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06th Sep 2023

Rio Ferdinand says players should retire in protest of Gareth Southgate’s team selection

Lee Costello

Rio Ferdinand

“Don’t pick me no more. There’s no point. It’s disrespectful what you’re doing”.

Rio Ferdinand has ripped into Gareth Southgate for his England squad selection and believes that certain players should retire in protest.

Southgate has announced his squad to play in the two Euro 2024 qualifiers this wee, but has made some very controversial decisions.

Both Harry Maguire and Kalvin Phillips have made the panel, despite playing little to no football this season or last year, meaning that their selection can’t be based on form.

The omission of in-form players like James Ward-Prose and Raheem Sterling has also angered the former Man United captain, who can’t understand the management’s thinking behind these decisions.

“I’ve never known a manager to pick players that are consistently not playing,” former United and England defender Ferdinand fumed on the FIVE podcast.

“I get it if a player hasn’t played for five, six or 10 games maybe. But Phillips and Maguire don’t kick a ball. They don’t play, they do warm-ups and they’re getting in England squads. It amazes me.

“Southgate comes out and says we haven’t got defenders. Go and use a young one man! Go and use someone young or inexperienced who you’re thinking about. You know what Maguire does.

“It’s a reward for performances playing for England. It’s the best players that are currently playing in their teams. Maguire don’t kick a ball. He comes on for cameos here and there.

“Kalvin with respect isn’t anywhere near the Man City team. He won a treble last year and well done to him but he ain’t kicked a ball. These men ain’t playing football and they’re still getting in a team based off of work that they done two, three years ago.”

Ferdinand has even suggested that the players who have been unfairly overlooked should retire from international duty to get their point across.

“They’ll be other young midfielders or [someone like] James Ward-Prowse that are thinking, ‘Wow, what’s happening here? How come I’m not getting a looking?’ It’s a kick in the teeth.”

“If I was Sterling, I’d be very disappointed bearing in mind what he’s done for this England team when he’s been in or around it,” Ferdinand added.

“If you’re going by the yard stick that Gareth’s using with the likes of Maguire and Phillips, why is it all right for them guys to get in and not him? Sterling’s probably been the main bright spark at Chelsea. It’s just nuts.

“I’d retire. If I’m someone like Ward-Prowse I’d just retire. Say, “listen, don’t pick me no more. There’s no point. It’s disrespectful what you’re doing”.

“It is to people like him, especially Ward-Prowse who’s been putting up numbers for his team on a regular basis. What more does a man got to do to get a sniff?”

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