Ferdinand criticises Carrick’s England omission

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Concerned: Ferdinand believes England have made a mistake by not selecting Michael Carrick.

Rio Ferdinand has warned England may have left themselves exposed in midfield at the World Cup by omitting Michael Carrick from their core squad for Brazil.

The former England captain, who announced his abrupt departure from Manchester United this week, also queried the decision to drop Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole.

England coach Roy Hodgson this week listed Carrick among his seven stand-by players.

His decision to omit Cole, in favour of Everton's Leighton Baines and Southampton's Luke Shaw, grabbed most attention.

But Ferdinand, speaking during a promotional trip for Singapore telco Singtel, pointed out there is little cover in the 23-man main squad for Liverpool's holding midfielder Steven Gerrard, 33.

"I look around the squad and I can't see anyone else who plays that position naturally like him, in the Steven Gerrard role, especially if Steven Gerrard was to get injured or suspended," Ferdinand said in an interview. "I don't think (there is) anyone who can play that same position as effectively as Michael Carrick naturally. 

"I think he's (Carrick) a top, top player and I have played with (Carrick) for so many years."

Ferdinand, who played at Old Trafford for 12 trophy-laden seasons, said he understood why Hodgson wanted to bring in Southampton's highly rated Shaw instead of Cole, who has 107 caps.

But he said he would still have picked Cole because he is "the best left-back that we got right now".

He also played down reports of player unrest during United's unsuccessful campaign this season, saying arguments and fights were not unusual for the club.

"I'd be more worried (if) the players weren't arguing and fighting and getting into each other's faces. If you're not successful you need to ask why. I've been in many different squads at Manchester United and I've seen fights, I've seen arguments and that's despite winning or losing."

Ferdinand was reluctant to discuss his next move, but he acknowledged there had been offers from Asia. 

"I am open to things (in Asia) and as I have said before I love it here in Asia and my wife said she loves it here as well in Singapore," he said.

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Juve give Arturo Vidal all-clear ahead of World Cup

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Rapid recovery: Vidal should be fit to represent Chili at the World Cup.

Serie A champions Juventus have given midfielder Arturo Vidal the green light for the World Cup as the Chilean international continues his recovery from knee surgery.

Vidal underwent keyhole surgery on a meniscus problem in his right knee two weeks ago, prompting fears he could miss Chile's trip to Brazil.

But in a statement on Saturday the Serie A giants said Vidal "will be fit for the World Cup. He has left Turin in an excellent condition and is now in the care of our Chilean colleagues."

Juventus had come in for some criticism after using Vidal in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final against Benfica while knowing of a potential problem.

But they claimed he had asked to keep himself available for selection for as long as possible in the season.

"We've been in constant contact with our Chilean colleagues about Vidal's injury. It would have been an error to operate initially given that the lateral meniscus of his right knee wasn't damaged," added the statement.

"Vidal made himself available until the very final game and the player's wishes always need to be respected.

"As soon as the complaint became constrictive, it was decided to operate, as was previously planned."

At the World Cup, Chile will play in Group B with the Netherlands, Spain and Australia.

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Fabio Capello hopes for World Cup improvement second time round

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Man with a plan: Fabio Capello has learnt from his experiences with England.

Fabio Capello has vowed to learn from his bitter World Cup experience with England when he returns to the tournament as Russia coach in June.

Capello's first taste of management at a major international tournament ended in humiliation as England crashed out with a 4-1 defeat against old rivals Germany in the last 16.

The humbling nature of England's exit was a major stain on Capello's otherwise pristine CV, with a series of uninspired performances in the group stages followed by the one-sided loss to the Germans in South Africa.

Now Capello has an opportunity to right the wrongs of his painful experiences with England as he prepares to take Russia to the World Cup in Brazil.

Keen to play down talk that he underachieved with England, the Italian said: "When you win everything is perfect. When you lose, everything is wrong. This is the history of football. But we didn't play really, really well."

When Capello accepted the Russia job two years ago, he found a squad with its morale in tatters following the team's embarrassing group-stage exit at Euro 2012, which ended in the resignation of boss Dick Advocaat.

The Russians also failed to reach the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, but Capello has got them back on track and they have a good chance of advancing to the latter stages of the competition after being drawn in a winnable group including Belgium, South Korea and Algeria.

Capello is confident this time he has made the right choice for Russia's Brazilian training camp in the town of Itu, close to Sao Paulo.

"We are really lucky because it's one of the best camps in terms of location, distance from the airport, everything. We are really happy," he said.

After years of failure, the Russians are back at World Cup for the first time in 12 years and Capello's reward was a lucrative new contract lasting until the end of the next edition of the tournament, which will be staged in Russia in 2018.

"We are back in the World Cup after 12 years, the experience is really important for the players," he said.

The prospect of leading Russia's World Cup challenge on home turf appeals to Capello, yet the 67-year-old has been linked with several top jobs in club management, including Tottenham, this season and may find it difficult to resist the lure of an approach from the Premier League or Serie A.

For now he is just focused on Brazil, where he expects the hosts to make a major challenge for the trophy.

"Brazil is my favourite team because I saw the games they played in the Confederations Cup," he said. "They improved a lot game after game and they are really strong. The quality is not the top like normal Brazilian players, but they are compact and they are really physically strong.

"After this it's Spain, the World Cup champions. And Germany. Always. I don't know why but they always finish in the first four."

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