Terry on a permanent basis is surely all the evidence we’ve ever needed to realise that the national boss has lost touch with reality.

A player that one year ago wasn’t fit to wear the ’s armband now is. Why?

If the behaviour that brought Terry’s captaincy into question wasn’t that bad after all, then why strip him of it in the first place? What possible sense is there in removing your captain prior to the then reinstating him after it? It’s ridiculous and makes it blindingly obvious that our Capello’s not fit to run a bath, let alone our national football team.

An innocent victim, and I use those words genuinely, of Fabio’s fumbling is who’s now been stripped of his second captaincy in two years through no fault of his own. Ferdinand is a man and a player who deserves much better treatment.

According to various news outlets the press knew about Terry being handed the skipper’s armband before Ferdinand did.

The Telegraph reports: “Rio is shocked and appalled at the lack of civility and good manners being shown,” said a source close to Ferdinand. “He cannot believe he is reading about the captaincy being taken away from him in the newspapers.”

The  disrespectful treatment of senior nothing new to Capello.

After all this is a man who announced David Beckham was too old to be considered for England in a television interview before he had the decency to tell the man himself and also thought it apt to ask his assistant to ring Paul Scholes to coax him out of international retirement, giving the Ginger Prince a whole two hours to make up his mind.

Ferdinand’s been a magnificent ambassador for England and obviously reveled in his role as captain so his treatment is more than inconsiderate, it’s downright disgraceful.

To be perfectly honest, I’ve all but given up on England now as a worthwhile cause. It’s not because I don’t think they can win a trophy, although that is about as likely as Manuel Almunia getting PFA player of the year. No my main problem with the national side is watching a group of players I’ve got little or no time for, producing p*ss poor performances on a regular basis. Also standing shoulder to shoulder with fans who I’d normally exchange insults with, is about as enjoyable as sitting through a Mick McCarthy press conference.

Unfortunately Rio Ferdinand, hasn’t given up on England, and the reason I use the word ‘unfortunately’ is because from a United point of view, it would obviously be better for the club if he did.

Ferdinand should take a look at the likes of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, and Dimitar Berbatov to see how retiring from international duty can help your United career.

Okay admittedly the jury’s still out as to whether Wes Brown will be any better off than he was when he decided he no longer wanted to play for England, but there’s no denying he’s had that many problems over his career that it was no doubt a sensible move.

Scholes, Giggs and more recently Berbatov have all reaped the benefits of being able to concentrate on just club football. I understand that Rio’s a proud England player but Giggs is a proud Welshman but he knew that he’d got to a point where playing club football of the highest level and turning out for his country every other month was asking too much.

There’s probably never been  a modern day player less suited to the intense scrutiny playing for England entails, than Paul Scholes. Any international manager with even half a brain would have been on one knee begging one of the greatest players of all time to rethink his decision. Yet unfortunately for England having half a brain isn’t something the look for on a CV. As long as you cost millions of pounds a year, have won the league cup, or were a decent English player once, then the jobs yours.

Ultimately the decision lies with Ferdinand as to whether he wishes to continue playing for Capello. I wouldn’t look at it as a case of throwing your toys out of the pram if he decided the relationship had become untennable. I think many people would understand that trying to play for a manager, you’ve lost respect for could do more harm than good.

To be perfectly -fat- frank though, even if the media and the Millwall fans that make up England’s support were to turn on Rio, he needn’t worry. United fans as we proved with Beckham and , couldn’t give a toss if one of our players has upset the entire country.

With nearly all United fans, the national side has always come a very distant second to our beloved club.

It may be difficult for Ferdinand to admit, but maybe, just maybe Capello’s inadvertently done him and United a massive favour and nows the time to concentrate on the team that pays his wages.

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