Sam Wallace: How did Rio Ferdinand not realise 15 hour flight to Qatar was a terrible idea?

Manchester United defender has been criticised for decision to be pundit

You would have hoped that when the offer came through from Al Jazeera, someone would have told Rio Ferdinand that however much he liked the idea of a few days of Qatar sunshine and sitting in judgement on Roy Hodgson's England, this trip was a bad idea.

You would have hoped Ferdinand would have seen it as a bad idea himself because even those used to sticking up for the player had their heads in their hands. There is a tendency for some players to do whatever the hell they like without thinking of the effect it might have on others, and this was the case with Ferdinand.

Only on Sunday had he struck a truce with the England manager, who had left him out of the squad for the last 10 months. Ferdinand had just pulled out of an England squad citing an inability to change his fitness routine only to factor in at the last minute two eight-hour flights to Doha and back.

Ferdinand had handled his withdrawal from the squad over the weekend as well as could be expected. He had done the honourable thing in travelling to London to tell Hodgson face-to-face why he would not be able to play, thus saving the England manager the allegation that he had been humiliated or hung out to dry. He said all the right things about playing in the future.

A potentially awkward situation looked to have been rescued. Then news about his trip emerged and you had to wonder if Ferdinand realised what he had done. It left Hodgson looking embarrassed and, yes, a little humiliated. He had taken the word of a player who had told him he could not play in a crucial qualifier only for that same player to fly 3,360 miles to sit in a studio. As if Hodgson did not know already, when it comes to being England manager, it pays to expect the worst.

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