John Terry `England Captain`. Never did like the sound of it. He portrays ignorance and instills a lack of pride- but that`s just my opinion. So when news broke on Terry`s recent personal life, alleging an affair with England and former Chelsea team mate Wayne Bridge`s girlfriend, the potential repercussions elated me. John Terry stripped of England captaincy? Isn`t that what I wanted for christmas? However, as I identified the potential replacements, I realised such events could only prove to serve in England`s detriment.
Despite off the field issues, Terry is in consistent form on the pitch. He will be the first to tell you he`s played better; however, Chelsea sit top of the premier league under his guidance as he remains injury free. Rumours continue to circulate that Mr Capello will relieve Terry of his captaincy and live up to his reputation as a staunch disiplinarian. However, lets consider the successor.
The current England vice-captain is Rio Ferdinand. Undoubtedly, when fit, one of the best defenders on the planet; an England captain he is not, especially under current circumstances. Ferdinand has struggled with fitness for the past 12 months and he must concentrate on arriving at the World Cup match fit. Often a linchpin at big tournaments, he`ll be crucial to any England success. However, recent ill discipline will leave him sidelined for 4 games, giving substance to the argument he cannot be trusted.
Steven Gerrard, vice captain during the ill-fated Steve McClaren era, is another stand out choice. For many years captain marvel at Liverpool, as he often leads with his performances. However, Gerrard is currently enduring a difficult season. Just turned 30, he has struggled with injuries all season as Liverpool`s over-reliance on him has left him fatigued and out of form. I cannot see the added pressure of captaining England to the World Cup as plausable.
Wayne Rooney, in sensatonal form at the moment, is in my mind a future England captain. Yes, he has shown himself to have a fragile temperament in the past, but I believe he now depicts a maturity far in beyond of his years. Comparisons can be made to the way Carlos Bilardo thrusted 24 year old Diego Mardona the armband in 1986. We all know what happened next. Interestingly, Maradona was sent off in his previous World Cup match for a wild lunge as Argentina exited at the second round stage in 82, as was Rooney against Portugal last time out. However, football has changed since then and this World Cup is certainly too early for Rooney. We pile enough pressure on our stars, and young Wayne must concentrate on his own fearless game going into the big matches.
I`d be very suprised if Terry is relinquished of his duties and believe, despite inward discontent, Capello will depict a calm and unfazed approach, while dealing with it in house. He cannot see the idea of changing captain 4 months before the start of the tournament as viable. Not one to make comparisons between cricket and football, but parallels can be seen between this situation and that involving Kevin Pietersen`s enforced resignation before the last Ashes series. England`s cricket team went on to win that series under Andrew Strauss`astute guidance. However, England`s best player Pietersen underperformed and hasn`t scored a century since. An unsettled Terry means an unsettled back four. He is undeniably a crucial piece of a complacated jigsaw, and we need our best players come June. So, as much as it pains me to say it, it`s John Terry `England Captain`.