I don't think it's outlandish to say that if Sir Alex Ferguson had his way, Rio Ferdinand would no longer be involved with England. Yesterday, during the Manchester United's manager weekly press conference, he expressed concern over the 34-year-old's fitness and he further elaborated how detailed the preparation has been by the club to keep the player mostly healthy in the past year-and-a-half. Nonetheless, after today's 1-0 defeat of Reading, the gaffer confirmed that Ferdinand would be joining up with England for the first time since June 2011. He also indicated that Ashley Young, who seemed to have picked up a slight knock against the Royals and also has been called into the England squad, is fine:
"Rio will be joining up and Ashley should be okay."
- Ferguson | Source: MUTV
With John Terry's retirement from international duty, the injury to Phil Jagielka, and the lack of regular games for Joleon Lescott and Chris Smalling, it would have been ludicrous for England manager Roy Hodgson to not include Ferdinand -- likely the best English central-defender at the moment -- in the squad for upcoming World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.
Other United players called into the England squad, besides Ferdinand and Young, for these qualifiers include Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley, and Smalling.