Sunday, October 11, 2009

Rio Ferdinand: From defensive rock to Mr Bean - the sorry slide continues ....

No doubting Rio Ferdinand would have preferred it if the BBC had not belatedly gained access to highlights of England's World Cup qualifying defeat against Ukraine last night in Dnipropetrovsk. Not for the first time this season the England centre-back was found wanting and according to the 'expert pundits' by rights should have been sent-off for a foul on Artem Milevskiy just 13 minutes into the game. In the end, it was Robert Green who received his marching orders for bringing down the Ukraine forward.

Luckily for England, Shevchenko's resulting spot-kick hit the post, but the focus of attention has rightly been on Ferdinand's failure to deal with a regulation interception and clearance in the build up to Milevskiy's run on goal. In the end, it didn't really matter because England still lost the game following another defensive mistake, this time by Ashley Cole, but Fabio Capello's team were down to 10 men for most of the game and for that Ferdinand must take the blame.

Uncharacteristic defensive lapses have started creeping into Ferdinand's game - he was shocking for United in the Champions League final, and was equally poor for England against Holland. However, nothing compares to his error late on in the recent Manchester derby that led to Craig Bellamy scoring, in so doing equalising to make it 3-3, luckily for the England defender Michael Owen saved Ferdinand with an injury time winner on that occasion.

To be fair to Ferdinand he's been suffering with injuries, but that cannot explain what are lapses of concentration and basic errors of judgement that have absolutely nothing to do with injuries - anyone who'd beg to differ would be deluding themselves.

There has been talk that Ferdinand fancies a move to Barcelona, if he carries on making silly mistakes Fergie might well drive him to the airport providing he is clutching a £20m Barca cheque in exchange.

3 comments:

  1. Rio Ferdinand is a great defender but his decision making at times, though I don't like to say it, is awful. His understanding with goalkeepers is not good, I can remember quite a few times with Van der Sar where one led to an own goal.

    But he is still probably one of the five best defenders in Europe. Injuries could have played a part in performances of late, but hopefully he doesn't leave the club. Though I don't believe such reports, £20m is far too low a price in the modern game, especially for his standards.

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  2. Ziaul,

    I think Rio is getting very close to his sell by date and bearing in mind his age £20m would be a good price.

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  3. It'd be really good if we could ship him off and use the money to buy a nice young centre back, like Chiellini.

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