Papers: Rio's big decision
Hansen: Rio should focus on Reds
Rio Ferdinand is 32 next month and, having had almost two years of injury problems, this period of his career is make-or-break, not just for England, but for everything. December 2008 he has been involved in just 44 of Manchester United’s 105 games and that is an amazing statistic which tells its own story. If you were a 25 year-old with that track record, you would be in trouble, but at Rio’s age, I think it gives a clear message that he must now decide whether he wants to extend the longevity of his career with United or continue to play for England. I don’t think he can play for both and there is a real argument to say that he should contemplate following the likes of Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Alan Shearer by retiring from international football. Having had such a terrible run with injuries, Rio’s priority is to play for United and get back into the groove of performing on a consistent basis of uninterrupted football for at least three months.Alan Hansen, Daily Telegraph
Gary Neville’s comments in his column for the Sunday Times of Malta are widely reported today, after he admitted Manchester City must be considered as genuine title contenders for the Barclays Premier League. The Daily Mail quotes: “Last weekend’s results mean we are behind Manchester City in the league, which hasn’t happened often in the past 20 years. There is no doubt we have to see City as major challengers this season along with Chelsea.”
Meanwhile, the 33 trapped Chilean miners have been invited to Old Trafford by Sir Bobby Charlton after spending more than two months entombed in a cave underground. The Sun reveals the victims received a specially-recorded message from the United legend, whose own father was a pitman.