Harty on selecting Terry or Ferdinand, and on Joey Barton

LONG before the Wednesday 1pm announcement, Roy Hodgson’s first England squad turned out to be the week’s worst-kept secret.

Football is a game of opinions, so whichever squad Hodgson picked, there will always be debate.

At the time of going to press, speculation mounts over whether Bobby Zamora or Andy Carroll will make the final cut, both players have their doubters and clearly have a point to prove.

I certainly have no allegiance to Manchester United or any of their players but I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that Rio Ferdinand has been hard done by with his omission from the squad.

I found out a long time ago that some aspects of British justice are not about whether you are guilty or not, it’s about how much power and influence you have.

If John Terry had allegedly done what he did in a pub car park, rather than on a football pitch, it would have come to court months ago. Instead, the case has been put back until after the Euros, creating this alleged Terry or Ferdinand choice for Hodgson.

I hope I’m proved wrong, but, in my opinion, John Terry is everything an England player shouldn’t be and a bad example for every child who ever wished to kick a ball.

Who’s to say he won’t repeat his Champions League semi-final performance at a vital part of the tournament?

On the other hand, not a bad CV, fitness proved, 81 caps, vast experience, a role model both on and off the field, popular in the dressing room, Rio Ferdinand – enjoy your summer off . . .

One of Neil Warnock’s more questionable decisions when he was QPR manager was to agree to pay Joey Barton £80,000 a week.

That “astounding” deal still has two years to go, i.e, £4,160,000 payable to the player, but Barton, as well as being a footballer, is an employee.

Tell me any other occupation where an employee can behave in the manner he did on Sunday afternoon at the Etihad and not be instantly dismissed for gross misconduct.

A plus in this whole sorry affair is the fact that QPR chairman Tony Fernandes is not only a stand-up guy but an astute businessman.

Perhaps this could be almost a test case as no one would blame Rangers for sacking Barton now, ripping up his lucrative contract and then letting him fight his case in the courts. And, if he does, let’s hope he leaves the elbow and head-butts for outside the courtroom!

Last Wednesday I had the pleasure of watching the under-16 (Year 11) Schools Cup final at Woodside Road.

In a cracking game, St Andrew’s beat Worthing High School 3-2, as both sets of lads finished off their school football careers with a cup final finale.

But, at the final whistle, I was somewhat disappointed to see that merely a trophy was handed out to the winners, with no medals for either side.

It would have been a fitting finish for both sides to have received some kind of memento for their final game as schoolboys.

If the organisation that arranges this competition would like someone to sponsor some medals for next year’s trophy, I’m up for it, because this landmark match certainly needs some kind of recognition.