At some time this afternoon, “Don” Fabio Capello is understood to be making an announcement regarding his captain, John Terry, as he looks to prepare a promising England side for this year’s World Cup in South Africa.
Whether he sticks to this media-imposed timetable is another thing, Capello is clearly his own man. However, what is unescapable is that he will have to have a will of cast-iron if he is to ignore the media and make his decision based purely on “footballing terms”.
For anyone who isn’t aware of the rumours sweeping Fleet Street and the terraces of football grounds around the country, Terry is said to have had a four-month affair with a Miss Vanessa Perroncel, which began in September and also allegedly paid for her to have an abortion at a private clinic in October.
Perroncel, a French lingerie model and former nightclub hostess, is considering selling the story of her affair with Terry and has received offers in excess of £250,000. She has been thrust under the spotlight after details of her affair with Terry emerged when an injunction blocking reporting of the matter was revoked on Friday.
In today’s times, “Sports Star in Affair Shock” is hardly news. So, why this one? There’s a number of issues here. One – the affair, Terry has been happily married to childhood sweetheart Toni Poole for some time now, even gladly picking up a “Father of the Year” award recently.
Two – Terry is a no-nonsense player, he inspires those around him and in turn the fans by rugged example, he’s a man’s man, no Brylcream endorsements here. Three – the affair is not only with a former lingerie model (ooh and she’s foreign and all) but the ex-girlfriend of his England and ex-Chelsea teammate, Wayne Bridge.
Oh, and she is the mother of Bridge’s baby. Oh, and Bridge left Chelsea a couple of years ago despite showing good form for club and country.
Terry’s problem is that he played the role of “honest John” too hard. He’s just a guy who likes to play football guv’nor etc etc. However, beneath this veneer are further allegations of secret payments for behind the scenes tours of Chelsea FC, bids invited for commercial endorsements playing upon his England captaincy and who knows what else? No wonder he was so keen to try and secure that injunction.
Capello’s problem is that Terry is a fine player and has, until now, been a fine captain of club and country, leading both in their resurgence. However, a captain, by definition, needs the respect of the changing room and the fans. One would suspect that what respect he did have is now hanging by a thread.
The Press For Attention Prescription
Terry needs to make a statement. Capello needs to listen. It will be interesting to see what football grounds around the country do this weekend and Capello may even pay heed to the chanting. Are the fans cheering for Bridge? Do they feel his pain or are they more concerned with mocking Terry. Is it both? Can Terry be a great leader of men if he shows no greatness himself? Is he too good to drop entirely?
Maybe he should “rest” Terry for a game and give someone else the captaincy, hoping that he excels and that he is then un-droppable. Then blend Terry back in again. Whatever happens, Terry has caused this problem for himself. Like Tiger Woods before him he has been exposed as the antithesis of what he portrays. It is that portrayal which has, along with his undoubted talent, elevated him to where he is today. It is that portrayal which may ultimately be his downfall.Read More