Rio 'gutted' after England snub

Rio Ferdinand appears to have brought down the curtain on his England career.


The 33-year-old was left out of Roy Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad on Wednesday, a decision which the new manager insisted was made purely for footballing reasons.

Given his age, long-standing back problems and the emergence of players such as Manchester United team-mates Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, who missed out on selection due to injury, there seems to be no way back for Ferdinand.

It is a realisation the defender seemed to admit on Twitter on Wednesday night, as he spoke of his international career in the past tense.

"Absolutely loved playing for England," he said. "To say I am gutted is an understatement of the highest order."

Meanwhile, Hodgson is preparing to sling Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain "in at the deep end" to see if he can cut it at Euro 2012.

The 18-year-old was named in Hodgson's 23-man squad on Wednesday, despite only starting six Premier League games for Arsenal.

It triggers memories of Theo Walcott being handed a spot at the 2006 World Cup by Sven-Goran Eriksson despite not playing a single game for the Gunners. As it turned out, Walcott never made it onto the pitch in Germany.

Hodgson is optimistic his experiment with Oxlade-Chamberlain will have a better outcome.

"It won't be easy for him to break into the team but the only way I'll find out is to sling him in at the deep end," he said.

"Even if he doesn't swim now, he'll learn to swim in the future. I wouldn't have chosen him if I didn't think he was ready to start games."

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