‘England Were Too Old And Too Defensive’ – 33-Year-Old Defender Rio Ferdinand Blasts England’s Euro Flop

Alan Duffy

27th, June 2012


By Alan Duffy

Veteran defender Rio Ferdinand, a player who made it very clear how unhappy he was at missing out on England’s Euro 2012 squad, has criticised manager Roy Hodgson both for not giving the youngsters a chance and for playing too defensively.

The Manchester United defender singles out two young players who he feels should’ve got more playing time – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Phil Jones, saying:

“If you take the youngsters to a competition like this, you should get them out there and see what they are made of. I am a fan of The Ox and I wanted to see more of him but in the end he finished up as a spectator. He was almost in the same position Theo Walcott was when he was picked for the 2006 World Cup.”

“Phil Jones is one of the most adaptable players we have in our country and where was he? When we need to take the ball from midfield, run 40 yards with it and put the other team on the back foot, he is the man for the job.”

“Instead, we stayed cautious and Jordan Henderson was used instead. That’s not a criticism of Jordan, he is a different player to Phil, but I thought it showed we were being too conservative. It sends a message to the opponents that you are more interested in defending and playing on the counterattack than making them scared of you. The other thing is that Phil was in the squad before Jordan, who was a standby player.”

I can’t see Jordan Henderson being too pleased with that, can you?

Anyway, you can read more of what Rio has to say in pretty much all the newspapers today. But one question remains – should Ferdinand, who may still have a part to play in future England squads, be publicly criticising Roy Hodgson’s tactics? Me, I think he should show a little bit more class and keep schtum.

Posted in Euro 2012

Share this article: Email


  1. SAF says:

    idiot talk exactly like super idiot

  2. Dave says:

    Thanks for that Rio. Would have so much better with kids like you maybe. Oooh them grapes are a little sour.

  3. Anonymous says:

    a 33 year old defender who was upset about his dismissal from the squad claiming that the team was too old and too defensive..

    Yeah not sure his inclusion would have made any kind of difference at all. The hypocrisy of it all really.

  4. Jamie says:

    A 33 Year old who whined about being left out says we should have played young players. Wut?

  5. Patrick says:

    Funnily enough, old and defensive is how most people would chose to describe Rio

  6. jez says:

    henderson was the wrong choice, jones should have been played to do exactly what rio points out, he did it countless times at united this season delivering final balls to rooney and welbeck. This could have been pivotal.

  7. Risser says:

    Did Rio say anything about his team mate Rooney being complete gash whenever he puts and England top on?

  8. Vans says:

    How was it a flop?? Expectations were not particularly high, getting out the group was a good effort, no shame in lsing to an impressive Italy team. Real story should be “Rio wants spotlight again.”

  9. Dre says:

    Let’s have more of this, I think it’s refreshing to hear a footballer speaking his mind when he actually has something to say – instead of the usual petty BS. More so I think he is right, England looked afraid og playing and taking the game to Italy. Look at the players and the teams they come from, shouldn’t we expect more?? Like controlling the game, or at least for part of the game putting some pressure on Italy!! I say “keep speaking your mind Rio”

  10. Phiwe says:

    Judging by the pre-tournament build-up, labeling England’s campaign as a flop seems harsh when there were low expectations in the first place. Rio criticized Roy for not picking him before saying that old players like Gerrard and Terry were selected. Now he’s saying the squad was too old. Don’t bother listening to him.

  11. Toz says:

    Sour grapes I reckon.

  12. chimpo says:


  13. Anonymous says:

    “England were too old and too defensive” – An old English Defender -_____-

  14. agsjb says:


    Let me get this straight as I’m a bit simple, this is Rio Ferdinand comparing the lack of success in 2012, when no-one actually expected us to do anything, with all of the international trophies we amassed from every international tournament won on his watch since he first made the England squad in 1998. And the nub of his criticism seems to be based around the squad being too old and defensive, which his inclusion for 2012 which he was bitching about a few weeks ago, would have simply sorted out in one fell swoop.

    Just checking.

  15. Qq says:

    henderson was useless, with milner and ashley young

  16. drags says:

    Funny how in the previous round when rooney scored the goal, uk fans all suddenly call him a “brave hero”. and now hes a flop because he got absolutely no service from the most boring “winger” ever james milner and mr. headless chicken scott parker. Put messi/ronaldo with scunthorpe united and well see if he can still score 40 goals. Wake up football “fans” and crit the team selection and not 1 man. liverpool arent even top 4 or champs league yet half the england team is made up of em. FAIL.

  17. sahil says:

    Blame it all on liverpool?dont forget gerrard and glen johnson were 2 of the best at euro for england and the great ashley young was poor to say the least but i do agree that rooney is not to blame,the guy was isolated nd had too much burden on his shoulders

  18. gilbert says:

    “liverpool arent even top 4 or champs league yet half the england team is made up of em. FAIL.”
    It ain’t Liverpools fault that we actually have some english players, son.

Leave a Reply to Phiwe