Seen as ‘Anti Arsenal’ for what some see as unfair remarks about Arsene Wenger’s side, he is seen as somewhat of a joke around Old Trafford too as his comment “you’ll never win anything with kids,” speaking about the likes of Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Gary Neville in 1995 is fondly remembered and ridiculed.
Yet despite his faux pas Hansen is capable of speaking sense, a fact that is sometimes lost and yesterday was a prime example as he stated Ferdinand should put his club before his country.
Rio Ferdinand’s return to fitness has been much celebrated by United fans, none more so than us here at The Busby Way. Having played just 44 club games of 105 since December 2008, it is fair to say that injury has ravaged the latter part of what has been a shining career. Last season he played just 21 games for United due to injury and then missed the World Cup and the start of this season due to injury.
In 2008 when John Terry was made England captain ahead of him I was outraged, Rio had just captained United to one of their best seasons of modern times doing the league and Champions League double beating Terry’s Chelsea in the final of the Champions League but in 2010 when the armband was handed to Rio following Terry’s off field antics I was a tad concerned.
So why had I gone from wanting to see him as captain to preferring him not to be?
Paul Scholes has been rolling back the years this season pulling the strings for United in the midfield whilst the ever green Ryan Giggs has been terrorising teams like he was 17 again for the past few seasons and even won the PFA award the season before last. The two have been able to give so much to United because of they both focused on their club careers. Giggs famously missed numerous friendly games for Wales before retiring in 2007 whilst Paul Scholes called an end to his England career in 2004. The reduction in the number of games each played has allowed for a longevity in their careers and is something that Rio would do well to consider.
Being made captain means it is unlikely as Ferdinand is very patriotic and is unlikely to drop out whilst still England captain, an honour that was returned to him upon his return to the England set up yesterday. In returning and being made captain straight away, it shows how highly he is rated by Capello and also that his work load is about to increase to how it was prior to these nagging injuries as his international career looks back on track.
Rio has responded to Hansen’s comments by saying:
“To stop doing that for me, personally, would be taking a big chunk out of my footballing life. I love playing for Man United and I’m thankful for that every morning when I wake up, but I do for England, too. Unless I’m physically incapable of doing it, it’s something I would not consider.”
But with the number of injuries Rio has had, the frequency and the type he has had leads me to believe they can and probably will crop up again soon so perhaps it would be in his best interest to consider. Of course it sounds like a selfish request coming from a United fan so I am happy Alan Hansen has come out stating it too.
It’s just a case of whether he takes heed of past examples in Giggs and Scholes, listens to Hansen and most importantly listens to his body, rather than waiting for a doctor to tell him.
Fancy a pint?