Ferdinand back in England frame?


In perhaps the most high-profile use of social media by a professional footballer, Rio Ferdinand took to Twitter last week, ruling himself out of taking over as England captain from John Terry.

As unprecedented as it was to use the tool of Twitter to disclose such information, and coming just 90 minutes after Terry's demotion had been confirmed, it worked to quickly close the door on any possible return.

"I don't want to be England captain after the last episode, just want to concentrate on playing for United and if I make the squad then as ever I'll be delighted," he said.

Sighting his previous reign as skipper, which was ended prematurely after Fabio Capello reinstated Terry as the captain, 13 months after originally replacing him with Ferdinand, the Manchester United player firmly closed the door on returning to the role.

If anyone requires convincing that the untimely departure of Capello is a blessing in disguise for The Football Association, his mismanagement of the situation was one of a catalogue of errors.

Those questioning The FA for not consulting with Capello prior to the second stripping of Terry need only look at the shabby way the Italian originally dealt with matters. David Bernstein dare not give him another opportunity to make a mess of things.

With Capello gone, and The FA showing a united front, players and fans alike have good reason to feel optimistic, if not about the upcoming European Championships, but upon the start of the 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

But what of Rio? A week on after fronting up to the proposition of being captain, he's been calm and collected following the departure of his international manager. His actions last week was of someone who had little to hide, his defensive approach this time around suggests he's got more to say.

His demotion as captain, not least because of how Capello chose to inform the defender, can hardly have sat well with Ferdinand. The FA will note, he didn't consult with Rio either.

What chances are there that Rio fancies another whirl at the armband, and that if offered it under the leadership of say Harry Redknapp, that he wouldn't relish the opportunity.

The circumstances would of course be different. As oppose to working alongside a boss who had humiliated him barely 12 months previous, Ferdinand would be under a boss who he began his professional career with.

The move would make even more sense if Redknapp's appointment is delayed until after the European Championships.

At 33, Ferdinand will struggle to mark the next World Cup finals in Brazil, and is likely to end his 15-year international career following the summer finals - hence he'd hardly be the long-term option.

But then again should Stuart Pearce, or another Football Association puppet be employed to guide England through Euro 2012, then they would be very much the same; a summer fling.

They'll always be the argument that Ferdinand's record on and off the pitch isn't whiter than white, or that his place in the team isn't even assured.

Granted, the latter certainly comes first, and in that respect his recent showings for United suggest he's growing into his new guise at the back.

Will Ferdinand take to Twitter to backtrack on his aspirations for the role? Unlikely, but if handed the chance, he's unlikely to be as shy.

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