England Captain, Role Model?!

So, after 29 games as England captain John Terry’s reign of terror has come to an abrupt end after tabloid revelations about his personal life.

England manager Fabio Capello has been widely applauded for his no-nonsense stance on this latest indiscretion, whilst Terry has lost arguably the most treasured part of his multimillion-pound life.

That said, when you look at the cold hard facts, why have they chosen now to punish Terry when in truth he has hardly been a bastion of morality beforehand? Added to this, what has Terry done so wrong that his successor Rio Ferdinand hasn’t?

Let me deal with the first question initially:

For those who don’t already know, John Terry has been in hot water many times during his career:

It is alleged that he has cheated on his wife with no less than 9 different women, including former porn star Karina Clarke.

In September 2001 Terry, along with team mates Frank Lampard, Jody Morris and Eidur Gudjohnsen were fined by Chelsea after lewd and drunken behaviour in a hotel during the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks.

August 2002, Terry was in court after allegedly attacking a nightclub doorman with a bottle. Terry was subsequently cleared, but was enhancing his bad-boy reputation.

March 2008, Terry was given a £60 fine. He parked his Bentley in a disabled space outside a Pizza Express in Surrey. There was a 50p an hour bay just metres away.

Last December, Terry is alleged to have offered a private tour of Chelsea’s training ground in exchange for £10,000.

Worryingly I could keep on listing Terry’s misdemeanours for several more paragraphs; however I think you get the general idea.

When one sees Terry’s past misdeeds in black and white, it is understandable why he could not be considered an appropriate role model. His latest slip up is quite rightly the straw that broke the camel’s back, not only because of all his other indiscretions either.

 The reason that the Wayne Bridge/John Terry/ Vanessa Perroncel triangle is such big news is because of the nature of football and the role of the England captain in the squad. Football is a team game. A fight in the trenches, look after your team mates, all for one and one for all game. At least it is meant to be. The focal point of the team ethic, the sense of togetherness is meant to be the captain. When Terry betrayed his friend and team mate he went past a point where that team ethic can never be repaired.

How can the rest of the squad trust or follow a man who has betrayed one of them? How can Terry possibly ask the players to believe he is committed to the common cause when he has acted so selfishly and thoughtlessly toward one of the squad’s more popular members? Simply put, all his other indiscretions were those that affected people outside of the squad. The one that has ultimately cost him affected Wayne Bridge, but also the England squad as a unit. Footballers are fiercely loyal to their team mates. Terry’s actions will not soon be forgotten amongst all of the players. Capello, having been around the game as long as he has recognizes this and has taken the only course available to him and relieved Terry of the armband. How Terry fits into the squad as just another player remains to be seen.

Terry’s place has been filled by Rio Ferdinand; popular amongst his fellow players but also no stranger to controversy. Ferdinand’s rap sheet is similar in length to that of John Terry.

Some highlights include:

1997-Charged with Drink Driving, kicked out of Glenn Hoddle’s England squad as a result.

2001-Breaks curfew on England duty to go to a strip club.

2002-Banned from driving for speeding.

2003-Banned from football for 8 months for “forgetting” to attend a drugs test. Also banned from driving again. For speeding. Again.

2004-Caught cheating on his girlfriend with model Coralie Robinson and also linked to at least two other women.

2005-banned from driving again after being caught doing 105mph.

2006- Calls Chris Moyles a “faggot” live on the radio.

2008-Having been named and anti-gun ambassador by the government Ferdinand attracts criticism after his “rocket launcher” goal celebration.

Like Terry, Ferdinand has a fairly lengthy list of poor behaviour. How is it that he is deemed a worthwhile role model whilst Terry isn’t? I suppose it comes down to two main factors:

1. Ferdinand has kept his nose fairly clean in recent years. He has been mostly well behaved whilst Capello has been in charge.

2. Ferdinand, whilst undoubtedly stupid in his past, has never directly affected the afore-mentioned team morale in the way Terry has. All of his misbehaviour has affected only him or his family rather than those in the England or Manchester United squads.

I am not saying these are strong enough reasons for Ferdinand to succeed Terry. Especially when you consider Terry has been in trouble a similar number of times to Ferdinand, and in some cases for similar offences. However in the here and now, Capello has deemed Ferdinand to be suitably well behaved to captain his country.

If you take the current squad as a whole it is difficult to really find a positive role model in the 1st XI. Gambling addictions, womanizing, infidelity, assault, affray, motoring offences the list goes on and on. On the face of it, I guess it is a case of dispensing with the moral outrage of the general public and choosing someone who Capello feels benefits the team in the best way. Ultimately, amidst all the talk of role models and responsibility, Capello is charged with making England successful; at any cost. Presumably, Ferdinand is who is seen to be the best man for the job. That or the lesser of several evils.

What sort of a captain Ferdinand turns out to be remains to be seen. For the time being, he is less of a threat to team unity than John Terry and his libido, and that is all that Fabio Capello and the rest of the squad are interested in.

Footballers? Role models? It would seem it is hard to find such a thing. It is more a case of he who is the least worst behaved gets the armband.



  1. I can name one man who has an unblemished record, is a role model, model professional and genuinely humble person, as well as being an inspirational player whose performance boosted by the honour that should have been his in the first place.

    Steven Gerrard MBE

    In case anyone brings up the one incident in his entire career, involving that DJ in 2008…

    “The case went to trial in Liverpool Crown Court. Gerrard’s co-defendants pleaded guilty before the trial but Gerrard maintained his innocence. Gerrard admitted hitting Marcus McGee but claimed it was in self defence and on July 24, Gerrard was found not guilty by the jury. Following the verdict, Gerrard said he was looking forward to getting back to playing football and putting the experience behind him.”

  2. Dearest Boner’s Brain,

    Vanessa Perroncel is far more attractive than his wife and mother of his children, therefore I think we can all forgive him for this affair.

    I would have thought his captaincy will help Ferdinand play to the best of his ability whereas young John will always give his all.

    As for Rooney, easily our best player, and he sleeps with 40year old grandma prostitutes. He is the gift that keeps on giving.


  3. Top work Red. I do love watching football (even the perculiar brand they claim to play at my beloved Pompey), but I despise their arrogance, lack of morality and pathetic simpering apologies when they are caught out – “I regret my actions and realise I am a role model and that kids look up to me”. It is as if the cretins are reading from a standard FA ‘Caught Out, Speak To The Press Pro Forma’. Kids don’t look up to you – they look up to your untouchable massively overpaid lifestyles in your mock-tudor Cheshire mansions.

    Captain and role model? Go with David James (yes, I am biased). His only crimes (and they are numerous) are aginst fashion.

  4. I don’t know this Toadie fella, but I’d agree that Jamo has to be up there in the footballer good egg stakes. He talks like a real person and not an overgrown toddler for a start. Apart from that, Michael Owen is as upstanding a character there is in football. The same applies to Becks (despite his minor philandering indiscretions and, I mean, come on, it’s Becks – look at him! It’s a miracle he’s only done it once!). Owen Hargreaves is a top man and would get my vote if he was fit. The only thing about all of the above candidates is that, none of them has secured a place in Capello’s starting XI. For my money, that means that the one and only candidate for the job as England Captain/Role model for the youth of today is none other than the great man himself, Sir Emile of Heskey.

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