England manager Roy Hodgson will probably choose his words more carefully the next time he discusses the national team while riding the subway. After he mentioned to fellow riders
he wasn't picking Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, who hadn't yet been informed of the decision, word spread so quickly he had to apologize for letting the news slip.
"I am very disappointed that I was traveling on a tube train and apparently suggested that Rio's career is over," Hodgson told reporters. "I have not got anybody to blame but myself. All I can say is that I have no intention of closing the door on Rio Ferdinand. He certainly deserves an apology from me. I am disappointed he had to find out that he had been excluded from the squad in that way. I respect the man and I respect the player."
The international retirement of John Terry, who resigned from the national team days before the English FA imposed a four-match suspension for his alleged racial abuse of Anton Ferdinand, Rio's brother, during a league match last year has prompted Hodgson to select some young players. However, two of his prime prospects -- the Manchester United duo of Chris Smalling, 22, and Phil Jones, 20 -- are injured and thus unavailable.
Of Terry's decision and a possible reversal, the manager said "I regret his decision of course. He did a great job playing under me. He has made his decision and it is a decision that is irrevocable as far as he is concerned and all I can do now is wish him well in his Chelsea career. It has got to be a closed chapter as far as I am concerned."