Rio Ferdinand & Terry should return to the international fold

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England manager Roy Hodgson was at Old Trafford on Monday night to watch the likes of Ashley Cole and Michael Carrick - but it is Rio Ferdinand and John Terry who he should be keeping a close eye on.

Hodgson can take few positives from the clash between Manchester United and Chelsea other than the impressive performance of England striker Wayne Rooney.

However if I was the England manager I would be begging Ferdinand and Terry to return to the international fold - should the Three Lions make it to the World Cup - because they were both outstanding in Monday night's clash.

The duo remain England's two best centre-backs despite both players struggling with fitness in recent years.

First choice England centre-backs Phil Jagielka and Gary Cahill have impressed for Everton and Chelsea respectively but they are not in the same league as Ferdinand and Terry.

Terry won the man-of-the-match award in Monday's drab affair at Old Trafford as the Chelsea captain marshalled the likes of Robin van Persie and Danny Welbeck with relative ease.

At the other end, Ferdinand's partnership with Nemanja Vidic looks as solid as ever with the duo minimising Chelsea's threat on David de Gea's goal without having to get out of second gear.

Ferdinand and Terry both retired from international duty in the aftermath of the latter's high-profile incident at Loftus Road, when the Chelsea skipper was eventually found guilty by the Football Association of racially abusing Ferdinand's younger brother, Anton.

Shortly before his hearing, Terry said that his position as member of the Football Association's squad was 'untenable' given the fact that they were on the verge of charging him for racial abuse.

Ferdinand, on the other hand, decided to retire from international football in May as he felt it was time for the 'younger players' to come through.

However, the 'younger players' who Ferdinand were referring to, like Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, are yet to cement a place in Manchester United's first team.

The relationship between Ferdinand and Terry, who were the mainstay of England central defence for the best part of six years, has obviously deteriorated - but surely they would be willing to temporarily forget their differences if it meant helping England to World Cup glory.

It is not like they have to be the best of friends to form a defensive partnership and they are both professional enough to just get on with the job.

Tournament football may not best suit the duo's respective fitness regimes but they could be saved for the knockout games, when England will have to be at their very best if they want to make it to later stages of the tournament.

A centre-back foursome of Ferdinand, Terry, Cahill and Jagielka would be one to rival any of England's main competitors at next summer's World Cup and could even - dare I say it - give Hodgson's side a slight chance of winning the competition.

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Rio Ferdinand
Premier League
Manchester United
John Terry

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