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Ferdinand injury paves the way for true heroes to show their colours

June 5, 2010

Gazza crying at Italia ’90, Beckham’s red card at France ’98, and Rooney stamping on Carvalho’s prized possessions at Germany ’06. It’s moments like these which epitomise the World Cup for England, and are the catalyst for some very painful memories amongst the masses. Rio Ferdinand’s injured knee doesn’t fall into the same category as Gazza’s crying shame, or Beckham and Rooney’s petulant acts of violent conduct, but I get the feeling it’s going to cast a rather dark cloud over England’s 2010 campaign in South Africa and fuel the pessimism amongst many England supporters. Not for me, however. In fact, it has the opposite effect.

Rio is recognised as a senior player in the England squad, and one that Capello would rely upon to lead the side with pride, strength and more importantly an example to follow for the other, less senior players in the 23, both on and off the pitch. That isn’t available anymore, and people will be questioning where that will come from. Well, I can see plenty of players bursting at the seams with determination and inspiration, two qualities that are essential for a successful World Cup campaign.

Now that the captaincy has been handed over to the correct man, Steven Gerrard, we not only have a person capable of invigorating a group of overpaid showmen to perform like they’ve never performed before in an England shirt, we have a footballer who knows what being a captain means. Since he took over the Liverpool armband from Sami Hyypia back in 2003, Gerrard has led the Reds as if he was Regimental Sergeant Major of the British Army. His desire to win and determination to be the man to bring success home makes him the perfect choice to lead England into their 11th World Cup since the 1966 triumph on home soil.

As for Wayne Rooney, he’s a bulldog and a true fighter. He will never give up, no matter what the situation and no matter how poorly the team are performing as a unit and as a group of individuals. He showed signs of that in the turgid friendly victory over Japan, with crunching tackles and a dogged work-rate which delivered him the man-of-the-match award. His goals will be crucial for the team, and his attitude on both sides of the touchline will be priceless. He’s Capello’s prize asset, and one that should be wrapped in cotton wool until the big kick-off in Rustenburg on 12th June.

Rooney has shown on numerous occasions for Manchester United his will and hunger to play football and achieve at the highest level,  and he matches and even lies superior to Gerrard in that respect.

Finally, Joe Cole becomes the 3rd member of a trio that will be so important to England’s World Cup hopes this Summer. He’s been out of action for 90% of the season but has returned, and returned to form at just the right time for Capello and England. He’s a fantastic trickster on the ball, has the ability to beat any defender in the world, has scored more than his fair share of important goals for both Chelsea and the national team, and remains a fans’ favourite. He’s another one, like Rooney and Gerrard, who will give his left leg to win the World Cup and whether it’s Brazil or Honduras standing in their way, 110% is what will be given. Forget Ferdinand, who I don’t think knows the true meaning of being a leader and being an inspiration, and forget Terry who’s shown exactly what kind of man he is in the past 6 or 7 months. The country’s hopes of winning the World Cup rest on the shoulders of Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, and Joe Cole.

Don’t get me wrong, the other 20 players in the squad will play a big role if we were to lift the trophy for the first time in 44 years. It takes a team, a unit, an entity to win such a massive tournament. What I’m saying is, just as Messi, Tevez and Aguero will be a fundamental part of Argentina’s formula, Gerrard, Rooney, and Joe Cole will be the same for England.

So, with Ferdinand out of the World Cup and bemoaning his luck, or lack of, with injuries this season, it brings about the opportunity for someone else to step up and be a hero for their country. A chance to embed their name in the hearts of every single person supporting England forever. Ferdinand’s replacement will be Michael Dawson, arguably Tottenham’s main man in their successful quest for 4th spot in the Premier League. He arrives in Africa with confidence at an all-time high, and the overriding emotion of jubilation evident on his pale, blonde-haired exterior. Whilst it’s probable that Dawson won’t start a single game in SA, Ledley King’s fitness is still under question, and this may leave him in the frame for a call-up alongside Jamie Carragher, who will also act as Glen Johnson’s understudy.

If King is fit enough to participate in the best part of the tournament, there’s no doubt in my mind that he would be the perfect man to do the job alongside Terry at the heart of England’s defence. Carragher would be next in line for me, with Dawson behind him, and Matthew Upson even further down the pecking order. Upson, for me, just doesn’t have it at International level, and I don’t even think he’s done a particularly solid job for West Ham this year. Whilst it’s unfair and irrational to blame one man for a club’s downfall, Upson does make up a very important part of the West Ham side, and some of the blame for their disappointing form this year has to be dealt out to him. However, as Owen Hargreaves showed in Germany 4 years ago, previous form and reputation go out of the window in such a high-pressured environment, and a World Cup may just be the making of Matthew Upson, provided he gets a chance in the limelight.

So, no Ferdinand could be a blessing in disguise in my mind, and as a Liverpool fan and a Gerrard fanatic, the prospect of him leading out England in the World Cup is something I’m very much looking forward to.

Check out my blog for all my articles: http://article2010.blogspot.com/

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. Anon Y Mouse permalink
    June 5, 2010 12:15 pm

    this would be the gerrard that inspired liverpool to 7th last season then with magnificent displays the length and breadth of the country dragging the liverpool team to countless wins through his great motivational skills. What an insightful article.

  2. George permalink
    June 5, 2010 12:21 pm

    No, this would be the Gerrard that inspired the biggest comeback in Champions League Final history, the Gerrard that scored a last minute screamer against Olympiakos at Anfield to keep Liverpool in the Champions League, the Gerrard that single-handidly won Liverpool the FA Cup in 2006 against West Ham, and the Gerrard that every single kid in Liverpool wants to be.

    Yes, Liverpool finished 7th last season, but look at the quality of players around him. Lucas, N’Gog, Insua, Riera. He’s not superman, but he’s a wonderful, wonderful player and an inspiration.

    • Anon Y Mouse permalink
      June 5, 2010 3:52 pm

      This isn’t the same Gerrard though is it, as demonstrated by last season woeful showing, even when paired with Torres he looked uninterested and woefully short of motivation and ideas. He was just as bad if not worse than most of the players you mentioned for the majority of the season which he seemed to spend sulking about Alonso not being there, hardly an inspiring captain.

      • maserati4200 permalink
        June 5, 2010 4:02 pm

        I would agree that Gerrard hasn’t had a poor season and he looked at times like a a dog licking piss from a stinging nettle.

        The flip side is that Benetiz was hardly an inspiration or a motivator of men. Capello and the current England set up is a different kettle of the proverbial fish.

        We’ll see. If 23 of the countries best available players can’t give their all, then we don’t deserve to be counted as one of the leading international footballing countries.

        This tournament could define the future of English football. A win would inspire a new generation of kids to play the game. A dismal failure will be a disaster for all concerned.

  3. larry permalink
    June 5, 2010 12:44 pm

    I read the first paragraph of your article, what an unbelievable prick you are!

    • maserati4200 permalink
      June 5, 2010 1:48 pm

      Larry, you have just demonstrated that you are the prick. Well done.

      If you can’t behave in a civilised manner, just fuck off somewhere else with the rest of the pond-life. You’ll probably feel much more at home there.

  4. George permalink
    June 5, 2010 1:39 pm

    I’d appreciate if you were to leave constructive, opinionated comments rather than abusive ones. If you have nothing insightful or interesting to say, please don’t bother leaving any comments on this website.

    Writers on WDKF are entitled to their opinions and we try to provide the opportunity for people to discuss and argue (in a constructive, polite way) their points of view. So once again, abusive comments aren’t welcome here.

  5. maserati4200 permalink
    June 5, 2010 2:04 pm

    It’s pretty clear that Ferdinand wasn’t physically or match fit coming into this tournament and no matter how sad it is that he has had to drop out, it’s better that it’s happened now rather than after the deadline for replacements.

    Gerrard will have to step up to the plate as skipper and the other leaders in the squad will have to do their duty also. I can see Rio’s injury as being the motivation for the rest to pull together and deliver the goods.

  6. maserati4200 permalink
    June 5, 2010 4:04 pm

    Soz…

    Should read; “I would agree that Gerrard has had a poor season…”

  7. June 8, 2010 2:37 pm

    Rio seems to be a diminished player these days, for both club and country, and it may seem his career can end sooner than expected. Now that he’s not part of the team for the world cup, the defence might look weak for the time being, but knowing capello am sure the team will be back to its form (its the keepers however which cast a doubt in my mind!!), and also terry may also like it to get back to patronizing the back 4 ;)
    Gerrard taking the captaincy would be good as well, although as pointed out by many he did not have a good season with Liverpool, but for such an important event he’ll take the responsibilities as needed hopefully.

    Also may be time for SAF to look for a new center back for ManUtd as well, as with Rio getting injured so often may penalize the team at one point or another…

    • maserati4200 permalink
      June 8, 2010 5:05 pm

      I agree.

      Rio has been a fine player for many years. However, he is on the wane.

      Man Utd have some serious issues to deal with, apart from the debt (which is huge).

      The player issues are clear – Giggs, Scholes, Nev, Rio, Berba, Hargreaves, VDS are all either past their sell-buy date, struggling with injuries or not performing.

      Plus, if a club comes in with crazy money for Rooney, then Man Utd have a problem or two. Add SAF’s retirement into the mix and…

      I can see trouble ahead. Discuss.

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