England should stop snubbing leader John Terry
By Daily Mail
Updated Friday, 11th February 2011
Outcast: Terry marshals Nicklas Bendtner in Copenhagen
It is a year and six days since John Terry was stripped of the England captaincy but his ritual humiliation can still be found in a friendly littered with substitutions.
There it was again in Copenhagen, a farce which unfolded when Ashley Cole was replaced by Leighton Baines late in the game and a search party was dispatched to find an upstanding senior player to lead the team through the final nine minutes of a very gentle game. Someone. Anyone. Just not Terry.
Capello pointed to Gareth Barry, who at least had the decency to look slightly sheepish as he took the armband from a bemused Baines. Terry, a few yards away, bit his lip. He has been chastened in this way before, in a friendly against Egypt at Wembley last March.
Terry made no comment but these were his reflections on the Egypt episode from a Sportsmail interview last year:
'The armband got passed around between five or six players. I just felt, "OK, I've been stripped of the captaincy but don't take the p*** out of me". Fabio had told me at the meeting I was still a big voice in the dressing room and wanted that to continue but on the night it felt the opposite.'
Against Egypt it was perhaps more understandable. Only a month earlier, Terry had been summoned to Wembley by Capello and sacked as skipper after revelations of an affair with Vanessa Perroncel, the ex-girlfriend of Wayne Bridge, a former team-mate.
With justification, the England manager concluded this was the wrong man to lead English football into the World Cup finals. Besides, at that time, Capello still held out hope of tempting Bridge back into the international fray.?
Public clamour for Terry to be punished has abated, leaving the FA to consider what might be achieved by this persistent vilification? Will it happen against Ghana, next month? What if it flares up in a qualifier? It surely cannot be in the long-term interests of the team.
Friends of JT insist he will not be changed. Frank Lampard, wholed out the team in Denmark before passing the honour to Cole, said: 'There are leaders in the team and John is one of those. He remains a great captain, whether he has the armband or not.'
Taking the armband: Barry was handed the captaincy ahead of Terry in the closing stages of the game
Some of his finest performances have indeed been conjured in the name of defiance but, over time, the drip-drip-drip effect of the outcast treatment will hurt Terry.
At best, it will irritate him to the point where he no longer feels valued and gives less than his all. At worst, it will tempt him to retire from international duty and deny England one of the finest defenders of a generation. Excuses are available if Terry wants them.
Now into his thirties with a problematic nerve in his leg and a heavy schedule with a Champions League club, he could follow the example of Paul Scholes and Jamie Carragher.
Rumours circulated last autumn - and were swiftly denied - that his appetite for England was on the wane. His appearance on Wednesday was his first cap since August. But he played 90 minutes, and played well.
'He had a fantastic performance,' said Capello, prompting more questions. So has Terry served his time? Without making him permanent captain, will England acknowledge his leadership skills and pass him the armband for nine minutes if necessary?
'Give me time to decide everything,' the manager added.
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Source: Daily Mail