February 3rd, 2010
06:40 PM ET

Terry's fate should not rest with Capello

Move over Tiger Woods, there’s a new soap-opera in town. Tales of Tiger having been replaced by Tales of Terry after the captain of the England football team committed the alleged “transgression” (Tiger’s word not mine) of cheating on his wife.

Terry has tried to weather the storm by turning out for his club side Chelsea.
Terry has tried to weather the storm by turning out for his club side Chelsea.

Granted, the level of transgression is much lower than Tiger’s as Terry is only accused of cheating with one woman, not a whole posse.

Of course, in the greater scheme of things one extra-marital affair by a high powered businessman, which is essentially what Terry is, would be no big deal.

But the fact that the woman in question is the ex-girlfriend of his sometime England and former Chelsea team-mate – Wayne Bridge, makes the story a little more salacious, and therefore interesting to the media.

Terry could pay a high price for his alleged error of judgment (Tiger-speak again), as he could lose the England captaincy just a few months before he was due to receive the ultimate honor of leading his country at the FIFA World Cup.

Since he’s decided not to fall on his sword himself by resigning the captaincy, his fate as England skipper now lies in the hands of England’s Italian manager, Fabio Capello, who’s been passed the buck by the English Football Association which insists the decision on Terry will be his and his alone.

Should that be the case? No, because Capello’s brief is not to be the moral conscience of a nation but to put out the best football team he can in order for England to win the World Cup for the first time since 1966.

What’s more, while he outlined a whole host of disciplinary requirements when he took the job – no wives or agents in the team hotel; no tardiness for meals; no room service; no public use of mobile phones; no video games; no lolling about in flip-flops and shorts, - they were all designed to facilitate a better performance ON the pitch, making no mention of the players’ conduct when OFF-duty away from the limelight.

So I disagree that it’s Capello’s responsibility to make the call, not least of all because, when judged in purely football terms, Terry’s ability and leadership qualities make him a natural captain and inspiration to the England team, which is all Capello should care about.

Besides, if not Terry as captain, then who? Rio Ferdinand has a chronic back problem and may not be fit to play throughout the World Cup; Ashley Cole, one of the few certain starters like Terry, is not far removed from a run in with the police, so he’s blotted his moral copybook.

Steven Gerrard could do the job, but, given his erratic injury prone season with Liverpool, would he welcome the added responsibility? I wouldn’t want to put more baggage on Wayne Rooney, because he’s got enough already as England’s main hope for success; and then there’s David Beckham, who knows what it takes to be skipper, but won’t be a regular starter if he goes to South Africa at all. No, for the good of the team.

Terry’s clearly the man, and I wouldn’t want Capello to see it any other way.

On the other hand, if the English F.A is tacitly calling the shots, then I think Terry’s days of leading the team are over, because they have to consider the wider implications of being England captain, which still embodies an anachronistic image of the fine, upstanding, paragon of virtue steeped in the Corinthian spirit.

John Terry is clearly not that. Nor has he ever professed to be, as he was handed the armband as a reformed bad boy, not a career goody two-shoes. But if his relapse makes the men in gray see red, it would come as no surprise to anyone if he was ousted.

Personally, I think J.T has been reckless; stupid, dishonest to his partner; and disloyal to his friend. But, unlike Tiger, who was sold as a role model, I don’t think Terry ever portrayed himself as anything more than a committed footballer who leads the team by example. And that’s all I want from an England captain. I’ll mentor my kids myself.

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Filed under:  Football
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. denone

    Terry is a foolish sexual preditator who thought he could use his money to stop the press reporting the truth<if its not the truth get a good lawyer and sue. i feel sure both his mam and dad have had good briefs in the past. There is a lot more to come out of the woodwork so watch this space, thats why hes stopped lying. But why have the FA lost there bottle? Denone

    February 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Reply
  2. Oriaku

    I want to know which man or woman is free from one mess or the other in the entire world? The press should stop chasing all the celebrities in other to sale the news. Remember the case of Clinton & ....... complete yourself, America did not remove him from presidency. What has JT's personal affair got to do with England Captaincy? I think this case should rest with JT's wife who i feel will be feeling cheated not England FA, Capello or any other poke noser.

    Well, England remove JT as Captain then face being knocked out at the group stage of the World cup in Sout Africa. Yes be sure of that.

    February 4, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  3. frank peira

    will you busy bodies live JT alone, he's done nothing wrong, honestly the guy has done absolutely nothing wrong.
    he/she who has'nt done worst than JT should cast the first stone,
    JT is a fantastic captain, and a good person, pls, busy bodies live JT alone. sooooo whaaat ?

    February 4, 2010 at 8:57 pm | Reply
  4. Abhinandan Reddy

    The most important thing about leading a country's most loved sport team is that you are a role model to the kids. A model that kids look up to and want to be like. Winning championships comes next.

    Ethically speaking, JT's personal issues should not be considered with respect to his career. But since he has done it with someone whose husband is his best friend and someone who is part of the team, I think he should be asked to give the captain's armband to someone else and leave the team, atleast for the time being. Remember Tiger Woods?

    There are two reasons to it,

    1. It gives out a good feel to everyone saying that someone who has done something stupid and has hurt the sentiments of his fellow team mates, does not deserve to be part of the team. Be it the captain or anyone else.

    2. It improves the morale of the team. The loss of JT to English football specially with the WC looming, is huge, but it is not so huge that it cant be overcome.

    I think it is right to take his armband off and give it to someone like Roo, Lamps or Stevie G who have captained one of the big 4 teams at some point in their career.

    If JT is out of the team, the morale of the team would be better and they will all work together to fill in the void he has left.

    If he is not out, he should atleast be asked to leave his armband away. Having done what he has done, I dont see how other players would respect him. They might respect his football but not his mentality or personality.

    February 4, 2010 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  5. Black Man In America

    @denone
    get a dictionary.
    There is a BIG difference between having an affair (legal, no morally upright) and a being a sexual predator (illegal/crime).
    A false accusation like you just made is slander (ask any lawyer).

    While it is wrong i'd say over half of adults have done it so:
    1) Why not go teach your kids/nephews/etc
    2) While you take the log out your own eye

    get of your high horse and go teach youout

    February 4, 2010 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  6. gizzer clarke

    Yes, it should be Capello's job and he should fire the bugger!

    February 4, 2010 at 10:38 pm | Reply
  7. Makinde

    Well JT is an excellent footballer for both club and country, attributes he has always shown. I think England need to decide on which of his qualities will be beneficiary come World Cup 2010. In my opinion the the round leather game skills and so Mr. Capello keep him on as capt. because your job might just be on the line..

    February 5, 2010 at 12:27 am | Reply
  8. John

    Capello should definitely rid him of the captain's band. He should of not gotten married in the first place if he wants to sleep with this much women. Getting married made this an isssue. Also this is just a long list of "felonies" terry has commited. Enough is enough. Give the band to either Lampard (preferred) or Gerrard.

    February 5, 2010 at 2:44 am | Reply
  9. jill

    Last time I checked it took two to tango, the young lady should also accept some blame after all she knew he was married.

    February 5, 2010 at 4:43 am | Reply
  10. ben luk

    Let JT be the captain ; he is great and possesses huge charisma on the field. For the 'affair', don't be hyprocrite.

    February 5, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Reply
  11. Mikael

    What nobody seems to have commented on is that Wayne Bridge is a peripheral member of the England squad and is carrying an injury that means he may not even make the plane to South Africa. So I doubt friction between JT and Bridge will be a factor. Plus, in football terms, JT is more vital to England than Bridge, whether he's captain or not. As for JT not having the respect of his team-mates - well just look at the way his Chelsea team-mates have rallied round him, and he's got more chance to nick their wives/girlfriends than the England boys as WAGS aren't allowed by Capello. I think England players want a leader on the field, and JT fits the bill best. And in response to the guy who wants Lampard as captain - he's never been a regular captain before and his private life in the past is not lillywhite either. In fact none of the candidates Terry Baddoo mentioned have a completely clean sheet, so why not stick with the devil you know.

    February 5, 2010 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  12. kingsley

    whatever action is favoured....the public interest is already derailing any possible English success at the world cup. Blame it on the press....gutter press if i may add.

    kingsley

    February 5, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  13. Abhinandan Reddy

    Job well done... John Terry axed!

    Perfect decision as it will help the morale of the team. Bridge wont have to play under JT but will play with JT.

    The kids of UK have a perfect example of what happens if a leader turns out to be an idiot.

    Great work Fabio!

    February 5, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  14. Thineke Dieterman

    Could you please stop giving these stories so much attention? Isn't there more interesting news to tell? And can't the press leave those people alone, never heard of privacy? I don't care if someone's cheating someone, it's their private life. Not saying it is okay to cheat, but it's their business and the amount of time spend on it by CNN, get's a little pathetic.

    Thineke

    February 5, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  15. eric

    How is this a "Breaking Story"? It's barely a footnote in the world of sports. I use the word "sport" lightly. It's soccer, it's a wannabe sport. It's the equivalent of badmitton, or chess. Actually, I think chess players are tougher. At least a chess player doesn't act like he was shot every time his opponent breathes on him.

    February 5, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  16. alehandro

    Eric. Eric. Eric. How old are you? You don't happen to like soccer, we get it. But you know what? You don't have to. There are billions across the world who live and breathe the game. To them, the stripping of the captaincy from a player representing the nation that invented the world's most global game IS a big deal. I don't know what your sport is, but I suspect by the fact that you call the game "soccer" not "football" that you're an American, which probably means you're a fan of sports like gridiron football and baseball which call the U.S champions "world" champions even though upwards of 95% of countries around the world do not compete in those sports. I also note by the fact that you bring up the hoary old criticism of footballers feigning injury that you are a not particularly well-informed American, since FIFA, the organization that governs world football, has gone to great pains to stamp out and punish those who feign injury, so it's on the decline. You are also a misinformed American since chess does not qualify as a sport. Ever seen an Olympic chess competition?....I thought not... Now if you want to talk about footnotes to the world of sport, try talking about the Saints winning the Superbowl. Outside the U.S nobody could care less. It's irrelevant to most of the globe. How's that for breaking news?

    February 10, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Reply

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