England boss Roy ‘Psycho’ Hodgson has attributed his selection of John Terry and omission of Rio Ferdinand for his Euro 2012 squad to “footballing reasons”.
The reasons, footballing, were speculated to have much to do with the Chelsea captain’s decision to label Ferdinand’s brother, Queens Park Rangers defender Anton, a “slack runt” when Andre Villas-Boas’s men took on Neil Warnock’s side at Loftus Road what feels like millennia ago.
However, Hodgson has moved to quell these suggestions, pouring scorn on them in a manner that he hopes will quash them in no uncertain terms, like so many refuted allegations and derisory, laughed-off transfer offers.
He said: “I can categorically deny that my decision to take John and not the Manchester United player had anything to do with that unsavoury affair.
“John’s led his team to two cup finals this season – well, sort of – and obviously we hope he can round off a hat-trick in Poland and Ukraine, which as we know are both teeming with racists who’ll probably beat you to a bloody pulp if they so much as see you within fifty feet of someone who isn’t a burly, white skinhead.
“Yes, I saw that programme on Sky, and it’s my considered opinion, born of many years’ experience of management all over the world, that John’s presence over there might appease the locals to such an extent that they won’t hurl rocks at us or try to set fire to our tracksuits.
“If this gives us the extra 10% we need, then I’ll sleep well tonight knowing I’ve done right by all the free-thinking people who are terrified of having their nose punched through the other side of their head by some bellowing grock.
“You know, footballing reasons.”
Hodgson went on to attribute his decision to describe Ferdinand as “the Manchester United player” to “SEO reaons”.