Wednesday, 3 February 2010

The John Terry Saga

For the first instalment of my sports blog it seems hard to look past the story that has been dominating news, sports and otherwise, and that is of course the ongoing John Terry affair. It is impossible to look at any news or sport website or newspaper and avoid this story. Nevertheless it did seem a convenient starting point for my new blog and thus I will be offering my view on the situation and asking the question of the extent to which his off-the-field activities ought to impact upon events on the field.

Ultimately, John Terry will not be able to escape the abuse of away fans across the country, in the short-term at least, and nor does he deserve to. Burnley supporters made this point abundantly clear with their chant of ‘same old Terry, always cheating’ in this week’s premiership clash with Chelsea which was as inevitable as it was original and witty. However, is it fair that such reactions towards him ought to result in Terry surrendering, or be removed of, the England captaincy?

Unfortunately, although it may not be fair, such seedy personal affairs will unavoidably impact upon his role within the football world. As our national captain Terry has to represent English football whether it is on or off the field. His affair with Wayne Bridge’s ex Vanessa Perroncel brings negative and unneeded attention to the England football team.

Terry is obviously not the only player in the English national set-up to have received negative media attention. Beckham underwent a similar experience after his supposed affair with Rebecca Loos while we should not forget how Ashley Cole cheated on Cheryl Cole only last year * prick*. As well as this it was not too long ago that Stephen Gerrard was caught on CCTV delivering a series of upper-cuts to a barman in a Liverpool nightclub. The key difference here is that Terry’s affair has the added dimensions that it involved the ex-girlfriend of another player that you would assume will be in the world cup squad travelling to South Africa this summer and that Terry is of course the captain of the national team.

‘Team Bridge’ t-shirts have already been displayed by Wayne Bridge’s fellow Man City teammates which illustrates the division that Terry’s actions have caused. Yet the division is not an even one, John Terry finds himself heavily out-numbered by the public and footballers alike. Ultimately, footballers are no longer just sports-stars but are now celebrities which means that their actions off-the-pitch are scrutinised as much as their performances on-the-pitch.

John Terry has cheated on his wife and childhood sweetheart, with whom he has twin children, with the ex-girlfriends of a former club, and current national team, teammate. This is pure gold dust to the media world and will boost sales of trashy women’s magazines and newspapers alike.

A part of me feels sympathy for Terry who has done something that hundreds of thousands of other married people will do this year but his dirty laundry is aired to the nation. This sympathy does not last long however. He has been given the honour that is the boyhood dream of millions of children and he is currently on wages of over £100,000 a week. If he chooses to have an affair then he ought to live with consequences.

A footballer lives their life under the scrutiny of the media’s and the public’s prying glaze, even if people think that this ought not to be the case. In the coming days it will be decided if Terry will take a break from football to escape the media attention and, after a pending meeting with no nonsense England coach Fabio Capello, whether or not he will retain the captaincy of the national team.

I would say he certainly needs to be on the plane to South Africa, whether he will be wearing the armband in this summer’s world cup is hard to say. When the whistle blows in England’s first game of the 2010 World Cup against the USA on the 12th June I doubt anyone will care who wears the armband, this story will inevitably blow over and as long as Terry does not lose the complete support of his national teammates there is no reason why he cannot, or will not, continue his captaincy. What is for certain is that the coming month is going to be an extremely painful one for John Terry and frustratingly repetitive for those people whose day heavily involves the reading of the BBC sport website or the watching of Sky Sports News.


  1. Nice article Pollard, I'm looking forward to your views on Leeds' FA Cup run and I guess your planning a Super Bowl one aswell. I'll see you and your reporters notepad on Sunday night!

  2. End of paragraph 4 "tha" => "the"?

    Is it really that important who wears the armband? Surely if he is a natural leader then he doesn't need the superfluous token of leadership to lead the team, Graham Taylor for one believes that the role of England Captain is blown way out of proportion, after all it isn't like setting a field in cricket for which the Captain is solely responsible. If this were the case would you think that removing the armband from JT would quieten the media frenzy down or just increase it in length?

    By complete support of his teammates do you mean that if one player (say SWP as he is at City) loses confidence in JT then he should be replaced as Captain or would a majority have to lose confidence first. Surely anything divisive has to be removed in order for the team to function as a team? Would it be the right move to take Wayne Bridge now (assuming JT is the more important) as if I was him I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him, however what are the options for a reserve left back? Gibbs = injured, Warnock = average, Shorey = kept out by Warnock.

    Does it say something about todays society that just before a major national tournament the media take such delight in reporting at length something which can harm the national team, as opposed to possibly conspiring to keep it quiet until after the tournament. Has such a nationalistic sentiment ever existed in the media?

  3. I see we have a potential blogger competing in length with Polly's Pause for Thought. Though I appreciate the correction RE. end of paragraph 4. Good spot.

    Despite your and Graham Taylor's as yet untainted reputations .... wait a second. Graham Taylor? England's biggest footballing failure. While we're appointing such sages in the country's important position, let me remind people not to forget to vote Cameron 2010. No no no, let's do ourselves a huge favour and disregard Graham Taylor's bemusing remarks about the unimportance of a captain. For example, has it not been one of Arsenal's weaknesses for years now - the lack of a unifying, motivating presence to direct the high-school fresh youths of North London?

    For the first time it seems that this England team under Fabio Capello has reversed a tradition that has haunted the three lions in recent times. For once the players are not bigger than the manager. I am a bigger influence on the England than Steve McClaren was. Capello undersatands what is best for the squad in psychological and footballing terms.

    As grand as your afterthought pretends to be and as conforming to every other conservative quibble around it is, our "broken society" (CF David Cameron) is not at fault for the freedom of the media, which you seem to despise. Must the media and public scheme to hide the embarrassment of a ashamed public figure? x

  4. I would firstly like to say that it is great that people are getting involved in the blog.

    As far as this debate goes, in my opinion, the role of the England captain, although it may not be as important as that of a cricket captain during the match, is nevertheless extremely important. Maintaining leadership and harmony within the nation set up is extremely important, now so more than ever in the build up to South Africa. As captain John Terry is a national emblem and at the front of all matters concerning the England football team both on and off the field. To think that he can simply be stripped of the captaincy because it is a 'superfluous token of leadership' is too underplay its importance. I do however agree that whether he remains as captains or not the media frenzy that will follow either outcome will probably be the same.

    As for the importance of keeping the support of his teammates this much is surely undeniable. Removing Wayne Bridge from the squad will not solve that issue. Terry's actions will surely drag his character into question within the squad and to strip him of the armband may go some way to alleviate this problem. It may also act as helpful reminder to all footballers that they are national icons and role models that will be held accountable for their actions.

    Ultimately, as I said in the piece, come 12th June who will remember or care about this issue? Capello will deal will the problem swiftly and definitively and then the squad and the nation can, and will, move past this ugly incident.

    The article was more concerned with whether his personal affairs should impact so heavily on his role as captain. As Terry accepted the responsibility that is inseparable with the role of a modern captain it is only fair that he lives with the inevitable consequences of his actions. I dont think that he deserves the efforts of people 'conspiring to keep it quiet'.

    The media will continue to write endless stories about this over the comign weeks as it going to sell magazines and newspapers. The bottom line is that Terry has to be on the plane to South Africa, whether he is captain or not is hard to forsee. In my opinion the whole situation has already grown tiresome. The situation ought to be resolved, learned from and moved past... for everybodies sake!

  5. I do not despise freedom of the media I am merely bemused by the changeable nature of said media which appears to build every team up then do there very best to tear it down before a ball has been kicked.

    At least my reputation is untainted :). As for Graham Taylor I was using him to illustrate a point after all on the England team there are around 5-6 people who hold or have held a Captains armband for club or country, so they are all leaders. Thus does which one wears the armband on the pitch matter to the on the pitch performance? As for off the pitch there aren't many players without morally questionable actions so that would be a tough call to make.

    The BBC and SSN are currently reporting JT has been stripped so to indulge in some predictions who will get the armband?

  6. Right Gents, it seems that Fabio has provided us with a suitable solution to this debate and in relatively swift time. I would say however, that in the short term I believe it is the correct decision, although I do not doubt that come kick off in South Africa this issue will be long out of our memories.

    Considering that the issue has been put to rest for now I believe the debate turns to England's next captain. In my opinion there are three suitable candidates, Rio who will take over vs Egypt on March 3rd, Gerrard who moves up to vice-captain and a Mr Wayne Rooney.

    Rio was the logical choice considering his wealth of experience and his role at the heart of England's defence, however, he is having a incredibly poor season by his standards. Plagued by injury and suspensions, his form has been distinctly average for United. Oh and lets not forget his history, wasn't there a small matter of a missed drugs test...

    Steven Gerrard, England's new Vice-captain - a quiet, reserved individual who lets his football do the talking on the pitch and his left, right combination off it...

    Wayne Rooney, without doubt, the form player in the League at the moment. Love him or hate him, the man was born to play football. Yes, his temperament is questionable, but he is maturing and is certainly beginning to let his football genius shine through. Some pundits would disagree with him being Captain, they would compare him to Kevin Pietersen and his inadequacies as a Captain. Such a comparison is flawed in so many ways - in a cricketing sense though, Rooney would most definitely put an innings in...

    So there we have it - those are our nation's footballing leaders. Terry stripped of the armband for bedding a team-mates woman, but how long until the next story takes the spotlight. Rio's drug test and Stevie G's brawl were quickly forgotten or over-shadowed, and the same will happen with Terry. The British media are a fickle bunch, Beckham, Rio, Gerrard, Pietersen, Flintoff have all felt it's wrath in the past, and they remain our nation's heroes. JT will be back, that I am sure of.

  7. pardaad1508.. sorry pal, you are a bigger influence on the england what?? paragragh 3 line numero 4???? BOOOOOOM!!!!
    lots of love
    Frank xxxx


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