Manchester United’s ‘hurt’ Rio Ferdinand loses to Chelsea’s honest broker John Terry
MANCHESTER United’s Rio Ferdinand is a terrific player whose decision not to play for England was an elegant revenge for once being overlooked in favour of Chelsea’s John Terry. Ferdinand only got the call because the obnoxious Terry has retired from international football. Ferdinand could have used the moment of his selection to tell everyone at the FA what he thought of them in words of one syllable. But he chose not to rake over old ground and mention the row between his brother Anton Ferdinand and Terry. He just said he’d like to play for England, got picked, then explained that his treatment schedule wouldn’t allow him to play, before heading to Qatar for a spot of media work. Mindful of Ferdinand’s grace under fire, we wondered what it would be like when United played Chelsea in the FA Cup.
Terry never got on the pitch, acting as an unused substitute. The monocular Chelsea fans, predictably, jeered Ferdinand’s every touch. Just as they did when the teams’ last played at Stamford Bridge.
But in the Daily Mail, those Chelsea fans are given a higher calling. They’re not backing their man Terry. They’re patriots. Neil Ashton saw something everyone else might well have missed:
Pull out of an England squad with a flaky excuse and the stigma will follow you for the rest of your playing career. Rio Ferdinand is the man who will be remembered for turning his back on his country to take up a one-off role as a television analyst for Al Jazeera. Bad call. It’s just ‘banter’, according to his official Twitter feed, but the snarling faces when he looks into the stands must hurt.
Why must it have hurt? Ferdinand and his brother have dealt with worse. Chelsea fans have sung the delightful song:
“Anton Ferdinand, you know what you are”.
The song seems to be an implication that Ferdinand knows he’s a “f**king black c**t”, as John Terry was alleged to have called him.
“Rio Ferdinand, **** off to Qatar’ — with the emphasis on ‘****’ — was sung repeatedly at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea closed in on yet another FA Cup semi-final appearance. It didn’t quite have the chill or the menace of the Chelsea headhunters, but they don’t like you much around here, Rio.
Because he stuck up for his brother?
The Manchester United defender is a marked man, singled out for special treatment at Stamford Bridge after his ill-advised overseas trip.
Yeah, That’d be the reason, Neil.
To put the tin lid on Ashton’s blinkered article, he looks past “hurt” Rio to tell us about stoic JT:
Terry…can take it, thriving in the hatred from high up in the stands when he was sent to warm up midway through the first half… One day, when he is long retired, Terry is the type of character who will be happy to share a pint and stop for a natter with the fans. He has taken a ton of abuse throughout his career and yesterday, as he went through a complicated warm-up routine in front of United’s fans, was no different.
Rio was hurt? Some one would say he ignored the chants and played the game. But JT was noble:
Terry, who was fined by the FA for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand but cleared in court of being a racist, was right there in front of them. Each time he sprinted to the corner flag there was a deliberate pause, a momentary look into the faces of the fans dishing it out from The Shed.
Because if there is one thing about JT that it undeniable is is that he has nothing to hide. Unless he’s used his riches to secure a super-injunction ‘love gag’ that bans anyone from reporting on his alleged affair with a team-mate’s girlfriend.