Roy Hodgson apologises to Rio Ferdinand after Tube gaffe
England manager revealed Ferdinand was out of his England plans on Jubilee Line
ENGLAND MANAGER Roy Hodgson has apologised to defender Rio Ferdinand after revealing that his international career was over... to commuters on the London Underground.
Hodgson reportedly told fellow passengers on a Jubilee Line train on Wednesday that "it was over" for Ferdinand, and sure enough, when the England boss announced his squad for next week's World Cup qualifiers with San Marino and Poland there was no mention of the veteran Manchester United defender, who has 81 caps for his country.
Anyone who had read the Mirror this morning, or had been travelling to the Emirates to watch Arsenal in the Champions League, would not have been surprised.
The paper claimed that when a passenger asked him if he would pick Ferdinand, he replied: "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."
Today Hodgson expressed regret over his Tube announcement and said he would talk to Ferdinand to explain. "I will apologise to him because there's no way I would ever indicate I wasn't going to use a player in that way," he said. "I would never dream of telling a player when its the end of the line or whatever I'm supposed to have said. That's up to the player to decide for himself, and hopefully that won't be the case."
He added that he would have to reassess his approach to making small talk on public transport. "Maybe this will be a lesson for all those people who see me on the Tube," he said. "Please don't be too offended if I refuse to answer any questions you ask me."
With John Terry now retired and Ferdinand in the wilderness, and faced with injuries to several other candidates, Hodgson chose Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Joleon Lescott and Ryan Shawcross.