I hold my hand up and confess to all you CFC fans that I might have had something to do with the breaking of the JT story. A couple of weeks ago I complained to my daughter that it’s been ages since the newspapers ran any interesting Chelsea stories and she sagely suggested it might not have been such a bad thing. “When have the papers had anything good to say about us?” she quipped. My reply was that I didn’t find anything to write about to which she answered “Don’t tempt fate dad.”
Now I know she is third year psychology student but I didn’t know that modern psychology courses trained students in how to use their psychic powers.
So on to the subject in question. A lot of hot air has been let loose since the John Terry story broke last week with every Tom, Dick and Harry expressing disgust at his behavior.
Call me old fashioned if you like but once you settle down and have kids they go straight to the top of your priorities list and I would never do anything to hurt them. But that’s me. I’m not a football player on a hundred and fifty grand a week with women throwing themselves at me at regular intervals a few times a day.
With the perks comes the responsibility and even his staunchest supporters, and I include myself among them, cannot say that off the field JT has handled his affairs (no pun intended) well. We like to think some of the decisions he makes follow bad advice from his agents and what not, but I am sure that none of these have advised him to go off and bonk the neighbour, who also happens to be the girlfriend (or ex whatever she was) of a mate.
Having said all this, the talk of stripping him of the England captaincy is utterly ludicrous. A team captain has to deliver on the pitch and where it matters JT has been the undisputed number one for many years, both for club and country. And it’s not like his team mates in the England team who are being put forward as alternatives are whiter than white. Gerrard was acquitted of GBH under dubious circumstances (for chrissakes he was caught on CCTV), Ferdinand missed a drugs test. David Beckham was bonking his PA while his wife and kids were away and Wayne Rooney had it off with a granny prostitute when he was still in his teens.
The good thing about it is that Fabio Capello is unlikely to be taken aback by the goings on. After all he comes from a country where the seventy something Prime Minister has been exposed having sex with eighteen year old models and his popularity ratings went up.
The hypocrisy is reaching new heights today as the FA gets involved, the same organization in which the CEO and the England manager were having it off with the same bird. It’s true that this stopped when Brian Barwick was appointed but then which secretary in her right mind is going to shag him?
Also the Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe, the same bloke who strongly opposed the idea of transparency on MPs expenses and the investigation into the Iraq War is joining the fray. People, glasshouses and stones keep springing into mind.
There is only one conclusion that can be drawn from the whole sordid affair and that is a football captain has a job to do on the pitch and should ONLY be judged on what goes on there. JT is heads and shoulders above every English football playing person in that department. So he should be the man to captain the England side while he is doing the job the way he is at the moment.
While my sympathy in this issue lies with Wayne Bridge, the Team Bridge thing didn’t exactly get off to a flying start. Only Stephen Ireland (the one who refuses to play for his country), Nigel De Jong and Carlos Tevez wore the shirt. More significantly JT’s England team mates Gareth Barry and Shaun Wright Phillips did not. Which just about says it all about JT’s standing in the England team.
For the first time in living memory England are going to the World Cup with a realistic chance of doing really well. Sven is a long gone memory and England go into the competition with a decent bunch of players and a seriously good manager. Why do the papers feel the need to undermine the whole operation by sending England with the third or fourth best player as captain?