Saturday, 9 June 2012

ENGLAND NEEDED KING SOLOMON'S COUNSEL

Wednesday ,  May 1st  2012 .  Roy Hodgson ,  the new England Manager's maiden press conference  said :

" I'll have to get in touch with John and Rio to speak  with them , hopefully
   face to face , and find out where they are in this situation . Until such time
   as i've spoken to them and found out where they stand in relation to the
   situation , it would be wrong of me to comment . And not just those two ,
   I'll have to  speak to as many senior players as i can"..........


WEDNESDAY, MAY 16TH 2012 : The England  squad for Euro 2012 is announced , and Rio Ferdinand is not chosen for " Football reasons " . Hodgson added : "a man is innocent till proven guilty" ,  obviously referring to John Terry's inclusion, despite his impending court case for racially aggravated public disorder .  The England manager in the build up to making a point on his controversial selection said : "I was given a free hand"........  obviously  an attempt  to ward off accusations in The FA's direction for interference in his selection ; or more to the point ,  as an influence in leaving out Rio Ferdinand .

Roy Hodgson wittingly or unwittingly has played the character of Basil Fawlty in the 80's sitcom Fawlty Towers,  in this running narrative . He has made a sensitive issue become not just worse , but nasty . This blogger had stated in february that the allegations at John Terry shall polarize the soccer community in a bitter way ( read my blog DIVIDED WE STAND ) .  I take no joy in saying , it is proving to be a self fulfilling prophesy. Suddenly , players and managers in Britain, and from other nations at the EUROS have to be asked their thoughts on Rio Ferdinand's exclusion from the England Team for the Tournament . Yes ,  Mr. Hodgson said in his press conference to announce the England squad , his omission of Rio Ferdinand would " raise eye brows " . I  shall add ,  it may turn-out to be his nemesis .

It is a devastating indictment on the Football Association and Roy Hodgson this matter has dragged out so disgustingly in the people's court . You could say it's now in the global forum .  I'll tell it like it is..... If on May 1st  Roy Hodgson was insinuating holding discussions with John Terry and Rio Ferdinand , then i am free to interpret that as implicit of his ( initial  ) intentions to play , or at least call -up both players . If Rio Ferdinand played to the end of the season unscathed , then why is he not even put on stand-by when  the squad was announced may 16th . There is a trail of circumstantial evidence to suggest  that there are insidious forces at work shaping the sub-plot in the issue involving The Ferdinands and John Terry.  In an attempt to do damage limitation , or call it conflict management , The FA , especially have overreacted like the proverbial Bull in the China shop . Roy Hodgson's strenuous  explanation of objectivity in the omission of Rio Ferdinand in that may 16th press conference  ( see 3rd paragraph of this blog for sound bites ) arouses curiosity .

The Foot Ball Association have tried to micro-manage the affair , first by stripping Terry of the captaincy , and in my view taken it further by working to forestall any potential discord with the unstated policy of : one or the other,  regarding the pair ( Ferdinand and Terry )  .  Roy Hodgson buys into  the FA's  line of thought by picking John Terry , whom he would have regarded as fitter of the two. The denouement to this sub-plot would prove the FA's actions of instigating one or the other,  to the Terry - Ferdinand "dilemma " ,  and the manager's acquiescence,   was preposterous .

Gary Cahill's injury , and subsequent withdrawal from the squad was a twist in the tale - a cross roads situation , and perhaps , the Climatic moment in this narrative . Climb down , and pick Rio Ferdinand , or go for the stand-by player , and novice Martin Kelly . Hodgson stuck to the script,  ignoring Rio Ferdinand . In doing that , he handed ammunition to his detractors like me to blast  holes into his  "football reasons " subterfuge . It does not add-up : Rio Ferdinand - 81 England caps - winner of premiership titles,  FACups ,  Champions League , and participant of at least 2 world cups .  Martin Kelly - not even 20 premiership appearances for Liverpool . Let's not even bother to mention his age.... The Vast Majority of choosers would have gone for Rio Ferdinand even if he was in poor form .

Maybe The Wise King Solomon would have Counseled The FA and Roy Hodgson along these lines : Do not get the new manager in a difficult situation ; pick Ferdinand and Terry in the squad ;  do not bother huddling together with both of them to sort out any differences - no one could sort this out ; just tell them to make sure you man England's defense to the standards of big players both of you are ; crack the whip in presence of all 23 players : informing them any trouble makers shall be thrown-out instantly,  and banned from future England squads . Play with the required intensity , win the tournament , and shove-off back to your respective Clubs with your personal baggage or concerns .

Roy Hodgson , a widely acclaimed man of deep soccer knowledge has made an unsustainable , weak , and intellectually flawed Call .  The wisest move would have been to stay out of the issues involving The Ferdinands and Terry  directly and indirectly , by going for the the tactical response of if fit : The 2-in , or The 2-out. Let's face it , they are England's best 2 centre-backs . At least people would have respected the principles underpinning his position . I scratch my head , and say ehhhh !.... you did'nt do so Mr. Hodgson....... hmmmm ! like you said , you are going to have to "live " with the cosequences .

Readers , my next blog would be an analysis of England's team and Chances at Euro 2012 . That's posted at 23.55 sunday , june 10th . Thanks for your readership .