I’m sure there was a time in his life, probably long before was smitten by the unrequited love of money among other things, when John Terry dreamt of lifting the World Cup trophy.
But with a list of previous as long as the arm of, well, the man with the longest arms in the world, Terry was, in the gambling parlance he may be familiar with, a busted flush.
Rather than being gone in 720 seconds, his sacking as England captain was a long time coming. In reality Capello was stewing over it since his skipper’s ‘super injunction’ application fell on a judge’s deaf ears.
Tony Cascarino commented that Capello’s decisiveness (which for stg£5m a year isn’t a big ask) sharply contrasted with “the previous regime”; surmising that Sven would have given the serial offender an extra stripe for his reported carry-on. Clearly Tony, like many people, has already forgotten Steve McClaren.
With stories about Terry’s not-so-private life mushrooming — and allegations about his tawdry money-milking sidelines sticking in the craw — the reality is that ‘the JT situation’ was out of control.
That he didn’t have the gumption to resign the armband himself would indicate that he thought he was untouchable or that Capello couldn’t care less about his captain’s moral fibre. The Italian, a practising Catholic, might well be sick of Terry’s capacity for scandal. But the bottom line is he simply doesn’t need the hassle, hence his statement that it was “best for me” to relieve Terry of his duties. He knew full well that the English media would have ensured that every press conference from now ’til June would be a scandal-skirting exercise, with the red tops (other than ‘The Sun’, whom Terry “writes” for) busily digging for dirt on an almost daily basis.
The list of prospective replacements wasn’t exactly a who’s who of whiter than whites. Rio Ferdinand is possibly not even the best of a bad lot, but at least he has the fear of Fergie to keep him half-straight. Terry, by all accounts, calls most of the shots at Chelsea. And that’s something that Capello would have been wary of too.
Footnote: Quote-of-the-week garlands to Garth Crooks, the BBC’s foot-in-mouth expert. After waxing lyrical about Terry’s superb display for his club on Sunday‘s MotD2, he concluded: “This guy has balls of steel.” Good man Garth.