John Terry, Chelsea captain. Centre back once one of England’s first names on the team sheet and indeed their captain. He was due to lead the England Football team in the upcoming European Championships in June of this year. But he won’t and in my opinion he shouldn’t even be there.
He is 31 years old, a success and an idol for many Chelsea fans, local boy done good. Moving through the ranks at Chelsea to captain the club and win the Premier League title 3 times. On the pitch he is the kind of player that every fan wants to see playing for them, full of blood and thunder, he’d argue that the sky was green if he thought it would help Chelsea’s cause, and before his body decided to crumble he was England’s best centre back. (Although not for the same reasons he is at Chelsea, I’ll explain in a bit)
You see he has had some pretty serious injuries in recent years, which have robbed him of a yard or two of pace, he only had a bit to begin with. International strikers will exploit that. Chelsea are having (by their standards) a poor season with injuries and suspensions taking their toll. So is John Terry Englands best centre back? With the arrival of Gary Cahill he’s not even Chelsea’s.
Terry for England. These days he seems to get through Chelsea games with blood and the aforementioned thunder. Passion and a will to win. Whenever he is on England duty that seems to be lacking. It’s not just him either, none of the current England squad appear to care about England. The last time I really cared about England was in 1996 or maybe 2000. Players seemed to have that desire, now I don’t see it. Steven Gerrard is being touted as the next Captain. He is good at Liverpool… at Liverpool he cares. So will Terry minus blood and thunder get in the starting eleven to wear the three lions.
Then of cause there is the allegations of racism. Which is why John Terry won’t be captain of England this summer. Now I’m very torn on this issue. Firstly let me say that I don’t like John Terry as a man (what I know of him) or as a player, secondly I don’t think John Terry is racist. I think what he said to Anton Ferdinand was said in the heat of the moment and Terry was merely trying to be (for want of a more macho word) hurtful. If example if Anton Ferdinand had been ginger or fat or had a big nose and he’d mentioned that it would have been in the same way that he used the “black” adjective, poking at what Terry deems a weak spot on an opponent. Like a playground bully.
This doesn’t mean that what Terry said doesn’t have racist overtones, and for a man who is Captain of his country, an idol to youngsters. This is unacceptable. I have written before about Wayne Rooney and how he shouldn’t be used as a role model. I don’t think an England Captain should either, but I do think they are ambassador for their sport and country.
If there is a promising youngster who loves football, has the skill on the pitch to be the next Gazza, who happens to be black. Who is put off the game because he believes the sporting leader of his country will persecute him for his differences, it’s a loss. To football and all the people involved, the player who will never fulfil his potential and the fans who will never be able to marvel at the skills.
And what about the actual racists, who wrongly and in the comfort of their own homes now count Terry as a poster boy for their warped world view. If he went to the Euros and lifted the trophy would this not re-enforce their stance, even if Darren Bent (a black player) scored the winning goal.
Terry’s position is the England team is untenable, even for just football reasons. If you take the allegations against him, and the fact that his personal life has shown him up to be nothing more than a selfish child-like man only out for number one, he should be as close to the England team as I am this summer. Watching on the TV.