Manchester United defender Phil Jones and Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart are astonished to find two of their club teammates nowhere within the sight of England’s squad ahead of Spain’s highly anticipated visit to Wembley on Saturday evening.
Jones, who has been tipped as the future leader of United’s defense, is still coming to terms with the exclusion of current leader Rio Ferdinand while Hart fully expected to see in-form right-back Micah Richards picked for the exhibition against the reigning World and European Champions.
“It’s surprising. Let’s not kid ourselves. He’s a fantastic leader, a fantastic player. He’s got a lot of experience so hopefully he can push his way back into the [England] set-up again,” Jones remarked about the absence of Ferdinand, who captained the Three Lions not too long ago.
Meanwhile, Hart has witnessed Richards take the Premier League by storm in somewhat of a break-through season and insists that the man who has contributed so heavily in City’s five-point lead atop the table will soon find his place in the national team.
“Micah’s been absolutely fantastic, he’s given everything and I’m really proud of how he’s done for Manchester City,” Hart told reporters.
The England number one added: “He captained us against QPR… it’s just unfortunate he’s not in this squad, but he won’t take it to heart. He’ll keep on playing well and pushing to be in the squad.”
The exclusion of Ferdinand and Richards is especially surprising as England need proven defenders in the absence of skipper John Terry, who will miss the clash with Spain.
However, Jones has assured that Terry – who has been training with the England squad despite his highly publicized off-field issues – is far from a distracting presence.
“It has been as normal. There has been a great team spirit in the camp and we are just looking forward to the game on Saturday. He (Terry) is a great leader and a great captain and a great player,” the United starlet asserted.
Following the international break, United will travel to Wales to square off against Swansea while City will entertain the only other unbeaten team in the English top flight – Newcastle United.