TNT Sports pundit Rio Ferdinand says both West Ham midfielder James Ward-Prowse and Chelsea winger Raheem Sterling should consider retiring from international football.
The pair were overlooked by manager Gareth Southgate for the latest England squad despite impressing for their clubs at the start of this season and Ferdinand claims they need to be questioning their international futures:
“Sterling’s probably been the main bright spark at Chelsea. It’s just nuts. I’d retire. If I’m someone like Ward-Prowse I’d just retire. Say, ‘listen, don’t pick me no more. There’s no point. It’s disrespectful what you’re doing’. It is to people like him, especially Ward-Prowse who’s been putting up numbers for his team on a regular basis. What more does a man got to do to get a sniff?”
Ferdinand is right to say that Ward-Prowse should feel hard done by after being snubbed by England. Both he and teammate Jarrod Bowen have put in some great performances at the start of this campaign but neither were called up.
Southgate is not picking players based on form
Ward-Prowse’s omission will be especially hard to take considering some of the players that Southgate has selected in his squad ahead of him.
Both Manchester United’s Harry Maguire and Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips have been included, despite not playing regularly at club level. Jordan Henderson was also picked despite moving to Saudi Arabia.
West Ham players just need to keep their heads down and do their talking on the pitch
Rather than throw a strop and retire as Ferdinand suggests, though, both Ward-Prowse and Bowen should just try and maintain their current performance levels.
The pair have both been called up by England in the past so, if they concentrate on doing their best, they will make it as difficult as possible for Southgate to ignore them.