Venables: Bridge decision was 'premature'

Former England manager Terry Venables believes Wayne Bridge could live to regret his decision to retire from international football and insists continuing to make himself available for his country would be “the bravest option”.

Manchester City left-back Bridge will not be available for selection for this summer’s World Cup in South Africa.

The 29-year-old has claimed his position in the England squad is “untenable” - a decision related to the alleged affair between his former Chelsea team-mate John Terry and Vanessa Perroncel, the mother of his young son.

However, Venables said: “I am sure he does not regret his decision this morning but can even he predict how he will feel a couple of months down the line?

“I would have understood completely had he told (England manager) Fabio Capello he did not want to play against Egypt.

“But for Bridge to write himself out of what could be an historic summer for England when we still have snow on the ground does seem to be a little premature.”

Venables, who led England from 1994 until 1996 and also had a stint with the national team as Steve McClaren’s assistant in 2006, believes Bridge should continue his international career.

The 67-year-old said in his column in The Sun: “I am not saying he took the easy option by withdrawing from the England set-up. On the contrary, it must have been very difficult.

“But making himself available for the Egypt game and the World Cup finals would have been the bravest option.”

Former Crystal Palace, QPR, Barcelona, Tottenham, Middlesbrough and Leeds boss Venables added: “It must have required a huge amount of bravery for him to walk back into that Manchester City dressing room – but he managed it. Now people are talking again about Bridge the left-back.

“What a shame he could not muster an ounce more of courage to do the same with England.”

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