Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughRio is wrong....but right at the same time - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Rio is wrong....but right at the same time - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Rio is wrong….but right at the same time

Rio Ferdinand has, once again, voiced his concerns about England following their exit at Euro 2012. The national side failed to navigate their way past the quarter finals after a penalty shoot-out loss to Italy, made famous by the excellent Andrea Pirlo’s Paneka spot-kick. Understandably, the country was disappointed and dejected following the familiar exit and compounded them to their seventh penalties loss in eight attempts.

The outcry for an injection of youth has been loud following the exit, with the 2014 World Cup, should England reach the tournament, a testing ground for the national side prior to the 2016 European Championship in France. The St. George’s National Football Centre shows the FA are ready to invest heavily in the youth of the nation, with the likes of Germany, Spain and Italy light-years ahead of England in that department.

Ferdinand, on Wednesday, insisted that the younger players, such as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Phil Jones, should have been given a substantial period of playing time in order to reap the rewards of international football. However, whilst I agree with the Manchester United defender regarding youth, the fact that England went out of the tournament so early on wasn’t down to this.

England’s problem was their inability to retain ball possession. The national side have enjoyed the larger share of possession in just one of Roy Hodgson’s six games in charge, with fans and pundits crying out for a player in the mould of Andrea Pirlo or Xavi to have been included. The closest England have to those two are Michael Carrick and Paul Scholes, the former not included in the initial 23-man squad and refused to be on the standby list with the latter retired from international football.

Ferdinand is right that changes need to be made to improve the national set-up. But, to suggest they failed because they didn’t utilise the likes of ‘The Ox’ and Jones is the wrong way to go about it.