Rio Ferdinand believes England will regret not taking Michael Carrick to the World Cup and thinks they are unlikely to get out of their group.
Former Three Lions captain Ferdinand was a teammate of Carrick's at West Ham and for the last eight seasons at Manchester United, and feels the 31-year-old paid the price for the Red Devils' poorest season for a quarter of a century.
While current Liverpool and England skipper Steven Gerrard is charged with shielding the defence by manager Roy Hodgson, Ferdinand says Carrick is the finest anchor midfielder available to him.
"He's been under-appreciated in an England shirt and never had the respect he deserves. He's the best holding midfielder England have. He knows the role," Ferdinand wrote in his column in the Mail on Sunday.
Carrick's form dipped as United only finished seventh in the Premier League during a difficult season under manager David Moyes -- who was sacked in April -- and Ferdinand said: "You have to give Moyes some credit for his efforts but it was a tough year and ultimately Carrick paid. I hope England don't suffer now, too."
Carrick, who has won 31 caps, was named on the standby list for the England squad after failing to make Hodgson's final 23. He went to the last two World Cups, but only made one appearance, against Ecuador in 2006.
Ferdinand, who won 81 caps, was due to skipper England in the 2010 World Cup before being ruled out by injury.
He played in the 2002 team who reached the quarterfinals only to be knocked out by Brazil, but doubts the current group will qualify from a pool that also includes Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica.
"As a former England captain and big England fan there is nothing I would love more than to see Roy Hodgson's team reach a quarterfinal showdown with World Cup hosts Brazil," he added.
"But if I was a betting man I would not risk money on England getting out of Group D, let alone making it within sight of the semifinals."