The decision on Friday of Fabio Capello to release John Terry from his duty of being England captain can’t have come as too much of a shock to anyone, and quite frankly I don’t blame Capello in the slightest.
What option was he left with? If Capello had backed him and then more revelations came out over the course of the next few weeks the Italain would have undermined his own authority and possibly done irreparable damage to his own standing as England boss.
At least the lady in question has said she won’t be selling her story, which will be of some comfort to Terry’s wife and family, and might help take some of the sting out of the story.
Terry’s decision making off the field over the years has been found wanting for a long time now.
In the past we’ve had the 2002 fight in the night club lobby, which he was found not guilty off, but was an unsavoury incident at best which did his reputation no good. The previous betrayals of his wife (before they wed), the apparent guided tours of the Chelsea training ground for cash and now the apparent hiring out of his Wembley luxury box, a privilege afforded to England captains.
How many chances can one man have? And how can a man like Capello stake his reputation on such a character to not let him down in the future?
If Fabio was having any doubts about his decision, then surely the circus that met him at the Airport on his return to the UK on Thursday would have made his mind up once and for all. The reception he was greeted with is surely the type of scene he would have been hoping to avoid during his time as England manager.
Capello’s reasons for his decision have not been (and will probably never be) made public. Whether it be that he thought the squad could be split under Terry, or that he had to uphold his reputation as a tough disciplinarian, or just plainly and simply (given Capello’s Roman Catholic beliefs) that he found this behaviour totally immoral and against everything he believes in, we don’t know. Either way though, it looks the correct one.
The role of captain is in the main a symbolic one, if England are to win the world cup they are going to need more than one ‘captain’ on the field. As fans we would like to believe we have 6 or 7 leaders out there. Hopefully Terry will now respond in the right manner and show what he can do on the pitch.
Rio Ferdinand’s promotion to captain seems to have divided opinion, I’ve seen plenty of negative quotes on blogs and forums along the lines of ‘so now we have a player who missed a drugs test as captain’.
Whatever the rights or wrongs of Ferdinand’s appointment as captain, Capello did wipe the slate clean when he took over as manager and so far Rio hasn’t stepped out of line. If he does, then I’m sure all his past misdemeanours will came back and count against him, as they have done with John Terry.