England headlines have been dominated this week by John Terry’s retirement from international football and subsequent – or was it the other way round? – ban and fine from the Football Association for the use of racist language during an altercation with Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand almost a year ago. But there’s other stuff going on too, and here is some of the remainder.
Michel Platini’s horrific plans to spread UEFA Euro 2020 around the continent sadly appear to still be on the table, and as a result he should probably be confined to a room with rubber walls for the rest of eternity. Nevertheless, the FA are keen to take the opportunity to bring in a bit of revenue by hosting part of the business end.
Director of Elite Development is a job of massive importance for England’s required regeneration, and West Bromwich Albion’s Dan Ashworth was recently appointed as Gareth Southgate’s replacement in the role. But the FA will have to wait for him to be replaced at the Hawthorns, so it’s a good thing that Trevor Brooking – Ashworth’s new boss – is so keen on him.
Of course, Terry’s story cannot be ignored. I’ve largely left it alone as he is now ex-England, but the retrospectives of his career in the famous white shirt will continue for a while. You’ll struggle to find better than the one by Andi Thomas for ESPNFC, because that’s the standard of Andi’s work. Check it out, you’ll like him.
With Terry out of the way, the next obvious discussion point is whether Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United should be brought back into the fold. Notwithstanding the fact that this might prove a difficult choice for the player himself, I really don’t think this would be a good move in the long-term. We have players that need experience, and – believe it or not – the next World Cup isn’t the Most Important Tournament In History. Peter Shilton agrees, more or less.
I’ve had my say on Daniel Sturridge before, and have stated that I like him a lot but there are some serious tweaks to be made to his game. Luke Moore likes him too, and in his latest Life’s A Pitch column argues that Sturridge, when fit, should be getting more playing time from Chelsea boss Roberto di Matteo.
And yet more Chelsea news, this time involving Ashley Cole, who has reportedly turned down a year-long Chelsea contract. Cole rejecting contracts will always revive some amusing memories of offers past, but one can’t help but feel that Chelsea are shooting themselves in the foot here. Over-30s policies aside, Cole is surely worth more commitment purely based on his continuing quality?