Euro 2012: Rio Ferdinand's Tweet Brings Roy Hodgson's Selections into Question

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Euro 2012: Rio Ferdinand's Tweet Brings Roy Hodgson's Selections into Question
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Rio Ferdinand's Twitter account has Roy Hodgson reaching for the painkillers once again.

A simple two-word tweet has again cast a shadow over England's already tentative preparations.

Ferdinand was omitted from the England squad for Euro 2012, apparently for footballing reasons, but the truth behind the omission may run deeper.

Dries Merten's cynical and under-handed shove on Gary Cahill last Saturday resulted in a double fracture of the Chelsea centre-half's jaw, thus sidelining him.

Not only is it a depletion of England's squad from a numerical viewpoint, but most importantly, the Cahill/Terry combination was blossoming on both international and domestic fronts.

The need for a replacement was confirmed on Saturday evening, following England's 1-0 friendly win over Belgium at Wembley.

Following the confirmation, the immediate focus then moved towards Cahill's replacement.

While Hodgson has suggested that Ferdinand hasn't played frequently for his country, the same can be said of current England captain Steven Gerrard.

The Liverpool skipper has only featured for England in four games since 17th November 2010.

This would certainly discard the notion that playing time is a prerequisite for selection.

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The strange inclusion of Martin Kelly ahead of Ferdinand, bringing to six the total of Liverpool players included, also adds weight to Ferdinand's comments.

Kelly will act as backup for his Liverpool colleague Glen Johnson at right-back, but his limited experience at centre-half does not make him a viable option in that position.

Given this, it would appear that Micah Richards would make for a more suitable selection.

While the frequency of the playing schedule in Poland and Ukraine may be too much for an injury-prone Ferdinand, his experience would certainly counter this.

The more the issue is dissected, the clearer it becomes that the tensions arising from the alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand are influencing Hodgson's decisions.

The big question is whether the former Switzerland boss was correct in using footballing reasons as a justification.

Should he have admitted that the tensions of the pending Terry court case played a part in his reasoning?

Manchester City's Joleon Lescott is now the front-runner to partner John Terry, with Phil Jones capable of deputising should the need arise.

As England's squad become progressively hindered, the problems continue to pile up for Hodgson.

The manner in which England have been forced to prepare is as far from perfect as the former West Brom manager could have imagined.

It may prove to be a blessing in disguise, however, as there are clearly no expectations that England will be successful in the tournament.

They are lacking several first-team players and it's not possible to expect a manager who took charge in the middle of May to lead a team to victory.

As with all England appearances at international tournaments, this will not be the last of the column inches dedicated to issues off the pitch.

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