Keown cannot see Terry-Rio pairing

Former England defender Martin Keown can see why Roy Hodgson would want John Terry and Rio Ferdinand at Euro 2012 - but feels their long-standing central defensive partnership should be split up.

At his unveiling on Tuesday, the new England boss said he intended to speak with Terry and Ferdinand to establish whether they would be willing to play alongside each other, despite the obvious potential for problems after the Chelsea skipper was charged with using racist language towards Anton Ferdinand last October, a charge Terry strenuously denies.

Speaking at the BBC's Euro 2012 launch, Keown said: "I still think they have both got things to offer but I think he (Hodgson) would split them up. I don't think he would play them as a pair any more."

Terry's case is due to go before court in July, after the European Championship has finished, which is one of the reasons why Hodgson is keen to establish what the exact situation is.

But Keown also believes that, as a partnership, Terry and Ferdinand might not work quite so well as it did four years ago, the last time the pair featured together on a regular basis.

Keown added: "It is a big problem because they are both outstanding figures and personalities in the dressing room. They have both been captains of England and you don't want to dismiss these characters. You need to talk to them and think seriously.

"Does Rio want to carry on in international football? I still feel he has something to offer, but that is a question that needs to be asked.

"John has lost the captaincy and how does that sit with him now, coming into a squad where he is not the main event any more? Is he comfortable with that?

"You have got to think about pace and mobility, although Rio still does a decent job in that area.

"He was probably unfairly treated by Sir Alex Ferguson earlier in the season, suggesting he had lost his pace. He has shown good character to fight back and he won't want to give up international football."