May 23 2015 Latest news:
Monday, May 12, 2014
Norwich City’s John Ruddy admitted it was a bitter pill to swallow missing out on a second major international tournament after failing to make the final cut for England’s 23-man squad for the World Cup in Brazil.
Norwich City’s number one will rightly feel aggrieved to be overlooked in favour of Ben Foster and Fraser Forster as back-up to Joe Hart. Foster retired from international football but was enticed to end his self-imposed exile by his former Baggies’ boss Roy Hodgson. Albion finished three points above the relegated Canaries and conceded three fewer goals but Ruddy was a mainstay during England’s successful qualifying campaign. The 27-year-old kept 12 clean sheets in the Premier League and underlined his credentials again in Sunday’s Premier League finale to Arsenal. In reality the back-up keepers will have a watching brief but Ruddy deserved his chance of a lifetime.
Paddy Davitt, chief Norwich City writer
Ruddy has been placed on stand-by after Three Lions’ chief Roy Hodgson confirmed on Monday afternoon the 27-year-old is not one of his three keepers for the tournament this summer, with first choice Joe Hart joined by West Brom’s Ben Foster and Celtic’s Fraser Forster.
Ruddy also missed out on the 2012 European Championship finals after suffering a broken finger in a pre-tournament training camp. The St Ives’ bred keeper was outstanding in City’s 2-0 Premier League defeat on Sunday against Arsenal which confirmed their relegation to the Championship during a campaign when he kept 12 clean sheets in the top flight.
“It is devastating. I had the same thing in the Euros when I broke my finger two days into training and had to miss out,” he said. “Then I fought back that season and I had been involved in every squad I have been available for over the last two years and now to be told at the final hurdle that I haven’t made it is a bitter pill to swallow.
“To be fair this week has been a bad one in my career but it is something that has to make you stronger. All I can concentrate on now is maintain my standards and get my way back into the squad. I’m lucky enough. I have a solid family behind me. We’ll really enjoy our summer together now and support the lads, like I would have done whether I was there or not. I just have to get my head down and concentrate on next season and trying to bounce back from the Championship. I’d be keeping myself fit anyway in preparation for the coming season but I will have to let the FA know my whereabouts with being on the stand-by list.”
Ruddy, speaking to Skysports, insisted playing for a club who were eventually relegated did not harm his international chances.
“I can see why people would make a point of the club you play for but I have been playing in the Premier League for the last three years,” he said. “Regardless of what club if you are playing in the top league of English football that should be enough. Statistically I think I have done pretty well as an individual but we have not done enough over 38 games. I thought in fairness I had done enough to make the squad but it wasn’t to be. I had one clean sheet less than Joe Hart, who won the title and that makes it even harder to take.”
Ruddy is likely to attract attention in the summer transfer market, but the City number one believes Norwich can bounce back at the first attempt with the club set to appoint Chris Hughton’s successor over the coming days.
“The managerial situation is something the board have to decide,” he said. “As players you won’t get involved in that. In terms of how it has been you could see in the last five games the performance levels had been higher. For whatever reason, I can’t put my finger on it. Now it’s a big test of character to appoint the right man to make sure we bounce back straight away.”
Ruddy is joined on the stand-by list by the likes of Michael Carrick, Andy Carroll and Tom Cleverley. As expected, teenage left-back Luke Shaw makes the cut ahead of Ashley Cole, who retired from international football on Sunday night after being told he had not made the squad.
The entire 30-man party will travel to Portugal next week to begin their World Cup preparations, before facing Peru at Wembley on Friday May 30. The squad will then be trimmed down for two more warm-up games against Honduras and Ecuador in America before heading to their base in Brazil to prepare for the opening group game with Italy on June 14.
• England’s 23-man squad for this summer’s World Cup in Brazil: J Hart (Manchester City), B Foster (West Brom), F Forster (Celtic); G Johnson (Liverpool), P Jagielka (Everton), G Cahill (Chelsea), C Smalling (Manchester United), P Jones (Manchester United), L Baines (Everton), L Shaw (Southampton); S Gerrard (Liverpool, capt), F Lampard (Chelsea), J Henderson (Liverpool), J Milner (Manchester City), J Wilshere (Arsenal), R Barkley (Everton), A Lallana (Southampton), R Sterling (Liverpool), A Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal); W Rooney (Manchester United), D Sturridge (Liverpool), D Welbeck (Manchester United), R Lambert (Southampton). Stand-by players: J Ruddy (Norwich), T Cleverley (Manchester United), Jon Flanagan (Liverpool), John Stones (Everton), Andy Carroll (West Ham), Jermain Defoe (Toronto), Michael Carrick (Manchester United).