My father abides by certain principles, loyalty being one. While this loyalty doesn’t apply to everyone and everything, that and those it applies to, he stays loyal to.
It’s why he’s been a fan of Manchester United ever since he studied somewhere in Lancashire eons ago, though rather passively nowadays. It’s also why, after his mother land Nigeria, he supports the English national team at any intrrnational football event.
For his heart’s sake, I do hope he’ll be engrossed in some thought, a heap of newspapers or news updates so much that he won’t witness another farcical attempt at participation by the Three Lions at a major football event.
I never really followed in my dad’s footsteps. Yes, I really liked the Super Eagles of Jay Jay Okocha, Finidi George, Emmanuel Amunike, Dan the Bull Amokachi, Peter Rufai, Uche Okechukwu (RIP), Sunday Oliseh and the rest. But I never would like the English team after we lost by a lone goal to them in a friendly leading up to the ’94 World Cup at USA.
Now, Holland’s been my favourite national team after Nigeria since France ’98 and Arsenal my favourite club since ’97… making me a bit of a prodigal son. Oh well!
Anyway, as a Gooner, Rio Ferdinand ideally isn’t nearly in consideration to be a footballer I’d have good words for. First being part of a famous Leeds United team that left the world baffled at their daring spirit, constituting a nuisance to Arsenal often.
Then he moved over to Old Trafford, the abyss itself. And he did for that amount! I couldn’t have been more miffed, all I could think was ‘an outrageous waste of business’. At that time meanwhile, Martin Kelly was a 12 year old somewhere in the Kop academy.
To date, Ferdinand has won 81 caps for England, a Champions League title, five Premier League titles, a Club World Cup title and appeared at three World Cups yet, somehow, is set to finish his international career without ever playing at the European Championships.
Kelly on the contrary, has a cumulative 16 caps playing for England from the U19s to the national team itself for which he has played once… for about four minutes. He also has only featured 10 times for Liverpool.
While it verily undermines Ferdinand, who is being sacrificed for being the brother of Anton who was ‘alledgedly’ racially abused by Terry, Kelly is actually a talent to watch out for; his presence did once force Glen Johnson to be started on the left flank for Liverpool.
Only reason I’d criticise Roy Hodgson for then still overlooking Ferdinand by replacing Gary Cahill with Kelly is the now infamous “footballing reasons” excuse he gave for excluding Ferdinand in the first place.
He also talked about keeping the dressing room peaceful… I hate when someone morphs into a prick of appropriateness when it comes to the brass tacks. Pretty much why ‘the world’ will hate Mourinho just as much as ‘the world’ will be fond of him.
If Hodgson deemed it fit to drop Ferdinand, I would’ve been much pleased to see John Terry dropped as well and who knows how events would’ve turned out now.
In reality, England’s backline wasn’t Gibraltar firm in the first place and with the number of further realities that have set them back, the goalkeeping and left back positions are the units of the back four that’re strong enough to be at the fort.
That clearly isn’t enough to carry a team onto a credible show at this Euros and that much was evident n the friendly against Belgium.
Too bad, for Joe Hart especially.
Only thing I’ll enjoy about England after the Euros will be the press. John Terry should hope Carroll does a Fernando (ala against Man. United) during the Euros to keep them off him.
But that (if it happened) would be for a short while anyway, the mess of the affair has tattooed itself just as his debacle with Wayne Bridge has, showing once more how England would rather ‘keep up an appearance’ when really, reality needs to be faced. John Terry should’ve been axed as well.