Capello risks unsettling squad by recalling Terry as captain

England manager's decision to reappoint John Terry as permanent captain is risky, writes Kieran Beckles

fabio capello
Capello says Terry is England's "biggest personality" in the dressing room Photo: Paul Blank

fabio capello

Fabio Capello has risked alienating his England squad with his decision to restore John Terry as permanent captain.

Rio Ferdinand took over as skipper after Terry’s off-the-field behaviour saw him stripped of the armband last February, but the England manager has now confirmed the Chelsea centre-back will again captain the national side for Saturday’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales and beyond.

“After one year of punishment, Terry will again be the permanent captain. I think one year’s punishment is enough,” Capello confirmed.

Capello is understood not to have informed Rio Ferdinand of his decision despite the pair both having watched Manchester United’s clash with Bolton in the directors’ box at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Ferdinand is said to be “appalled” and is now considering whether he will play for Capello again after learning of the decision through the media.

Capello defended his decision to reinstate Terry by describing the Chelsea skipper as the “biggest personality” in the England dressing room and highlighting his leadership qualities.

“John, when he played without the armband, was every time a leader on the pitch, a leader in the dressing room. He was really good every time,” said the England manager.

“Always he is the same. He is a player that is himself a leader. This is really important. He is the biggest personality in the dressing room.”

But while handing Terry the armband back on a temporary basis during the continued absence of Ferdinand and vice-captain Steven Gerrard would have been acceptable, Capello’s decision to make him England’s permanent leader once more is sure to rile the masses.

The Italian manager earned plaudits for the decisive and ruthless manner in which he dealt with the Terry fiasco last year but by backtracking now he risks unsettling his squad ahead of a crucial qualifier next weekend.

And his decision looks all the more bizarre when one considers that Terry was deliberately not given the armband in last month’s 2-1 victory over Denmark in a friendly despite the absence of both Ferdinand and Gerrard.

On that night Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Gareth Barry all took charge on the pitch ahead of the centre-back.

Capello will explain his decision to the England squad on Monday, but it could prove a damaging gamble by the Italian.

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