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John Terry Stripped Of Captaincy: Now They Should Stop Him Going To Euro 2012

by Richard Lewis
3 February 2012 40 Comments

The FA have seen sense and stripped Terry of the captaincy for the second time, now they should urge Capello not to pick him for the European Championships...

John Terry stars in the Scales of Justice 2.0

It was a predictable affair at London’s Westminster Magistrates’ Court this morning. Chelsea skipper John Terry entered a plea of not guilty to a racially aggravated public order offence – allegedly calling a fellow professional footballer a “black ****” – and a trial date was set. It was always going to be this way. Despite video evidence seen by most of the world, despite an admission from the player himself that he had used the words but only in a non-racist context, today was a mere formality.

Terry’s legal team also effectively set the date for the hearing, several being discussed according to reports but considerations extended to Chelsea’s fixture list, the Olympics and – most pertinently of all – England’s run at the European Championships. With the date set as the 9th of July, it freed John Terry to travel to the Euro 2012 with the England squad and as captain no less.

Now, this isn’t a call for some return to the Stalinesque days of the Gulags, to lambast those who are accused and to disrespect the fundamental principle that all just societies should be founded on – namely “innocent until proven guilty” – but there’s no way that John Terry being included in the England squad is a good idea.

It perhaps wouldn’t be so cut and dry if the insanity that had occurred in 2010 where John Terry was stripped of the England captaincy because he had broken the “bro code”. Yes, having an affair with the ex-girlfriend of a player who should have been nowhere near the England squad anyway was deemed a punishable offence and he was stripped of the captaincy. There were no denials at the time from any involved party, but little evidence either. Football might well be about bigger issues than just 22 men and a spherical object but a bit of marital infidelity? If that was worthy of a demotion in your place of work there would be too many Indians and not enough chiefs in the British workforce.

However, since being accused of racism the standpoint has been entirely more supportive. From the FA, from the England manager, from the morons who chanted “you know what you are” at Anton Ferdinand on two occasions… Innocent until proven guilty, yes. Right to continue representing your country? Absolutely not.

Overlook the fact that representing England is both a privilege in terms of what it does for a player’s profile and bank balance thanks to lucrative sponsorship deals and ignore the fact that the England team is meant to represent the highest values of its domestic game. Those are more abstract issues that can be debated to no end until the cows come home. The simple truth is that with all the distraction that the trial will cause, along with internal disruption within the squad, leaving Terry out of the squad is the best course of action for all parties, himself included.

Ever since the press – be it rightly or wrongly – got their hooks into him he has been a shambles anyway, a troubled mind always one lapse of concentration from conceding a goal. Chelsea have gone from defensive stalwarts to leaky lightweights with Terry’s dip in form a huge factor in that. If it wasn’t for the fact he was captain, if an England squad was picked on form, the reality is he’d not be included anyway.

But he is and that means the biggest problem they have now is that, after such shows of public support, they are stuck having to publicly back their man while repeating a mantra of “innocent until proven guilty” as if that is simply the be all and end all of the issue. There are way too many components to consider and repetition of such dogma won’t alter that.

If it wasn’t for the fact he was captain, if an England squad was picked on form, the reality is he’d not be included anyway.

Internal disruption amongst the players is a real issue. While some black players may have come out and regaled the press with tales about how John Terry lent them a tenner when they were short and always invites them over for Sunday dinner, it’s just as likely some now look at their captain with a very different set of eyes. Add that to the fact that the alleged victim’s brother might not just be part of the squad but also his centreback partner and you can see the horrorshow shambling out of the dark future well in advance.

Not to mention that the press and lazy pundits won’t stop asking questions about whether or not it’s a problem. England’s the one nation where the media will actively go out of their way to disrupt the squad at every given turn and they don’t need the extra ammunition that will come from it. You can just hear it now can’t you, the sound of mammoth twat Clive Tyldesley saying “and one has to wonder if that wouldn’t have happened if his mind wasn’t elsewhere”.

Further problems arise if Terry then returns from an England campaign only to walk into a guilty verdict. That would mean that the last time England went to a major tournament they were captained by a convicted racist. Those looking to portray the game as still harbouring racists will have a field day. It would be an ugly message to have sent out unwittingly, as we try and desperately stamp out racism not just in the modern game but across society as a whole.

If the issue is emotive enough for the FA to recognise that maybe the two players in question shouldn’t be shaking hands before they play, surely it has to be a serious consideration to leave him out of the team for the same reasons. It’s not a statement of belief in his guilt but it would be standard practice in any other line of work. Stand accused of stealing biscuits from the communal area in the office and you’ll be suspended pending an investigation and potential disciplinary hearing. If football really wants to hold itself up to the highest standard then it needs to start mirroring this, rather than constantly trying to be creative in their application of principles.

The England squad has enough on its plate. By the time the tournament starts the same media that will tear strips off them for their almost inevitable failure will have whipped the nation into a patriotic frenzy. You will not be able to get through a day without encountering a moron with a St. George cross painted on his face, or reading a story about some local council telling someone to take down a flag. The weight of expectation will bear down on the players like it always does.

Let’s not forget, that the talismanic, temperamental time-bomb Wayne Rooney will be out for the first two games, several supposed first choice squad members are failing to tie down regular games for their club and are returning from injury. If the squad underperformed at the World Cup because of stories soon to break in the press, because of super-injunctions and slyness, this could well contribute to a spectacular collapse the likes of which even England fans haven’t seen.

Of course, in the aftermath, if Terry were found innocent there would be the matter of a player having missed out on the opportunity to compete at what would likely be his last European Championship, if not last major tournament representing England entirely. That would be unfair on the player. Yet, with the baggage he brings, guilty or innocent, the smart play is to leave Terry at home.

QPR v Chelsea: Time To Put The Hoops Back In Their Box

Chelsea’s John Terry CL Penalty Miss v Manchester United: Go On, Let’s Enjoy It One More Time

Chelsea’s John Terry Is No Longer Needed By England

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

Cletus Van Damme 3:54 pm, 1-Feb-2012

And what if he didn't do it?

Rob 4:30 pm, 1-Feb-2012

And how, precisely, do you suppose the England team can do much worse than it did at the last major tournament? Speaking personally, a clusterfuck of 3 successive defeats in the group stage sounds pretty entertaining. I'd rather a spectacular cock-up than the miserable dribble of anaemic squitter we had last time.

Harry Futile 4:30 pm, 1-Feb-2012

It can't help having to play every week alongside Sideshow Bob.

Andy 4:32 pm, 1-Feb-2012

He should be left at home for the simple reason that he's a slow, clumsy liability.

Cee 4:57 pm, 1-Feb-2012

Your own opinion on his how the court case may affect his playing ability is blinding your knowledge of the fact that there is no problem in the england camp, what made you think otherwise? And in my opinion, there is no problem with his performance, and i watch him week in week out. Unfortunately for you and your ignorant and clear hatred for John Terry, its not an FA matter anymore, and it shouldn’t distract him from his work and rightly so, if it is then the Capello has a right to drop him. If he is proven guilty then of course, punishment is expected. But referring to the people chanting that anton ferdinand is what they know him to be (a lair); Do you justify the dogs abuse JT gets all over the country by so called england fans? To be fair you probably do.

Frank 5:11 pm, 1-Feb-2012

Going to court for SPEECH. I LOVE THE USA. John move to the USA where you can say ANYTHING you want! You English frickin nuts! Its rather funny for us to watch your speech police at work, very very scary government you have over there. Furthermore, this comment was made in the heat of a game where the referee was obviously payed off, wonder why this is such a big deal?, it so you don't see the real crime during the game. Foy should be investigated for accepting bribes.

Richard Lewis 5:24 pm, 1-Feb-2012

Cee, can we not go down the boring route of "YOU HATE JOHN TERRY YOU DO" when, in past articles, on other sites, I have praised the player for his ability and his leadership. The article is about how the court case could be a factor on his AND England's performance and why it's probably a wise move to leave him out. I've aimed no abuse at him nor have I passed comment about whether or not he is guilty or innocent. Also, don't pretend the "you know what you are chant" means "liar". That "defence" is like when kids get caught swearing. Honestly, you're kidding nobody.

Chelsea 101 6:57 pm, 1-Feb-2012

If you actually watch the premier league terry has had some extraodinary performances since the incident and the chelsea defence has actually improved. Most notable are his performances against spurs. Therefore to say that he would not be selected in the england team on form is complete rubbish

Pat 4:35 am, 2-Feb-2012

I think andy has it right, there's plenty of football reasons to leave him.

Rob 9:44 am, 2-Feb-2012

This myth that John Terry is, and always has been, a crap defender, is laughable balls of the highest order, as his continued selection by international managers in FIFA teams of the year should demonstrate. Sad fact though: the man is an arsehole.

James 10:10 am, 2-Feb-2012

What a nonsense article, so if any player doesnt want another player to play against them in the Euro all they have to do is claim they said something offensive to them and just because there is an ivestigation they shouldnt represent their country! Fine, lets get Rooney to say Ronaldo called him a 'White ******' and see what happens there, im guessing nothing!

paulingrad 10:32 am, 2-Feb-2012

love the way you blanked out the 'c'-word but you left 'b'-word in. The reason Terry is in court is for saying the very word you just mentioned. Crazy world we live in. :)

Tonethemone 6:33 pm, 2-Feb-2012

Interesting that you wrote an article about racism and how Terry should be left behind but then decided to put in a racist comment, "If that was worthy of a demotion in your place of work there would be too many Indians and not enough chiefs in the British workforce."

matt 6:43 pm, 2-Feb-2012

Brilliant article. Regardless of how over-rated and generally shite I regard John Terry's football ability, the fact of the matter (highlighted in this article) is that English football's integrity is at stake. As in any workplace the organisation's integrity is at stake and so you are suspended or put on gardening leave until the completion of an investigation. Re: Cee - You presumably have no knowledge of the england camp's feelings towards the JT camp, so don't portray that. Assumingly, there will be some apprehensive figures in that dressing room.

Mehran Mirza 7:18 pm, 2-Feb-2012

CletusVanDamme you thick sh*t, he obviously did it, it's on a flipping video!

Jacky 12:19 pm, 3-Feb-2012

What other context can "you black ****" be taken in? Non racist context? Come on, he's admitted saying it, he's guilty. The guy's a prize bellend anyway.

Jacky 12:20 pm, 3-Feb-2012

@Tonethemone, you beat me to it mate...

Harry Paterson 12:45 pm, 3-Feb-2012

@Tonethemoan. ""If that was worthy of a demotion in your place of work there would be too many Indians and not enough chiefs in the British workforce." How on earth is this statement in anyway racist? *Referring* to a race, nationality and/or ethnic grouping is not, in and of itself, racist. That's the sort of PC bollocks that play right into the hands of the racist right. There is nothing remotely offensive, derogatory or demeaning in this very common saying. Get a grip.

Cee 1:09 pm, 3-Feb-2012

Congratulations it looks like you got your wish. I will be chuckling my arse off when England dont make it past the group stages in the summer. I hope capello picks Anton to take JT's place, being the extrodinary talent that he is.

yoyoy 1:23 pm, 3-Feb-2012

Right decision - should have been made a long time ago. Why was Luis Suarez banned for 8 games on conjecture yet Terry is being allowed to play a full season with damning video evidence? Doesn't seem right to me. Anyone saying Terry should be dropped for football reasons is crazy. I saw him play at the Lane against Spurs and he was on good form. He should not play though as this is the second time he has been stripped of the captaincy, he is an embarrassment to his country and will be a 'toxic presence' in the dressing room and a distraction off the pitch.

Darren Harvey 1:57 pm, 3-Feb-2012

Is it really racist to use the word "black" as an adjective. ginger, fat, bald, spekky, ugly, thick, any of these words followed by the word cunt would be laughed off. I hate racism and obviously it has no place in society, massive over reaction to this tho, MASSIVE!! I hope to christ Rio doesnt get the captaincy as he shouldnt even be in the squad let alone the team! I wonder if ginger people has suffered years of ill treatment we'd get fucked for slaggin them off!

Gremoli 3:04 pm, 3-Feb-2012

Suarez admitted making the racist remarks he was found guilty of but denied intent. Evra was equally abusive but in mysoginist terms. Both equally offensive, but only one is illegal, hence the outcome.

Creg 3:10 pm, 3-Feb-2012

In similar situations outside of football you probably would be giving time off work whilst the situation resolved itself. The main problem with this is the 'trial' taking so long

Andy 3:12 pm, 3-Feb-2012

@Harry Paterson. I don't think Tonethemoan was being particularly serious but i see you've taken the chance to have a pop at the 'racist right' - a rather offensive generalisation don't think?

Ento 3:57 pm, 3-Feb-2012

@Jacky "What other context can "you black ****" be taken in? Non racist context? " From what I read, Terry called Ferdinand a "blind ****" - this was misheard by someone as "black ****" who then confronted Terry about it. Terry then asked Ferdinand "Do you think I called you a black ****?" So, to answer your question - if thats how it went down then you can use "black ****" in a non-racist context.

Jacky 4:01 pm, 3-Feb-2012

@Ento; fair point well put... Are you JT's defence lawyer by any chance?

Kane 4:06 pm, 3-Feb-2012

What is the issue here? Is it that John Terry is alledged to have made a racist remark and therefore should not remain captain until it has been proven eitherway? Or is the issue that John Terry is not a good role model for children and therefore should not be captain? Or is it that John Terry gets paid a ridiculous amount of money to play football, acts like a bit of a cunt and is unrepentant for his actions?

Harry Paterson 4:08 pm, 3-Feb-2012

Er, no, Andy. Not at all. Those of the right that are racist. As opposed to those of the right who are not racist. i.e. the non-racist right. Seems unremarkable to me. But while there are, of course, some on the right who *aren't* racist, it would be ridiculous, not mention disingenuous, to suggest the majority aren't racist. It goes with the territory, generally. As you well know...

Andy 4:50 pm, 3-Feb-2012

@Harry. Fair point, well made until 'It goes with the territory, generally'. Why bring the Right into it? Racists are racists what ever their political leanings. It would appear you are trying to use the race card to create an argument.

John Stitch 5:13 pm, 3-Feb-2012

The FA should have a simple rule - No player will be selected for England whilst facing criminal charges. This has got nothing to do with innocent until proven guilty. In the same way people in other professions are suspended without prejudice, whilst facing criminal charges, the same should apply to the honour (note honour, not right) of representing the England football team. If John Terry gave anything for England's admittedly slim chances in Euro 2012, he would make himself unavailable for selection because otherwise it's going to be The John Terry Show all over again, but I can't see that happening.

Wade 5:53 pm, 3-Feb-2012

"Not to mention that the press and lazy pundits won’t stop asking questions about whether or not it’s a problem". Spot on. Although it's always all the other journalists/writers/commentators etc that are the lazy ones eh?

Richard 5:53 pm, 3-Feb-2012

@Ento What an eloquent defense of Terry's scenario. One problem though, Anton has said repeatedly when asked that he never heard the remark or challenged Terry about the remark on the pitch. Within minutes of the game the video was on the web with Terry's defenders saying he said blind not black, fair enough. Then Terry comes out with the statement saying he was responding to Anton saying there I didn't call him a black c**t. Then after this statement is released Anton think hang on a minute I never heard him say anything or challenged him on it so why would that video be of him denying it to me, hence the allegation of racist abuse and statement from Anton coming after Terry's statement. He hung himself really when you look at the facts and sequencing, if he'd have just said in his statement he called Anton a blind c**t, Anton wouldn't have reported it.

Richard 6:03 pm, 3-Feb-2012

@ John Stitch The FA have previously suspended players such as Rio Ferdinand, Woodgate and Bowyer pending their trials for drug abuse and assult. It only doesn't allpy to Terry seemingly and lead to him desciding his own trial date to suit his preferences. If he was suspended from England duty and felt he was innocent he's soon get down the court before the Euro's. It's also worth noting that in Lee Bowyers case he would attend court around playing football and even on the same days, why is Terry special? Personally I think his motive is to play at the Euro's regardless and retire afterwards so the punishment is limited to a playing ban for Chelsea.

Ento 7:13 pm, 3-Feb-2012

@Richard... is this not the correct sequence of events? 1) Terry penalized for an off-the-ball foul in the QPR area while Anelka has the ball about 20 yards from goal 2) Terry calls someone a blind c (speculation) 3) Another player accuses Terry of calling Ferdinand a black c (speculation) 4) Terry, now retreating back to his defensive position asks Ferdinand if he thinks he (Terry) called him a black c. This last part is the video footage everyone has seen. Terry's statement doesn't say he was "responding to Anton" it says "I thought Anton was accusing me" - that doesn't mean Ferdinand confronted him directly. I appreciate there is some speculation there, but the part I'm missing is if Ferdinand is unaware of any issue between them, then what is Terry's momentary anger with Ferdinand that would warrant him to use racist language?

Darren 8:50 pm, 3-Feb-2012

I think we English are fast becoming a bunch of pussy’s and I wouldn’t blame JT if he now said he don’t want to play for England anymore. It’s my opinion that if he did say “you black c**t” then the offensive word is C**T and this is not a racist comment. If a person is black and you think they are a c**t then the comment maybe offensive but is a fact in your opinion. This comment would not be racist if it was said to a black person by a black person and is no more racist than a black person calling a white person a “white c**t” I wonder if we would be having the same debate if it was Ferdinand who called Terry a “white c**t” I think not !!

terry 10:03 pm, 3-Feb-2012

I think a racist comment would be "all black people are c***s" not what JT alledgedly said. personally I would rather see the FA come down hard against use of all foul language, because footballers are role models to many kids. This just looks likes the same pattern last time JT was punished and we were abysmal in a major tournament. Well done FA!

Steve 3:00 am, 4-Feb-2012

It's a football field not a bloody dining hall. Let them say whatever they want out there it makes the game way more interesting. Also why would Anton be offended that he was called black? is he not black? is he ashamed of being black? I think this racism crap has been completely overblown the last 10 years it's rather embarrasing. Calling someone a black **** is no different from calling someone a bald **** or a fat **** or a skinny ****. They are all mentioning a physical attribute of the person, now why is it when you mention the skin colour it's worse than mentioning body type or lack of hair? Personally I think everyone is just jumping on this racist bandwagon as an attempt to take the moral high ground. Either we stop being so fussy about racism or we start being more fussy about all abuse because at the moment there is absolutely no logic involved.

Mendo 6:28 am, 4-Feb-2012

It is racism to angrily refer to some persons by their colour.

Jason 8:59 pm, 7-Feb-2012

Have a look at Terry's defensive performance against Germany in WC slow and out of position he might as well be in a wheelchair! IF he is the best that we have to offer we should save the public's time and cash and not even bother going to these tournaments.

Sam 2:05 am, 9-Feb-2012

Well said Jason...finally some one said.. JT is over-rated as a player and a low life as a human being! England captain...? really?

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