Occasionally, I am accused of being a cold fish. I can live with that. I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve, as the Bard would say. I loathe public displays of affection. Group hugs? Sharing my all? Baring my soul? You can keep the lot of it. When the girlfriend stomps through the front door, throws her bag across the room and thunders into the bathroom to soak, I don’t instantly assume that it’s my fault. Call me cold, if you like. In my book, ‘cold’ is preferable to ‘needy’.
In the second most tedious transfer kerfuffle of the summer, we hear this morning that John Terry feels “unwanted, and even betrayed”.
“It’s unbelievable – even though he’s the club captain and one of the Blues’ most important players, senior management at the club haven’t once tried to talk to him.” So says that most spineless of journalistic gambits, the unnamed “source close to the player”. There was a time, once, when unnamed sources were anathema to serious newspapers. In fact, for any of you that have enjoyed the 5th series of David Simon’s outstanding The Wire, this issue will be a familiar one.
So yes, this is the story that Manchester City have probably made a reasonably large offer for Chelsea and England captain John Terry, that Chelsea instantly made a point of rejecting said offer out of hand, that City may well come back with a larger offer in the near future, that that offer will – again, probably, instantly – be rejected out of hand as well, and that JT will almost certainly begin next season as a Chelsea player. Let’s be honest… if he really wants to go – and I couldn’t really blame him if City are offering to double an already quite immoderate salary – he’s going to have to hand in a transfer request. It’s the only way Chelsea can come out of it with their heads held high, at least from a fans’ point of view.
Betrayed? Unwanted? Supposing it is all true, what exactly is the big number 26 after? Do Teflon Pete Kenyon’s pronouncements not hold water for JT? Is he, perchance, remembering any votes of confidence in managers past? Or is he just a needy fellow? Someone’s offered you £300k a week, John. Let me be the first to extend the offer of a big hug.
Now, just suppose that it’s all true. That the captain and legend is seriously weighing up the investment opportunities open to a man who earns £10million or so a year. Feeling “betrayed” could be very much a precursor to manoeuvring one’s self out of the door. I can hear it now. Chelsea never made me feel as though they really wanted me. No, I don’t think £130k a week qualifies as wanting. It’s not about the money, it’s about the cuddles.
Alright, so it’s silly season. I don’t really think any of this is true. Terry upset that the club hasn’t contacted him? Contact them, then… I’m sure you can cover the cost of an overseas call. And don’t tell me you don’t have Roman’s number in your phone. Well, one of them, anyway. The encrypted one, perhaps, straight to the red telephone with the white cat sitting next to it.