It began on 23 October when John Terry was alleged to have racially abused Anton Ferdinand during the Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Chelsea. It’s now 10 February and the end to this disappointing affair is just a dint on the horizon with the court case not due till July. Who would have thought that this dispute would transform, gaining momentum and continue to be a major talking part this far into the season causing England manager Fabio Capello to resign from his England post?
It should have been cleared up earlier. In fact, the court case should have been held now were it not for a few scheduling issues. Instead we have a problem that hasn’t been resolved and continues to eat up column space both in print and online media.
…tossed around to no great avail,
The England captaincy means a lot to John Terry, which is understandable given how England supporters cherish the symbol of the national team’s armband. It’s seen as the pinnacle in the English game and after he was stripped of it when allegations of an affair with a team-mate’s girlfriend came to light two seasons ago, it affected him greatly. The England captaincy was tossed around to no great avail, coming across as a game of musical chairs as one person would come in and wear it and then vacate the position, all the while John Terry was still in the squad irked at not being given the chance to captain his country again.
Effectively the same thing will happen now under much more controversial circumstances. Despite rumours that Terry would quit it appears he’s decided (if he ever made a choice in the first place) to get on with it but with rumours of apparent ructions in the squad concerning his actions and his reluctance to step down voluntarily, he’s caused more problems than needed. Regardless of the “innocent till proven guilty” mantra that rang around the web by the FA’s decision when you’re accused of racism, relieving the pressure on yourself and those around you by abdicating the captaincy would have alleviated the situation somewhat.
…snowballed into an embarrassment…
Capello perhaps was wrong to stand by his captain, conceding that the FA had the authority but dismayed that he was not made a part of the decision. It’s a sorry state of affairs that has snowballed into an embarrassment with the English media now berating Capello, revising history and arguing that he should have left after the failed World Cup campaign in 2010.
With no real candidates offering themselves for captaincy in the squad (Wayne Rooney is suspended for two group games and Rio Ferdinand has sensibly distanced himself from the matter); we’re stuck here with no manager, no real sense of conviction and the media arguing for managers who, despite their relative successes, haven’t won anywhere near the amount or been as excellent as someone like Capello has.
…turned into an annoying circus…
It’s overshadowing the two years of work England have put in to get ready for this tournament and it’s most definitely going to affect morale if the problem is not remedied soon. Suddenly it’s become a whole lot bigger than John Terry being demoted; it’s turned into an annoying circus that always seems to dog the England team at every opportunity. For all the pride Terry has in leading England it really shouldn’t have come to this and while he doesn’t deserve all the blame, some should be apportioned for his role in not heeding to common sense.
Image courtesy of Popularis