Friday, 5 February 2010


Fabio Capello did the right thing today by stripping the England captaincy from John Terry. Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United and England's current vice-captain will take over the role.

Terry's recent affair with the girlfriend of team mate Wayne Bridge was the straw that broke the camel's back following a long list of sexual indiscretions.

Fabio Capello has done the right thing for a number of reasons. John Terry's actions will undoubtedly affect the morale of his team. There will be those amongst his team-mates who see Terry as a captain invincible. Someone to be admired even. There are others who may feel that being the captain of England brings responsibility, leadership, pride and honour. Not words that are easily associated with a man who has behaved abysmally towards his wife and children and furthermore to a colleague. He has not learnt from his past mistakes but has continued to act with impunity.

Capello is on the brink of leading the England team to their first world cup final in over forty years. His skill and experience has steered England's players into a team which are hard to beat. Capello has made it clear that he does not tolerate the WAG and 'showbiz' culture that often overshadows and distracts the team's performance on the pitch. He simply cannot afford John Terry's antics to disrupt the dressing room and hamper England's chances of winning the world cup this summer. Capello gets my applause for not sanctioning the behaviour of a boorish, arrogant player who you get the feeling thinks that nothing can touch him.

I'm a little sad that an Englishman has behaved in this way and it took an Italian to stand up and send the message loud and clear that the captain's job means a little more than wearing an armband. I'm also sad though not surprised that John Terry didn't do the honourable thing - own up, apologise publicly, and stand down as captain.

The jury's out on Rio Ferdinand's suitability for the captaincy. Time will tell and all will be forgiven when he lifts the big one in Johannesburg...

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