Roy Hodgson closes the door on England return for Rio Ferdinand

England manager growing irritated with questions about the Manchester United defender

Roy Hodgson has closed the door on a return to the England team for Rio Ferdinand, in spite of the continuing problems the side are experiencing in central defence, including Gary Cahill's error against Brazil.

Ferdinand, 34, has never been selected by Hodgson. The Manchester United defender has started seven of his club's last 10 Premier League games. Asked whether Ferdinand, who last played for England in June 2011, might one day play for England again, Hodgson said after Wednesday's 2-1 win: "I'm not going to talk about Rio. Every other day I have to answer questions about Rio. We've just beaten Brazil for the first time in God knows how many years."

Hodgson backed Chris Smalling to play a key role in England's future as a ball-playing centre-back. "He played on the left side [against Brazil] but if you play him on the right he's not lacking ability on the ball and neither is Gary Cahill. You're being unfair to them to suggest they can't do that.

"We're not talking lower league. We're talking international football, England against Brazil and some of the so-called very, very best players in the world. So whoever you would play would have problems."

After years of searching, England may have found their perfect midfield mix. Jack Wilshere certainly thought so after inspiring the win. He played alongside Tom Cleverley with Steven Gerrard directing play from behind. It worked perfectly.

"I think we've got a good blend in midfield now," Wilshere said. "You've got Stevie who is playing the holding role. He did it brilliantly."

The three of them helped England to control midfield against strong opposition in a way not seen for some time. "The formation helped," explained Wilshere. "4-3-3 suits my game and suits the other players better. If we get that side right, we can dominate a midfield and we showed that tonight."

It was only Wilshere's seventh England cap and he relished playing with Gerrard and Frank Lampard, who came on at half-time for Cleverley."It's great having them alongside me. I used to come to Wembley to watch them, so to play with them is a dream come true."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own