England head coach Roy Hodgson might be forced to make a U-turn on his decision not to select Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.
Hodgson has been under pressure by the media and by the public over his decision not to pick Ferdinand in his Euro 2012 squad after John Terry retired, and he has stuck to that decision ever since. But in the build up to him picking his next squad, Ferdinand has been strongly linked with a recall.
The squad that was taken to Poland and Ukraine consisted of the following central defenders: Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill, Joleon Lescott, Phil Jones and John Terry - but not all of them are available now.
Jagielka and Jones are both out injured and are unlikely to be available for the next England game; Lescott has been struggling to get in to the starting line-up for Manchester City, even though he was a rock at the back for them last season, while ex-captain Terry announced his international retirement last September.
In fact, Cahill is the only central defender from the Euro 2012 squad who is available to be picked. The question is, who else is available apart from the out-of-favour Ferdinand? No-one really stands out.
Ferdinand faced criticism over his performances last year, but his performances for Manchester United this season have been more than good. He is one of the first names on the United team sheet, unlike some of his counterparts, and he performed well against Chelsea in front of the watching Hodgson. Although the England coach was there to watch the other English players, Ferdinand certainly brought attention to himself with a solid performance.
England are a bit short of good defenders at the minute, and the Manchester United defender is surely one of the best English defenders around. He may be a bit too old, but with age brings a lot of experience, which is what England need.
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