Rio's England career is at end of the line… the astonishing tube announcement Hodgson delivered to fellow passengers on way to Arsenal match
08:55 GMT, 4 October 2012
Roy Hodgson is facing major embarrassment over claims he announced the end of Rio Ferdinand’s international career to passengers on a London tube train.
The England manager is due to discuss his squad at a press conference at Wembley on Thursday morning and Ferdinand, 33, is not expected to be among those selected for this month’s World Cup double header against San Marino and Poland.
But telling members of the public on a Jubilee Line train on Wednesday night – Hodgson was travelling to Arsenal for their Champions League game – that Ferdinand had reached ‘the end of the road’, as the reports claim, will be seen as shoddy treatment of a former England captain.
Up for a chat: Roy Hodgson posed for pictures on the tube to Arsenal and took time to speak to fans on the journey north from Bond Street
Hodgson is reported as saying, when asked whether Ferdinand would be in the squad: ‘I very much doubt it. He hasn’t played for England for quite a while. I have to say it is over for him and England.
‘It has got to be the end of the road. He is pushing 34 and hasn’t played for England for a long, long time.’
Ferdinand, capped 81 times, had not given up on an England recall, and his hopes were raised after John Terry’s decision to quit international football.
But Hodgson appeared to put an end to that with Wednesday’s indiscreet confession.
Bit safer here: Hodgon sat with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger in the stands for the Olympiacos match
The manager, meanwhile, has assured West Ham he will take no risks with Andy Carroll when he names him in his squad on Thursday.
Hodgson has no plans to start the most expensive English footballer in history against either San Marino or Poland. He is a huge admirer of the 23-year-old but also acknowledges that he has played less than 20 minutes of football since returning from a hamstring injury.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce had said he would speak to Hodgson to voice his concerns and it seems has been heeded. Earlier this week Allardyce said: ‘I would speak to Roy and just give him the full rundown on Andy’s lack of match fitness.
‘He’s only come back from the Euros and his holidays and played twice for Liverpool. He’s played 68 minutes for us then played 20 minutes on his return from injury. So he’s woefully short of match practice, which is a delicate thing for a manager to have to deal with.
‘I’m sure Roy would deal with that in
the right way. He’s certainly not ready for 90 minutes but it would give
him some match practice so long as it’s done sensibly.’
Hodgson could spring one or two surprises in his squad. It is understood he has been giving consideration to West Ham midfielder Mark Noble, who has been outstanding this season — so much so that England coach Gary Neville made him his man of the match for Sky on Monday night when West Ham beat QPR.
His choice of centre halves could also be interesting. With Terry having retired and Ferdinand apparently not an option, the search for a fourth central defender to join Joleon Lescott, Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka looks like a difficult one.
With Phil Jones and Chris Smalling injured, Stoke’s Ryan Shawcross and Tottenham’s Michael Dawson are thought to be in contention.