It’s great to be John Terry right now… but he deserves it.
Posted March 20, 2011on:
I popped into Shoreditch to watch the Man City game this weekend – a thrilling 2-0 victory – a game that saw much improved possession, tactical shrewdness from Ancelotti and a new star in the making in man of the match David Luiz.
But while the chants of Luiz’s name rang round a jubilant Stamford Bridge this afternoon, the “Captain, Leader, Legend” banner gracing the Shed End refers to his partner in central defence.
Number 26. Chelsea first team regular since 2000. Skipper since 2004. Three League Championships, three FA Cups, two League Cups.
John Terry, England captain August 2006- January 2010, March 2011- …
Along with the pleasure of playing alongside the stylish Luiz, Terry can revel in the joy of his reinstatement to this position, stripped from him a year ago amid reports in the British tabloid press about his affair with Vanessa Perroncel (the former partner of Wayne Bridge).
A dithering U-turn from Capello (the Italian said last year that Terry would never be England captain again under his management, now it is “the end of a year of punishment”), the decision has met predictable indignation from England fans (London-based football customers).
“Disgrace. John terry is not fit to wear the shirt never mind the armband,” cry the comment feeds underneath online newspaper reports; “it just shows you that you can lay your team mates woman be forgiven and get your old job back” laments another outraged reader.
Harsh words indeed. And yes, having an affair with your team-mate’s missus is bad. Hurtful. Disloyal. Dishonest.
But it’s human. People up and down the country have affairs, be it for a source of happiness and an escape from a failing marriage, or a simple falling for someone else. It’s a poor way to handle an amorous situation, but you can’t repress your feelings.
This, however, in no way applies to the indiscretions of England fans favorite Wayne Rooney.
He’s a gifted footballer and an integral part of any success enjoyed by the England national team, but he’s also a man who slept with a prostitute seven times in four months while his wife was pregnant with his son.
That’s not a poor handling of feelings for someone else. It’s a perverse nymphomania and an arrogant belief in the right to sex on demand.
Colleen Rooney has a bit of a dilemma next time: Does she put out for darling Wayne in extreme discomfort when she’s 8-months pregnant? Or does she stay at home alone in the knowledge that her husband is out having sex with prostitutes?
The England fans who vilify Terry for his love affair worship 50-grans-a-week Rooney’s stuffed corpse. Question his importance to the international team or fail to join in with the prayer vigil when he breaks a metatarsal, and they’ll brand you a traitor.
I’m all for patriotism, but cheering on a person in an England shirt whose latent contempt for his own wife and seedy sex addiction arguably shames everything that makes England great – that’s a bit hollow.
I’m not arguing for the exclusion of every privately indiscreet footballer from England call-ups. What I’m doing is putting John Terry’s short-comings in context, explaining and supporting his rehabilitation, and highlighting the pig-headedness of many England fans.
Or to put it in bullet point form:
– People up and down Britain have affairs,
some of whom are elected politicians who are then forgiven by their own parties for them. John Terry is no better and no worse, and he acted out of feelings for another woman rather than to satisfy a sex addiction.
– Previous England captains have been sacked for private mistakes and then reinstated later (Tony Adams). Capello has done nothing new and is right to re-appoint someone if he thinks it is necessary.
The same expectations of personal morality apply to each player from 1 to 11. If England supporters think sleeping with prostitutes is forgivable of the indispensable Wayne Rooney, then they should get over the sins of an experienced, world-class defender and back Terry to the hilt as captain.