Terry can still play a pivotal role for England

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles

john terry

It will come as the nadir in a decorated career for the former England skipper, John Terry. He has so often led by example on the pitch but off it his catalogue of discrepancies have left his reputation in tatters.

These errors in judgement have culminated in the much-documented, overly discussed affair with the ex-girlfriend of Wayne Bridge, Vanessa Perroncel.

Thankfully the media furore will begin to subside, provided no more sordid stories emerge, with the swift stripping of Terry’s duties by England manager Fabio Capello upon his return to England.

After almost a week spent mulling over what course of action he deemed suitable to take, the Italian saw fit to relieve the Chelsea centre back from his position as England’s leader on Friday afternoon.

Rio Ferdinand took over the vacated mantle with Steven Gerrard his deputy.

The decision finally quenched the bloodthirsty British media that had unrelentingly called for the termination of Terry’s reign as captain.

It is possibly the most popular decision Capello will ever be forced to make.

From ex-professionals to cab drivers, from tabloid journalists to Prime Minister Gordon Brown, quite simply almost everyone wanted Terry out. And Capello was in accordance.

The clamour of enraged voices had reached foreign shores as England’s opposition in the upcoming World Cup sat back and watched the comedy unfold.

In Italy Corriere Dello Sport ran the headline ‘Grazie Mr Capello’.

The entire article was dedicated to the reaction of the concupiscent, cackling British press. Headlines from The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Times were included in the article, highlighting how the British media have gone into overdrive.

Once again, months before a World Cup tournament, England is in the news for all the wrong reasons.

Has Fabio Capello made the correct call? Will his abrupt axing of Terry quell the storm?

Many will argue the Italian made the right decision. An affair with a team-mate’s ex-girlfriend who was also the mother to the team-mate’s son is a bridge too far. But should players’ professional and personal lives be kept separate?

Thousands and thousands of men across the globe commit acts of adultery every day. But it was clear that if Wayne Bridge felt unable to respond to the leadership of his former best friend on the pitch then Capello had an issue. The stripping of the captaincy was inevitable.

John Terry still has a pivotal role to play in next summer’s World Cup. He may no longer be England’s official leader but his passion and desire will still be there.

There have been comparisons with former England skippers. Men like Bobby Moore who weren’t gentlemen solely on the pitch but acted with the same dignity off it.

Society has changed. Nowadays it is difficult to find a top flight player without a blemish of some sort: assailants, cheaters, gamblers or substance abusers.

One need only look at the list of candidates who were jostling to replace Terry: Rio Ferdinand missed a drugs test, Gerrard narrowly avoided a charge of affray, Wayne Rooney famously visited a brothel and Frank Lampard was rumoured to have cheated on his former wife several times.

It is paramount that John Terry lays low for some time. He needs to continue to drive Chelsea forward on the pitch but needs to live the life of a devout hermit off it.

The unfavourable headlines must end.

Time is needed to implement some stability back into the English side. Their friendly against Egypt next month will provide an intriguing insight into the man management skills of Capello and the chemistry present within the squad.

John Terry may have clouded himself in an unsavoury light but he is undoubtedly one of the key fixtures in the Capello’s team. The Italian is famously intolerant of misbehaving big names and in his eyes, reputation means nothing.

However it is unlikely that Capello will leave the Chelsea centre back by the wayside. Not at this late stage with just months to go to the summer’s main event.

Furthermore it would be foolish for the nation to turn its back on the defender. England are desperately short of any suitable replacements. Jamie Carragher has rebutted invitations to come out of retirement, while the injury-prone Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate would face an uphill struggle to remain fit throughout the entire tournament.

Matthew Upson and Wes Brown provide the only reliable back-up to Terry. And with all due respect neither have that same talismanic quality that the Chelsea captain displays weekly in the Premier League.

Undoubtedly should Terry play a key role in landing the holy grail of international football this summer, the fickle English media will forget his previous transgressions and shower him in glory.

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