Tag Archives: ferguson

David De Gea and Patrice Evra taken out by Andy Carroll in Manchester United match at West Ham

Carroll's hit parade: De Gea and Evra feel the full force of striker in collisions that left Fergie furious (and Vidic got a crack, too)

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

20:11 GMT, 17 April 2013

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UPDATED:

21:10 GMT, 17 April 2013

After some lightweight performances earlier in the season, Manchester United have slowly been toughening up young goalkeeper David de Gea to cope with the rigours of the English game.

But no amount of steak and shoulder presses could prepare Spaniard for an Andy Carroll special.

The England striker clattered into De Gea shortly before half-time in this evening's match between West Ham and United at Upton Park, also taking down Patrice Evra in the process.

Collision course: David de Gea manages to punch the ball clear, but Andy Carroll (right) is already in full flight

Collision course: David de Gea manages to punch the ball clear, but Andy Carroll (right) is already in full flight

Face-to-face: There's no going back as the Spanish keeper and the England striker hurtle towards each other

Face-to-face: There's no going back as the Spanish keeper and the England striker hurtle towards each other

Smack! De Gea comes off far worse as Carroll smashes into him, with Patrice Evra sandwiched underneath

Smack! De Gea comes off far worse as Carroll smashes into him, with Patrice Evra sandwiched underneath

Both United players were left nursing bruises on the ground following the forceful barge from behind, which left Sir Alex Ferguson furious on the sidelines as referee Lee Probert declined to show Carroll a yellow.

In a sign that his 'bulking-up' programme is working, 22-year-old De Gea had come through a cluster of bodies to commandingly punch clear a corner before Carrol knocked him down.

It was very different earlier in the
season when opponents would target the keeper as a weak link and
occasionally benefit – notably when a last minute blunder cost United
three points at Spurs back in January.

Ferguson
remonstrated with the fourth official over the incident as the two
teams left the field at half-time and no doubt would have been satisfied
when Carroll was booked early in the second period for another tangle
with De Gea.

But the England striker was not finished there, appearing to catch United defender Nemanja Vidic with his elbow, leaving the Serb furious.

Grounded: Phil Jones, Robin van Persie and Rio Ferdinand appeal as those involved crash to the pitch

Grounded: Phil Jones, Robin van Persie and Rio Ferdinand appeal as those involved crash to the pitch

Furious: Sir Alex Ferguson remonstrates with officials after referee Lee Probert failed to show a yellow card

Furious: Sir Alex Ferguson remonstrates with officials after referee Lee Probert failed to show a yellow card

Round two! Carroll was booked for this collision with De Gea early in the second half

Round two! Carroll was booked for this collision with De Gea early in the second half

Given the elbow Carroll and Vidic go up for the ball and the West Ham striker appears to catch his opponent

Given the elbow Carroll and Vidic go up for the ball and the West Ham striker appears to catch his opponent

Carroll and Vidic

Phil Jones is an animal: Manchester United defender backed to play up front by Sir Alex Ferguson

Step aside, Van Persie: Fergie backs 'animal' Jones to play as STRIKER

-Why-did-Roy-Hodgson-Phil-Jones–Martin-Samuel.html” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”>Baresi of England. It seems Sir Alex Ferguson agrees!

'Jonny's been really brilliant this season,' Ferguson told Inside United.
'He's 25 years old now and, hopefully for the next six or seven years,
he could be a regular centre back for us.

'Obviously, Rio (Ferdinand) is
34 now and (Nemanja) Vidic is 31. (Patrice) Evra is 31 so, in that
sense, players like Smalling, Jones and Evans will come to the fore.

'Jones is going to be a fantastic
player, his talent is unbelievable. Yes (his best position is
centre back) but you could play him anywhere. I think you could play him
centre forward! He’s just that type of player.

John O'Shea

Phil Neville

Utility men: Before Jones, John O'Shea and Phil Neville both once played many important roles for Ferguson

'He’s
an animal for football. He grasps the game, he understands it. Play him
right back Brilliant. Play him centre midfield No problem. Play him
centre back Terrific.'

United players were preparing themselves for the Manchester derby on Monday, which could see Jones start in midfield.

Competition: Robin van Persie (second left) could soon be vying for a place up front with Jones... or maybe not

Competition: Robin van Persie (second left) could soon be vying for a place up front with Jones… or maybe not

Under threat: Danny Welbeck (right) hasn't scored many goals this season but Rio Ferdinand has done his job at the back

Under threat: Danny Welbeck (right) hasn't scored many goals this season but Rio Ferdinand has done his job at the back

Phil Jones

Robin Van Persie

Unusual: Jones (left) is extremely versatile and Ferguson is predicting big things for him

Ferguson continued: 'He’s just one of those unusual players you get now and again who can play anywhere. We’ve not had a player like him in terms of someone who can play at that performance level since, well the closest you would get would be Brian McClair.

'Now, Brian McClair was a fantastic player. He could play anywhere, McClair. I remember kidding him on once; I said to him, just go and play in the right-back area and he laughed.

'I said to him, “What are you laughing at” and he said, “Next week I’ll be centre half.” But that was his character, so composed about life. Nothing bothered him.'

Trend setter Brian McClair was also an important figure for United

Trend setter Brian McClair was also an important figure for United

Taribo West accused of lying about being 28 when he was 40

Taribo West 'was 40 when he said he was 28', claims former Partizan Belgrade chief

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

14:49 GMT, 3 April 2013

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UPDATED:

16:28 GMT, 3 April 2013

Former Derby County, Plymouth and Inter Milan defender Taribo West has been accused of lying about his age.

The former Nigeria centre half, now retired, joined Serbian team Partizan Belgrade in 2002 after leaving Derby County and told club bosses he was 28.

But now the ex-president of Partizan, Zarko Zecevic, has accused him of lying, saying the defender was actually 40.

Taribo West while at Partizan

Taribo West while at Partizan

Accusation: Taribo West was 40 – not 28 as he claimed – when he played for Partizan Belgrade, according to the club's former president Zarko Zecevic

Ram raider: West (right) challenges Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink while playing in the Premier League for Derby County

Ram raider: West (right) challenges Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink while playing in the Premier League for Derby County

'He joined us saying he was 28. We
only later found out he was 40, but he was still playing well so I don’t
regret having him on the team,' Zecevic said.

But according to the Croatian media, the
former defender known for his colourful hairstyles also lied when trying
to join Croatia’s Rijeka club.

At the age of 44, they said West told club doctors he was only 32.

Milan spells: West made his name with Inter Milan but also played a few games for rivals AC (below)

Milan spells: West made his name with Inter Milan but also played a few games for rivals AC (below)

Cross country: West with AC

Blue boy: West with Teddy Shedingham during Sir Alex Ferguson's testimonial match

Blue boy: West with Teddy Shedingham during Sir Alex Ferguson's testimonial match

It was only after an examination that the doctors raised suspicions with the club because West’s knees suggested he was older.

He wasn’t signed to the team but later
joined Plymouth and then Iranian side Paykan FC, where he ended his
career at the age of 46 in 2008.

Today his Wikipedia entry says he is 39.

Super Eagle: The Nigeria defender coloured his hair green to go with his national side's kit at France 98

Super Eagle: The Nigeria defender coloured his hair green to go with his national side's kit at France 98

Taribo

Taribo v Yugoslavia

Taribo West V Gabriel Batistuta

Sunderland v Manchester United live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Sunderland v Manchester United – as it happens from the Stadium of Light

By
Alex Horlock

PUBLISHED:

04:00 GMT, 30 March 2013

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UPDATED:

12:13 GMT, 30 March 2013

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as Sunderland host Manchester United at the Stadium of Light to kick-off the weekend's action. Sir Alex Ferguson has set the target for his side, who are likely to regain the Premier League title, to reach the record mark of 95 points ahead of the trip to the North East.

By contrast Martin O'Neill's team have been sucked into the battle against relegation and will be desperate to pick up a positive result following a run of just three points from their last 21 available.

SUNDERLAND v MAN UNITED

Sunderland: Mignolet, Bardsley, Bramble, O'Shea, Rose, Johnson, Gardner, N'Diaye, McClean, Sessegnon, Graham

Subs: Westwood, Larsson, Wickham, Kilgallon, Colback, Mangane, Mandron

Man Utd: De Gea, Da Silva, Vidic, Smalling, Buttner, Valencia, Carrick, Anderson, Young, Kagawa, Van Persie.

Subs: Lindegaard, Evra, Evans, Nani, Welbeck, Cleverley, Powell.

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

12.11: In the little green box on the right are the full line-ups for this afternoon's match. Rooney, Ferdinand and Giggs aren't even on the bench as Nani, Danny Welbeck and Nick Powell are Ferguson's attacking options, should he need them.

12.07: That said, by Robin van Persie's remarkably high standards, he's going through something of a barren spell. He hasn't scored for United since United's 2-0 win over Everton on February 10. I wouldn't rule him out of getting back to scoring ways domestically today, though. He scored three times in Holland's two international matches during the break…

11.56: Sir Alex obviously has one eye on Monday's FA Cup replay against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. He's starting top goalscorer Robin van Persie but is without Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney in attack. Instead Ashley Young and Shinji Kagawa will have to create the openings for the Dutchman from the off.

Stephane Sessegnon was an injury doubt for Sunderland, but he makes the starting XI for Martin O'Neill. There's no time like the present if misfiring new boy Danny Graham is to get off the mark. He hasn't found the back of the net since leaving Swansea for the Stadium of Light in January.

11.55: And Manchester United's team: De Gea, Rafael, Buttner, Smalling, Vidic, Carrick, Valencia, Anderson, Young, Kagawa, Van Persie

11.54: Here is Sunderland's starting XI: Mignolet, Bardsley, Rose, O'Shea, Bramble, N'Diaye, Gardner, McClean, Johnson, Sessegnon, Graham

Pain: Manchester United saw the title snatched from their grasp at the Stadium of Light last season

Pain: Manchester United saw the title snatched from their grasp at the Stadium of Light last season

11.51: Early team news. United will be without Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs this afternoon. Full teams to follow.

11.45: Good morning one and all. We're an hour away from kick-off in this one and Sir Alex Ferguson will be hoping to be heading back to Manchester with his side 18 points clear of rivals City at the top.

Last time United were here in the Premier League it was the final day of the season. Phil Jones, Sir Alex and Co were on the pitch after the 1-0 victory over the Black Cats, applauding the travelling fans and believing they had won the club's 20th league crown. We all know what happened back at the Etihad though, when Sergio Aguero wriggled clear in the QPR box to hit the title-winning goal for City.

United's players will remember that. And now that they are on course to win the league, their players will be keen to avenge the Sunderland fans who performed City's trademark Poznan celebration after City clinched the title last May.

Comfortable winners: United cruised to a 3-1 win over Sunderland at Old Trafford earlier in the season

Comfortable winners: United cruised to a 3-1 win over Sunderland at Old Trafford earlier in the season

Cristiano Ronaldo New nike CR Mercurial Vapor IX boots

Ronaldo's new boots: He may not have celebrated in Champions League triumph over United, but he still loves to win

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

09:59 GMT, 29 March 2013

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UPDATED:

10:05 GMT, 29 March 2013

Cristiano Ronaldo might have displayed his love for Manchester United when dumping his old side out of the Champions league with Real Madrid, but his new boots reveal he might not have been so loved-up if Sir Alex Ferguson's side had triumphed.

His signature Nike CR Mercurial Vapor IX boots have been re-worked in a new colourway – and with the Portugal star's 'love to win, hate to lose' logo on the heel, which is a heart with a big 'X' through it.

Bright spark: Cristiano Ronaldo's new boots are in neon colours with his 'love to win, hate to lose' logo (below)

Bright spark: Cristiano Ronaldo's new boots are in neon colours with his 'love to win, hate to lose' logo (below)

CR Mercurial Vapor IX_Dtl_.jpg

Behind the wheel: Ronaldo was snapped wearing the new collection, with the 'love to win' logo, in his car

Behind the wheel: Ronaldo was snapped wearing the new collection, with the 'love to win' logo, in his car

CR7

Brightly-coloured with neon yellow, orange and white, the boots also feature the number 7, Ronaldo's squad number at Real Madrid, and a safari print on the Nike 'swoosh' – referencing his cheetah-like pace.

The new boots are sure to continue the Real Madrid star's success – Ronaldo has hit 40 goals for club and country this season.

Jose Mourinho's side continue to be off
the pace in the Spanish La Liga – they sit 13 points behind Barcelona,
just one point ahead of city rivals Atletico.

Studs up: Nike's All Condition Control technology means the boots will perform well in all weather

Studs up: Nike's All Condition Control technology means the boots will perform well in all weather

Apologies: Ronaldo famously didn't celebrate when scoring at Old Trafford earlier this month

Apologies: Ronaldo famously didn't celebrate when scoring at Old Trafford earlier this month

However, a Champions League quarter-final clash with Galatasary – pitting Ronaldo against Didier Drogba – makes the Spanish giants favourite to progress.

United fans hoping for a romantic return to Old Trafford for Ronaldo can be pleased with their idol's new footwear, as it features Nike's All Conditions Control technology – meaning they are just at home in the pouring Manchester rain as the balmy Madrid sun.

The boots are part of a whole collection with the same design, featuring training wear, casual clothes and a matching ball, and is out April 11.

Wild animal: The 'safari' swoosh features in the collection, including a ball and other clothes (below)

Wild animal: The 'safari' swoosh features in the collection, including a ball and other clothes (below)

Collection

Strike a pose: Ronaldo, modelling his new collection, has scored 40 goals for club and country this season

Strike a pose: Ronaldo, modelling his new collection, has scored 40 goals for club and country this season

Alex Ferguson fined 8,500 and Nani banned for one match after Real Madrid red card

Fergie handed 8.5k fine for refusing to speak and Nani banned for one match for red card which led to Champions League exit

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

16:11 GMT, 22 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:16 GMT, 22 March 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson has been fined 8,500 for refusing to speak to the media after Manchester United's Champions League defeat to Real Madrid.

According to his assistant Mike Phelan, Ferguson was 'too distraught' to fulfil his media commitments after United went out of Europe 3-2 on aggregate following Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir's controversial decision to show Nani a straight red card in the second half.

The Portugal winger was also banned for one match by UEFA yesterday, although he could have faced a three-game suspension if a disciplinary commission had deemed his challenge on Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa to be violent conduct.

Anger: Ferguson remonstrates with the fourth official after Nani's red card

Anger: Ferguson remonstrates with the fourth official after Nani's red card

A statement read: 'Manchester United
FC midfield player Nani has been suspended for one match by UEFA's
Control and Disciplinary Body, following the red card he received at the
UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg against Real Madrid CF at
Old Trafford on 5 March.

'Manchester United head coach Sir Alex
Ferguson has been fined €10,000 for non-fulfilment of the post-match
media obligations (Annex III, paras 2.6 and 2.7 of the competition
regulations) at the same match.'

His No 2 Mike Phelan revealed at the time that the manager was too 'distraught' to attend the interviews.

Off you go: Nani was sent off for this innocuous challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa

Off you go: Nani was sent off for this innocuous challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa

Off you go: Nani was sent off for this innocuous challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa

Anderson set to leave Manchester United in summer

Anderson set for Man United exit while others could follow in Old Trafford clear-out

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

07:19 GMT, 17 March 2013

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UPDATED:

07:20 GMT, 17 March 2013

Anderson is set to leave Manchester United in the summer after failing to hold down a place in Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

The 24-year-old Brazilian has failed to fulfill on the potential that United saw in him when they prised him from Porto with a 17million bid in the summer of 2007.

Bar the odd brilliant match, Anderson has not looked like reaching the level expected of a United midfielder and is behind Tom Cleverley, Michael Carrick and Ryan Giggs in Fergie's plans.

Farewell Anderson (left) could leave Man United in the summer after failing to earn a regular starting position

Farewell Anderson (left) could leave Man United in the summer after failing to earn a regular starting position

He has made just 12 Barclays Premier League appearances this season and scored just one goal in the competition.

His other strike this season came against Newcastle in the Capital One Cup.

Anderson is likely to head back to Portgual in the summer, according to The Mirror.

Javier Hernandez

Nani

In the balance: Javier Hernandez (left) and Nani (right) could also leave Old Trafford in the summer

Other players who could leave Old Trafford in the summer are Paul Scholes, who may retire again, and Javier Hernandez who wants to start more games.

Alexander Buttner and Anders Lindegaard will also be evaluated come the end of the season, while Nani could also be sold, with his contract set to expire in 2014.

Rio Ferdinand to the rescue: Should Roy Hodgson name Manchester United defender in England squad

Rio to the rescue: Is it time for Roy to bring back Ferdinand for England Keown, Redknapp and Sportsmail's team of experts have their say

PUBLISHED:

10:46 GMT, 13 March 2013

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UPDATED:

11:00 GMT, 13 March 2013

Roy Hodgson is set to name his England squad for the World Cup qualifying matches against San Marino and Montenegro and fans are desperate to know if Rio Ferdinand will be in it.

Left out for 'football reasons', Ferdinand has not featured for the national team under Hodgson but, with former captain John Terry now out of the picture, he has been touted for a return.

The 34-year-old has been superb for Manchester United this season and here, Sportsmail's team of experts say whether they feel Ferdinand should take that form back on to the international stage.

Solid: Rio Ferdinand has been tipped for an England return after fine performances for Manchester United

Solid: Rio Ferdinand has been tipped for an England return after fine performances for Manchester United

MARTIN KEOWN

I would bring Rio Ferdinand back into the England squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. If Sir Alex Ferguson is picking him as his first-choice centre back for Manchester United, that is good enough for me.

Roy Hodgson is one of the only people who could get away with bringing someone back after not picking them for so long. Hodgson is such a nice man and would find the words to make it a smooth transition.

Ferdinand has every right to feel he should have been in recent squads and he’s the best central defender we have. On top of that, Phil Jagielka is out injured and Gary Cahill has suffered a dip in form. He would benefit from playing alongside some as experienced as Ferdinand.

Tiredness is less of a factor now that United are out the Champions League. Ferdinand has fewer matches to play between now and the end of the season than he would have expected so Ferguson should not have a problem with him playing for his country.

I would imagine Hodgson wouldn’t use him for both games because of the recovery time he needs and the only potential problem with that is whether it creates instability in the team. If someone else plays well against San Marino, do you kill their confidence by then dropping them

The answer is probably yes.

Young gun: Ferdinand made his England debut as a teenager - coming off the bench against Cameroon in 1997

Young gun: Ferdinand made his England debut as a teenager – coming off the bench against Cameroon in 1997

JAMIE REDKNAPP

What has he done wrong He seems to have handled his omission maturely… he lost the England captaincy and didn’t cause a fuss. He has played his way back into form. He wants to play for England and add to his 81 caps.

Judging him on ‘football reasons’, he has to be back in for the World Cup qualifiers, doesn’t he Montenegro is a challenge and their centre-forward, the Juventus striker, Mirko Vucinic is a handful as he proved to Celtic in the Champions League. But Rio has handled better strikers.

Okay, he is not the future, but he is the present.

MARK ALFORD

No. Stick by your footballing
reasons, Roy. I'd prefer it if you further explained them to us all, but
as I suspect your argument is that you're building a side – and
specifically a defence – that can win us the World Cup, please go ahead
and conquer. Rio's too old. Yes, he can still pick a pass and play but
he's past his best. He's lost a yard and that's what matters at
international level. In Roy, we trust… There's no other way.

Off the mark: Ferdinand (No 5) scored his first international goal against Denmark at the 2002 World Cup

Off the mark: Ferdinand (No 5) scored his first international goal against Denmark at the 2002 World Cup

Off the mark: Ferdinand (No 5) scored his first international goal against Denmark at the 2002 World Cup

NEIL ASHTON

Yes. He remains the outstanding England defender of his generation. If he can get two games against Real Madrid in the Champions League, he can play against San Marino and Montenegro in the World Cup qualifiers.

LEE CLAYTON

Yes. Pick your best players, qualify for the World Cup, then worry about his age, his ability to play back-to-back games in a short space of time and the future.

There is a risk that England’s future will be an end-of-season tour to the back of beyond while the World Cup is taking place in Brazil. We did that before, let’s not do it again.

Rio must play in Montenegro. What’s to discuss

CHRIS WHEELER

Yes. Forget his age, any personal
issues with the manager and the fact that he might not be the best man
for the job when the World Cup comes around. Ferdinand's performances
for Manchester United this season have proved he's still a defender of
the highest quality. That's all that matters so just go ahead and pick
him.

SAMI MOKBEL

Yes. Simply because he is without doubt one of the best four centre-backs available to Roy Hodgson.

It's been a while: Ferdinand's last England appearance was against Switzerland in June 2011

It's been a while: Ferdinand's last England appearance was against Switzerland in June 2011

DOMINIC KING

No. Roy Hodgson has made his decision
to preclude Ferdinand from international duty, so he should stick with
it. There is sufficient quality in the England team to negotiate a
tricky task without worrying about whether Ferdinand should play or not.
With Phil Jagielka injured, play Joleon Lescott and give the in-form
Michael Dawson a go. Ferdinand is England's past, concentrate on the
future.

NEIL MOXLEY

If he’s the best English player to fill the position – and I think he’s the best option at present – then of course he should be picked. I’m not one for ‘looking to the future.’ It’s a nebulous managerial cop-out. When is ‘the future’ What about the here and now

He’s fit, playing well and wants to resume his international career. What, really, is there to consider

On the box: Kelloggs made special cereal packets for the 2010 World Cup but Ferdinand missed the tournament through injury

On the box: Kelloggs made special cereal packets for the 2010 World Cup but Ferdinand missed the tournament through injury

JOHN EDWARDS

If he doesn’t, then ‘football
reasons’ will no longer wash as an explanation. With John Terry out of
the frame and Phil Jagielka and Chris Smalling injured, there is only
one logical choice alongside Gary Cahill.

Hodgson is to be applauded for
looking to the future, but there is a time and place for experimenting
with potential. A World Cup qualifier away to the group leaders is
neither. That rules out Steven Caulker, while the likes of Ryan
Shawcross, Michael Dawson and Joleon Lescott lack Ferdinand’s proven
pedigree when the international stakes are at their highest.

The San Marino game should be plain sailing, whoever gets the nod, but for 90 minutes in Montenegro, it has to be Rio.

ALEX KAY

Of course he should. Ferdinand is the
best English centre back around at the moment and knows how to keep his
head in big games. Also, the alternatives do not fill you with hope:
Joleon Lescott is in and out the team at Manchester City, Gary Cahill
has a wobble in him and Michael Dawson, though playing well, hasn’t
featured for England for a long time.

MIKE ANSTEAD

If
he’s good enough, then yes. With John Terry out of the picture, England
are seriously lacking top-level experience at the back – Gary Cahill,
Phil Jagielka and Co won’t worry the world’s best. Bring Rio back and
he’s still got time to forge a new partnership ahead of Brazil 2014.

TOM BELLWOOD

No. His inclusion would represent a kick in the teeth to those whose performances warrant place in the team and have a long-term future in the national set-up.

LAURIE WHITWELL

Yes. Ferdinand is by some margin the best English central defender playing regularly. He is managing his body well this season and is a major reason United's defence has tightened up in the second part of the campaign. The experience he brings to international football only adds to the compelling reasoning for selection. Surely you pick the best players on offer at any one point rather than worry about a future that is yet to be achieved.

DAN RIPLEY

Judging by Ferdinand’s current form and fitness, the Manchester United centre-back certainly deserves a recall to the England squad. His composure on the ball and experience would be a key asset to a Three Lions side that has yet to have a stable back four under Roy Hodgson’s reign. At 34-years-old Ferdinand isn’t the future, but Hodgson needs to pick a squad that can pick up two wins later this month, not one that is likely to lead England after Brazil 2014.

Decision time: Roy Hodgson is set to name his England squad to face San Marino and Montenegro

Decision time: Roy Hodgson is set to name his England squad to face San Marino and Montenegro

JOE RIDGE

Yes. It's crazy we're even asking this question. Along with Michael Dawson and Gary Cahill he's the only Englishman playing regularly at centre back for a top four club – and he's still head and shoulders above those two.
SUNNI UPAL

No. Ferdinand is 34 so it would make no sense going back to him considering he will be 35 by the time the World Cup kicks off next year. England have enough choices in defence and don’t need to turn back to someone who is in the twilight of his career. The decision was, rightly or wrongly, made a long time ago for ‘footballing reasons’ so let’s just stick to those reasons and move on.

Not spoiled for choice: Gary Cahill's form has dipped while Phil Jagielka (below left) is struggling with injury

Not spoiled for choice: Gary Cahill's form has dipped while Phil Jagielka (below left) is struggling with injury

Struggling: Phil Jagielka (left)

RIK SHARMA

No. Picking a defender who probably won't be worth taking to the World Cup itself would only be acceptable if qualification for said competition would be viewed as an achievement. For England it is a necessity. Roy needs to focus on the men for the years ahead.

DECLAN WARRINGTON

No, and particularly not if Hodgson intends on using him for no more than just the next two games. Despite his decline, Ferdinand remains a polished defender and has lately impressed but he's had another inconsistent season in which Manchester United have frequently conceded. Hodgson needs to look at the bigger picture and build a new-look side: in Gary Cahill, Steven Caulker, Phil Jones and particularly Chris Smalling he has several improving, quality options who are already good but need time to develop partnerships for the World Cup. He should stick with them.

BILL RUNGAY

Yes. Age is not an obstacle. He is on track to winning an inevitable sixth Premier League title along with his first FA cup medal whilst showing he is still one of the most solid defenders in the game.

Old head: Veteran defender Ferdinand has the experience of 10 years at United and 81 England caps

Old head: Veteran defender Ferdinand has the experience of 10 years at United and 81 England caps

Luka Modric wants to join Manchester United from Real Madrid

Exclusive: Modric eyes move to Manchester United… just days after sending them packing in the Champions League

By
Ian Ladyman

PUBLISHED:

23:00 GMT, 11 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

02:01 GMT, 12 March 2013

Manchester United’s Champions League heartbreaker Luka Modric still has his heart set on a move to Old Trafford.

Real Madrid star Modric smashed in a wonder goal to help the Spanish champions beat United on a controversial night of European drama in Manchester a week ago.

Now it has emerged that the 27-year-old Croatian midfielder still harbours dreams of a move back to the Barclays Premier League with United.

Heartbreaker: Luka Modric's goal sent Real Madrid through at the expense of Manchester United

Heartbreaker: Luka Modric's goal sent Real Madrid through at the expense of Manchester United

Modric was high on the wishlist of United boss Sir Alex Ferguson two summers ago as he tried to replace Paul Scholes. But United were put off by the prospect of another summer of haggling with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy, with whom they clashed over the purchase of Dimitar Berbatov in 2008.

Modric eventually left White Hart Lane for Real in a 33m deal last summer but has not been a guaranteed starter in Jose Mourinho’s team and his goal at Old Trafford last week was only his second of a difficult season. The diminutive midfielder is not in a rush to quit Real but did let it be known when in Manchester last week that he would be very keen on a future switch to Old Trafford.

Since missing out on Modric first time round, United have of course bought Japanese international Shinji Kagawa.

Exposed Modric has found first-team football difficult to secure at Real, where Mesut Ozil is a rival for his place

Exposed Modric has found first-team football difficult to secure at Real, where Mesut Ozil is a rival for his place

Nevertheless, Scholes is expected to retire this summer, Ryan Giggs has perhaps just a season left and Wayne Rooney will attract strong interest from PSG and Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

Still only 27, Modric is young enough to tempt Ferguson, who has been a huge admirer since he first arrived in England from Dynamo Zagreb in 2008.

United, meanwhile, are still waiting to find out if defender Rio Ferdinand will be punished by the FA for an off-the-ball clash with Fernando Torres during Sunday’s 2-2 FA Cup draw with Chelsea.

Controversial: Rio Ferdinand is waiting to hear if he'll be punished by the FA

Controversial: Rio Ferdinand is waiting to hear if he'll be punished by the FA

The FA are likely to make a decision this morning while Ferdinand himself has warned that United cannot let their Champions League setback affect the rest of the season.

He said: ‘That won’t happen. We will go into training and start working towards the weekend. Cup competitions are different from the league. We know what we have to do.’

Sir Alex Ferguson barged by linesman v Chelsea

More trouble for Fergie with officials… this time the linesman crashes in to him!

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

18:08 GMT, 10 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

19:49 GMT, 10 March 2013

Sir Alex Ferguson's relationship with officials has been strained this week, after Nani was harshly sent off in the Champions League against Real Madrid and his side crashed out.

And now they're physically turning on him too – the Manchester United boss was minding his own business on the touchline in the FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea when the linesman barged in to him.

But instead of exploding in fury,
Ferguson saw the funny side and cracked a smile afterwards while rubbing
his arm where he had been hit.

Watch out: The linesman barges past Sir Alex on the sideline

Watch out: The linesman barges past Sir Alex on the sideline

Barge: The linesman knocks Sir Alex

Barge: The linesman knocks Sir Alex

ITV pundit and former United player Roy
Keane also found the whole thing amusing, making a joke in the studio
referencing his outspoken views over the Nani red card.

On Wednesday, Keane fought against the tide of people claiming Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir was wrong to dismiss the Portugal star for a 'dangerous' challenge.

And he joked that the linesman could have been dismissed for 'dangerous play' after his skirmish with Fergie on Sunday night.