Captain. Leader. Legend. This is how the blue end of London will continue to see John Terry. In the same way no one in SW6 cares where Roman Abramovich obtained his fortune from, the same ignorance will be applied to John Terry. And rightly so.
The vultures in the press are baying for his resignation as England captain (but incidentally enough, not the Chelsea captain!)- with none actually providing a suitable replacement. I suspect the reasoning is because if he does so, then this will undoubtedly provide more column inches in the hope that it boosts dwindling newspaper sales. They are banging on the doors of MPs, the F.A and as soon as they have the chance, Fabio Capello, to get some sort of scrap of info that may indicate that England’s world cup chances are in disarray because of it all.
It seems, from what has been swirling around the sewer press, Terry did the one thing that journalists hate. The one thing that fuels their carnivorous desire to tear anyone to shreds if there is a remote chance it will shift a few newspapers – and that is to shut them up. The very fact that he succeeded in obtaining a super injunction has incensed them beyond measure. This is what it is all about. Nothing to do with morality. How dare he? Who does he think he is? We’ll show him…
Journalists think that it is their god given right to have the freedom of the press, no matter how low they sink to obtain content for their bile. Just look at how they have hounded Ms Perroncel since Friday. There is no genuine concern for the ‘innocent victims’ in all of this, who is in fact Wayne Bridge and his four year old son. They could not care less.
But through it all, let’s weigh everything up in terms of the England captaincy – morality and ability…
John Terry has never been and never will be an angel. The FA knew that. Capello knew that and Chelsea knew that. So why the media believe now he has to be whiter than snow because he is the England captain is baffling. If we are to discuss the replacements as the England captain, then let’s look at the likely suspects that would be in the running to take over Terry if the press have their way –
David Beckham – The F.A. Ambassador for the 2018 world cup bid is hardly squeeky clean himself, but no one is bothered about his ‘transgressions’ any more when he is being touted for re-instated as captain. I think that he has done an excellent job in the past and is a tremendous example to others but seriously consideration regarding his ability to play consistently must be looked at. You cannot have a fringe player captaining the side – and at this moment in time, Capello cannot guarantee Beckham a start in the world cup.
Then we have Steven Gerrard. The heartbeat of Anfield. This is the guy, remember, who escaped an assault charge over the summer by the skin of his teeth. It seemed to all and sundry that he was doing a bit more than ‘pre-empting an imminent attack’ : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9aehRAX_bk. As for his ability – when he feels like it, there is no one more inspirational. He can drag his team by the scruff of the neck to heights unimaginable. But he can only do that when it suits him and, only when he is fit. He has been a shocker for Liverpool of late and it would be hard to argue against this has been his worst season ever for Liverpool. Combine that with his actual lack of desire to play for England in ‘lesser’ games and it does not look like England would be getting a better captain to lead them at the world cup.
Rio Ferdinand is another potential candidate. He has kept his nose clean of late (no pun intended), but his ability to dodge drug tests at his convenience will always raise question marks. I could not care less really, to be honest, but his form this season for Man Utd is almost at the point where he may not even start for England. His lame defending against Tevez in the win over Man City last week begged the question – If it were Terry and he were up against an ex team mate who had done nothing but taunt players and fans in the run up to the game, would he have gone in like a wet lettuce into that challenge? Not a chance.
The only other candidate to take the arm band therefore is Rooney. From a morality perspective, it could be highlighted that Rooney has dipped it into more prostitutes than anyone would care to count, which puts the whole angelic figure of the captaincy, as demanded by the press, out the window. Again, I could not care less and his ability as captain could not be doubted. He leads by example and he exhibits that same desire and determination as Terry. A champion. A leader of men. But… he is a timebomb. At any moment, he is only ever a second away from a complete, nuclear, neurological meltdown. Should he explode on the pitch (and trust me there will be teams out to try and exploit this) he would be crucified by the same English press that is bleating for him to be there. God forbid he were to be sent off in a game at the world cup and England should then go on to lose. He has recovered once from 2006, but I don’t think that the press would be so forgiving.
The bottom line is England have no one else. They have no one that can give what Terry gives. His performance against Burnley in the face of all what was going on around him was amazing. I was tempted before the match to put money on Terry scoring the winner. I said twice to my wife during the game – I reckon he will come up with the winning goal. That’s what he is about. After the champions league final, he played for England and gave exactly the type of performance that Capello, Mourinho, Hiddink and Ancellotti believe in. They are four very big names in world football management and they can’t all be wrong.
Just to put the last argument to bed, the noise that Terry has benefited financially from the position and that that should also be considered as a reason for him to go is absolute hogwash. The powers that be have made plenty of money from Terry being captain. It’s not like it has cost the FA an arm and a leg to have him there. What they have got for their money has been – as Mourinho put when he was talking about Terry’s new contract at Chelsea – Worth every coin.
So – what ever it is that John Terry is said to have or have not done, no matter how unsavoury the press have flavoured it, John Terry should and in all likelihood – will remain as the captain of England. I am not here to judge him on how he or any other professional footballer maintains their personal lives and I find it rather humorous that suddenly everyone is an expert on morality.