Ferdinand retires from England

Times up: Rio Ferdinand has called time on his international career

Times up: Rio Ferdinand has called time on his England career

Rio Ferdinand has called time on his international career for England to keep his club career at Manchester United in good shape.  The 34-year-old has informed England manager Roy Hodgson of his retirement before the Hodgson will announce the Three Lions squad for their friendlies against the Republic of Ireland and Brazil.

Ferdinand won 81 caps for England during his 16-year career with the Three Lions, and was the youngest defender to ever to play for the national team when he made his debut for England in a match against Cameroon in 1997 at the age of 19.  Although the center-back’s international career Continue reading

FA claims no evidence of racist chants at Ferdinands

The English FA has said that they have not found evidence of racist chants aimed towards Rio and Anton Ferdinand during England’s World Cup qualifier against San Marino last Friday.  Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) made an official complaint to Fifa over racism chants by England fans in England’s World Cup qualifier, but the English FA has said that there is no evidence with FARE’s case.

“The FA takes all incidents and allegations of racism extremely seriously,” The FA said in a statement today.. “In San Marino, we had FA security officers monitoring the English supporters in the stadium. This includes recorded video footage.

“We also worked closely with UK Police in advance of and on the night of the game.

“While we have no reason to dispute the media reports which are without doubt made for the right reasons of fighting racism, at this time we have not found any recorded evidence of the specific discriminatory chanting referring to Rio and Anton Ferdinand and the vile ‘bonfire’ song. We will of course continue to review all of our recorded footage.

“We recognize the importance of FARE’s responsibility to report any incidents to Fifa. We will liaise with Fifa and work with them to assist any investigation.

“Should evidence of any racial chanting be found, we would expect action to be taken against any individuals.

“We would expect banning orders to be issued by the courts as a minimum penalty.

“We do not want supporters who chant vile or racist abuse following the England team.”

Racist chants at England’s match were reportedly aimed at Manchester United center-back Rio Ferdinand and his brother, Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand.  Rio had been called up to the England squad for the first time since 2011 by manager Roy Hodgson, but withdrew from the squad due to his “pre-planned training program.”  Rio, 34, has hit out at the England supporters chanting racist abuse tweeting, “You expect+accept banter from fans on the terraces as its part of what makes the game great, but racism is not banter& from ya own fans. WOW.”

Gerrard silences Montenegro coach Branko Brnovic

Liverpool captain Seven Gerrard has silenced Montenegro coach Branko Brnovic taunts ahead of England’s World Cup qualifier against Montenegro, saying  “they (Montenegro) seem to be more interested in saying things (then playing football).”  Yesterday, Montenegro coach Branko Brnovic claied that England were a long ball team, and said that he was sure Montenegro would make the most of them.

“I would say [England are arrogant] because that’s what could be seen, even when they played San Marino, given some of the things they said,” Brnovic said. “But things will certainly be quite different now [compared to when Montenegro last hosted England in October 2011 in qualification for Euro 2012]. We are the leaders in our group this time. We’re not chasing after anything and we have nothing to prove. This will be quite a spectacle.

“I’m sure we’ll make the most of them tomorrow. I’ve read statements from some English players about the way the pitch will look. As far as I know, the English have always favored long passes, so who should complain about this? Us, with [Mirko] Vucinic, [Stevan] Jovetic, [Marko] Basa, or England? They’re also intimidated by our fans. All these stories are coming from their side. That shows they’re more scared of this game than we are.”

England international Steven Gerrard has hit back at Montenegro, claiming “we’ve (England) have got them exactly were we want them (Montenegro)”

“With those comments it just shows we’ve got them exactly where we want them,” said Gerrard. “They seem to be more interested in saying things and doing all the talking. But talking doesn’t win you football matches. I’m not really too interested in what they’ve had to say in their press conference. I’m more interested in how the lads train at the ground on the night before the game and when the first whistle goes in the match itself.”

England will play Montenegro Tuesday afternoon 2014 World Cup qualifying- Uefa Group H, with The Three Lions sitting two points behind Montenegro in second place in Group H.  Montenegro are at the top of the group with thirteen points, and if they beat England and Ukraine in June, they will open up a eight point gap above England, who do not play again in the group (after Montenegro) until September, at the top of the table.

Mirko Vucinic, the Montenegro captain, has also verbal offensive by claiming England manager Roy Hogdson’s center back pairing Chris Smalling and Joleon Lescott as “a source of weakness” in the England team.

Michael Owen to retire at the end of the season

Former Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Manchester United forward Michael Owen has announced that he will retire at the end of the season.  The English international currently plays for Stoke City and has called time on his glittering eighteen year senior career. Owen made his way through the Liverpool youth system, and made his first senior debut at the age of seventeen in 1996 against Wimbledon. The thirty-three year-old made his international breakthrough in the 1998 World Cup, and has since become England’s four all time top scorer with forty goals.

“It is with an immense amount of pride that I am announcing my intention to retire from Professional Football at the end of this season,” Owen said in a statement on his official website.

“Having progressed through the ranks at Liverpool to make my first team debut at 17, before embarking upon spells at Real Madrid, Newcastle United, Manchester United and Stoke City, not to mention representing my country on 89 occasions, I now feel it is the right time to bring the curtain down on my career.

“I have been very fortunate in that my career has taken me on a journey that like many young players starting out, I could only have dreamt of.

“None of this would have been possible without the tremendous support I have received from managers, coaches, fellow players, back room staff, the supporters and my own personal sponsors. I would like to thank each and every one for the huge role they have played in helping me reach the top of my profession.”

Owen has made 89 appearances for England, and has scored 260 goals in 564 games for club and country.  He has won multiple honors, including the FA Cup, Premier League, Uefa Super Cup, FA Community Shield, and the Uefa Cup.  Owen was part of the Liverpool side that won the treble in 2001, and was rewarded for his contribution to the side by being awarded the Ballon d’Or.  The young star was bought by Real Madrid in 2004, and after a successful spell in Spain he moved back to the Premier League to Newcastle United in 2005.  But injuries have marred his career since, and Owen has called a halt to his career, eighteen years after making his senior debut.

Ferdinand withdraws from England squad

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has withdrawn from the England national squad following a meeting with England manager Roy Hodgson on Sunday evening. Hodgson explained Ferdinand could not play in England’s World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro “due to the detailed pre-planned training and medical program he (Ferdinand) must follow.”

Ferdinand had been called up to the squad by Hodgson after previously being ignored by him and former England manager Fabio Capello since his last cap, against Switzerland in June 2011. There had been doubts about whether Ferdinand would play for England, and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson stated that playing for England would disrupt Ferdinand’s fitness program.

“Roy Hodgson phoned me to say he had called him (Rio) up and I was quite surprised,” Ferguson said. “I did say to him that I will talk to Rio.

“The issue is not that (amount of games), the issue is his whole preparation for football today.

“It involves treatment, it involves rest, it involves heavy days followed by some light days followed by some easy days.

“Our medical staff and fitness lads have done a great job with him. That’s the issue.

“Because he hasn’t been playing international football, when the international breaks have come along, we have detailed all the things he has to do: when he trains, when his treatments come along, therefore it is a disruption to his normal preparation.”

But on Saturday Ferguson announced that Ferdinand would join the squad, and when asked if Ferdinand would join, he answered “Yes.” However, following Ferdinand’s meeting with Hodgson, it has been announced that the thirty-four-year-old would not make the trip to the England camp.

“Rio Ferdinand has been forced to withdraw from England’s forthcoming fixtures with San Marino and Montenegro,” an English Football Association statement read. “The decision was taken following a meeting in London on Sunday evening with Rio Ferdinand and England Manager Roy Hodgson.”

Hodgson has expressed his disappointment on Ferguson withdrawing, but did not rule out the possibility of Ferdinand returning to the England squad. “I’m disappointed Rio will not be available, but due to the detailed pre-planned training and medical programme he must follow it’s not possible. However, I was pleased that Rio called and asked to meet with me. It was important to hear from him personally about the way he must manage his body between games.” This is not to say he cannot play back-to-back games – he can and has proven so. He’s out this time due to particular pre-planned details already in place for his programme. I must place on record how I was impressed with his commitment to playing for England and I look forward to hopefully selecting him for squads in the future.”

Ferdinand has also told of his disappointment on having to withdraw. “It was important for me to be able to speak with Roy face to face and explain the situation, and one thing I made clear was that my passion and commitment to represent my country is as strong as ever. It is disappointing that I won’t be able to play a part in the upcoming games but I told Roy that I want to continue to be available for England and I look forward to working with him in the future.”

Ferdinand has been replaced by Tottenham defender Steven Caulker for the qualifiers.

Ferdinand recalled to England squad

Manchester United center-back Rio Ferdinand has been recalled to the England squad for their World Cup qualifiers after an absence of almost two years.  The thirty-four-year-old has been recalled for England’s World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro, and is part of Roy Hodgson’s twenty-six man squad.  Ferdinand has won 81 caps and last played for The Three Lions on June 4, 2011 against Switzerland in a European Championship qualifier.  But Ferdinand was excluded from England’s Euro 2012 squad that reached the Quarterfinals, for what Hodgson called “footballing reasons”.  He he has been included with six other Manchester United players, and surprisingly the entire England squad (except for Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster) plays in the English Premier League with either Everton, United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Chelsea, Liverpool or West Bromwich Albion.  England will play San Marino on March 22 and will play Montenegro on March 26 in qualifying Group H.

England Squad
Goalkeepers: Ben Foster, Joe Hart, Fraser Forster
Defenders: Leighton Baines, Gary Cahill, Ashley Cole, Michael Dawson, Rio Ferdinand , Glen Johnson, Chris Smalling, Kyle Walker
Midfielders: Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Aaron Lennon, James Milner, Leon Osman, Scott Parker , Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Ashley Young
Forwards: Jermain Defoe, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge, Daniel Welbeck

MOTD- England 2-1 Brazil

It is full time here at Wembley and England have beaten Brazil for the first time in over twenty years.  The game started in favor of Brazil, but the flow of the game quickly changed in England’s favor.  But in the nineteenth minute Brazil surprisingly earned a penalty through a Jack Wilshere handball.  The penalty, taken by Ronaldinho, was a poor one, and Joe Hart blocked it, but the rebound fell to Ronaldinho, who forced a magnificent block out of Hart.  Brazil paid for not finishing that chance, as Jack Wilshere played it to Theo Walcott who was in on goal down the left.  Theo’s shot was straight at Brazil keeper Julio Cesar, but the rebound fell for Wayne Rooney, who curled it past three Brazil defenders into the back of the net.  The rest of the half went scoreless, but England was still in charge.  The second half started completely different, with Brazil in charge.  Brazil quickly capitalized on the situation, and when Gary Cahill lost the ball just outside the box, Fred pounced on it and struck a shot past Joe Hart into the top left corner.  Brazil couldn’t force anything more out of England, and the flow of the game changed back into England’s favor.  England quickly capitalized on their possession, and when a Theo Walcott cross got deflected to the outside of the box, Frank Lampard hit a beautiful volley past Cesar into the top right corner.  After that the game mellowed a bit, and neither side could score again.
Man of the Match: Jack Wilshere