Belfast Telegraph

Steven Beacom: Capello must take a stand over John Terry’s arrogance

First things first — John Terry is a fantastic footballer.

On the pitch he’s been brilliant for Chelsea and England.

Domestically he has won every trophy the game has to offer and had he been a bit better at taking a high pressure penalty, he would have claimed Champions League glory as well.

On the international front Terry has been a fine player for his country and will be at the heart of the defence in their quest to triumph in the World Cup this summer.

But he should NOT, repeat should NOT, be in South Africa as captain, a position these days in celebrity obsessed Britain with as much status, if not more, than that of the Prime Minister.

It’s time that somebody took a stand against the arrogance of high profile footballers who believe they can do what they like without any consequence.

And given that Fabio Capello will have the final say on the captaincy issue, that somebody should be him.

Since becoming England coach, respect has been a key element in his reign.

Terry didn’t show much of that to his international team-mate when he embarked on an alleged affair with the mother of Wayne Bridge’s child.

I know all too well that finding a whiter-than-white player in the England squad is more difficult than climbing Mount Everest in high heels and that any successor to the current skipper may have skeletons in his designer cupboards, but that should not make any difference to the here and now.

John Terry is the England captain.

I’m not saying he should be a saint in that position but it would be nice to think he would have a touch of class and a degree of decency off the field as well as ability on it.

It’s not just the recent allegations that have to be questioned — some of his behaviour in the past has been beyond the pale.

Kids all over the UK look up to him.

He’s a hero.

He’s the man they want to be. He has a responsibility.

He is supposed to set an example. Some example.

Go on son, get in there, do whatever you like, hurt whoever you want, you’ve got money and fame, they can’t touch you.

Well, in this sorry tale, Fabio Capello can by taking the precious armband away.

Terry loves being England skipper, just like those who went before him.

Not only has the armband provided him with a healthier bank balance due to the commercial interests that go with it, the captaincy has granted him the type of honour and prestige that he could only dream about when he was growing up.

I do wonder though how much honour he has among his England team-mates right now.

If what he has done doesn’t bother his England buddies one little bit that will tell you more about them than you will ever read in their ghosted autobiographies.

Surely some of them know right from wrong and therefore their feelings towards their leader would be compromised.

True, you don’t have to like a team captain, but you do need to have trust in him.

In pure footballing terms, which it will come down to, if Capello finds that trust is missing, his decision will be easy, as a negative impact on the squad would not be tolerated.

A squad incidentally that have a great chance of going a long way in the World Cup.

I’ve said before I wouldn’t be surprised if they won the thing.

And should that happen it wouldn’t shock me to see a new captain, whoever that may be, call Terry alongside him to lift the gleaming gold trophy high into the air.

Unless the new captain is Wayne Bridge of course.

Belfast Telegraph

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