Rio Ferdinand‘s inclusion on The FA‘s commission to change English football for the better may at first seem a strange one, but is likely to be one of the most important and decisive of selections.
I initially thought this panel of people brought together in an attempt to change the game in England was fairly uninspiring and lacked anyone with strong views or the desire to make their mark. Although I still feel it isn’t anything to have too much faith in, Ferdinand’s inclusion will surely benefit things.
The Manchester United defender may still be playing, but at 34, he is in a perfect position to voice his opinions as a player. He has experienced the lows of football on a very personal level with his drugs ban, but he has seen the highs and qualities that make players great — whilst being able to observe the finest players in the world. He’s experienced a lot and has ambitions to get involved in coaching.
But as he is close to his retirement as a player now, he can clearly reflect on a lot of the modern and younger aspects of football today, and those views will be key in just how well this FA commission does. Ferdinand has many times tweeted his views on the state of the English game, which may not seem like much, but it is evidence that he is not afraid to step forward and more importantly, he actually has ideas.
I think he is a braver voice who is less likely to conform with old school rules and expectations of The FA that will inevitably arise. A lot of anti Manchester United football fans will almost certainly criticize his inclusion but I can only see it as a good thing.
One problem being suggested is that there was a slight hint of conflict between Ferdinand and England manager Roy Hodgson following the squad for Euro 2012 that didn’t include the defender. But you would expect them to easily put that in the past with such an important matter at hand and no time to waste.