The big news out of England this weekend other than Manchester United’s thrashing of Arsenal on Sunday has been the off-the field adventures of Chelsea and England captain John Terry. A court earlier this week lifted a media blackout surrounding an affair between the Chelsea defender and the girlfriend of former teammate Wayne Bridge. The burning question is who will succeed Terry ? His natural successor is Steven Gerrard of Liverpool who was a contender for the captain’s spot when Capello first became manager. However, Gerrard’s recent dip in form will not have gone unnoticed with the manager who believes his captain plays a huge part in the chemistry of his team. It is possible that Gerrard might get passed over so who are the other likely candidates ?
According to some reports, lingerie model Vanessa Perroncel had an affair with Terry which led to an alleged abortion terminating her pregnancy with Terry’s child. The implications of this story are huge, not only for John Terry himself, but also for England’s World Cup hopes in South Africa. Fabio Capello has insisted from the beginning that his players exhibit more responsibility for their private lives so this will definitely have repercussions with the Italian.
In my view, Terry has already been removed from his position as Bridge and Terry will likely be selected together to England’s World Cup squad. Revelations of this type will only serve to unsettle Capello’s squad which is an unacceptable set of circumstances for him at this stage of the season. Bridge’s Manchester City teammates have already come out in support of Bridge in a public display of solidarity by wearing specially designed T-shirts.
Two names at the front of the line are Rio Ferdinand, the Manchester United defender, and Frank Lampard, Terry’s Chelsea teammate. The concern is that there aren’t many club captains currently playing for England with the experience to handle the pressure of leading a national team at the World Cup. Ferdinand has captained Manchester United regularly but Lampard hasn’t shown the type of leadership skills that would make him an automatic choice.
My choice at this stage would still be Steven Gerrard but if I was Capello, I might delay the announcement until closer to the end of the season to see if anyone becomes the natural choice.
Would David Beckham be asked to take over the armband ? Highly doubtful, although a good choice as Beckham always led with pride and passion. He no longer commands a starting spot on the team so choosing him would limit Capello’s flexibility with his starting line-up.
Interesting days ahead as this pantomime unfolds…………………..