We have a great opinion piece for you today from our Chester correspondent, Robert Gant. As the academic year starts to draw to a close, you may well find more and more sports and entertainment features here at Young Academic – your number one source of vibrant student news.
The decision by England manager Fabio Capello to reinstate John Terry as England skipper raised eyebrows across the land, sent the country’s tweeters into overdrive and gave Capello’s critics more ammunition to fire in the Italians direction. A year after being stripped of the armband for his off-field antics, it remains to be seen the impact John Terry’s return to the position of captain will have on the national side.
“Gerrard would be ideal but given his recent brushes with the law and his own injury problems he hardly looks ideal to anyone outside of Merseyside”
Many critics of both Capello and Terry would argue the decision is simply absurd. In fact many people who aren’t ferocious critics of either the Italian manager or the once shamed Chelsea centre back would agree that the decision is a little strange. Just over a year ago it was revealed John Terry had been having a sexual affair with his England teammate and former best friend Wayne Bridge’s girlfriend. In terms of punishment that doesn’t seem like the kind of misdemeanour that has a time limit until it is forgiven and forgotten about. Certainly it is hard to imagine the other players in the England dressing room will have forgotten about it. Despite being happy or maybe just willing to line up next to Terry for England, it is a completely different thing being led out onto the field by a man of that character and nature.
Former England striker Gary Lineker predicts it will damage team spirit within the England camp and it is hard to see how that will not be the case. At a crucial time in the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign it seems a careless and clumsy decision for Capello to rock the boat in such a public way, something his ever growing band of critics have been keen to point out over the last week.
In Capello’s defence the question must be asked; who else would have been suitable for the role? Rio Ferdinand’s career looks to be drawing to an end as he is besieged by injuries. Liverpool fans will scream that Steven Gerrard would be ideal but given his recent brushes with the law and his own injury problems he hardly looks ideal to anyone outside of Merseyside. Ashley Cole is hardly captain material; Frank Lampard is no longer guaranteed a starting spot for England. The national side doesn’t have a settled number one goalkeeper it can turn to for a captain.
Despite this, giving Terry the armband back sends out all the wrong messages. Not only does it send out the wrong message to the players in the England squad concerning their discipline, it also sends out the wrong message to the young football fans all over the country who idolise the players who pull on the England shirt.
The other regulars in the England side might not be ideal candidates for the job of England captain but given the events of a year ago and the calamitous World Cup that followed; all of them would probably have been more suitable than Mr Terry. In the build up the game against Wales this Saturday the England captaincy saga steadily rumbles on. A good result against the Welsh and this debate will probably fall away into the background somewhere. A bad result against our local rivals and it is hard to imagine this saga remaining anywhere but right in the spotlight.