The biggest shock was the omission of United’s Rio Ferdinand who Hodgson insisted had been left out for ‘footballing reasons.’ At the time the suggestion that it was anything other than being the brother of a player racially abused by John Terry which cost Rio his place seemed unlikely. Fast forward 12 months and the idea that the players chosen in Rio’s stead were better equipped to lead England to glory in the European Championships now seems completely ludicrous.
Looking at the centre back’s chosen for Euro 2012:
Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Joleon Lescott and John Terry it’s madness to think Rio wouldn’t have been a better choice. Let’s take a look at Joleon Lescott, since the Euros the City defender has started a mere 13 games in the Premier League and is now second choice behind a 19 (now 20) year old debutant in this country.
Gary Cahill has played more games than Lescott but is part of a side that’s currently 20 points behind United.
Phil Jones is playing well and was chosen for his ability to play right back as much as central defence so we’ll argue that Hodgson had a point with that one.
Terry in the mean time, the player Hodgson was willing to sell his soul for is now struggling to get a game for a side that’s so far behind United they can barely see them.
Since Euro 2012, Rio Ferdinand has won the Premier League and been chosen for the PFA team of the year. Other than Jones none of the defenders chosen in Rio’s place even came close to winning either accolade.
You could argue that Rio has been far superior this season than last, but the problem with that theory is that even in the last campaign Ferdinand was a major part of a side that finished level on points with the champions.
A year from the announcement of Rio’s omission we can now see the full extent of Hodgson’s amazingly bad decision.