John Terry: The hero England needs, but not the one it deserves
First off, sincere apologies to the Batman fandom out there, if I have in any way hurt your sentimental feelings by producing an alternate version of a historic quote to be used as a title for this article.
John George Terry, the captain of Chelsea Football Club. It was just last season when the defender was written off after suffering a series of injuries which saw him rarely featuring in Rafael Benitez’s plans. With the ‘Special One’ making an emotional return back to the SW6, the former English captain is a player who has poetically undergone resurrection. Resurrection in the sense that despite being one of the oldest players in the squad, he has put on the arm-band for almost every game in the League.
Now I’m not going to grab a few words, mix them around in a bag and carefully place them in front of you to defend the person in question. At the end of the day, your opinion will always be different than mine, and while there can always be situations, scenarios or opportunities to change them, this isn’t one. I do support Chelsea, if that wasn’t obvious yet, and most of the people about to read this will have a different opinion about John Terry. In the same way, I and a few others would have a different opinion about Ryan Giggs which would be opposite to what a Manchester United supporter might see. I could go on for 40 days and 40 nights if needed to defend him, but this isn’t going to be a situation in which I will.
As Jose Mourinho raised his clenched fist and a distraught Pellegrini slowly appeared into the picture, many would agree to the fact that that night on the lush green grass of the Etihad, the noisy Mancunians witnessed a tactical masterclass. A resolute Chelsea opened up the title race, when not many expected them to. Eden Hazard was the name on the lips, but Gary Cahill alongside his captain had one of the best games of his Chelsea career so far. Gazza, as he is affectionately called by the Chelsea fans, has revolutionised the way he has stepped up on the pitch, building a solid partnership with Terry beside him. Gary presses and pushes back at oncoming defenders with the kind of bravery that’s seen him make 47 blocks since 2012, 21 more than any other Chelsea defender, while Terry uses the lack of pace to his advantage and positions himself well to pick up second balls.
The Cahill and Terry partnership is the best in form combination in the Premier League right now and arguably one of the best in Europe. Full stop. They have picked themselves up after being hammered by Stoke and Sunderland as Jose seems to have finally worked his magic that saw him build a formidable defense around Terry and Carvalho during his first stint. Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling were the ones to be named in the England squad the last time the country played an international game. Statistically, John Terry is head and shoulders above all of them and its not hard to figure that out.
I’m a self confessed Jagielka fan. There’s a subtle aura around him that makes you respect him for what he has achieved as an individual statistically. He’s been highly unlucky to have faced competition with Rio and Terry when it comes to national duty. But if England intend to take their strongest players to Brazil, then they need a solid partnership at the back. England’s midfield problems are well known, but if Roy Hodgson puts an inform partnership at the heart of defense, then resolving problems with John Terry would be a no-brainer. At the end of the day the fans want to see a good showing at Brazil even if their chances of winning the World Cup are close to none.
Salomon Kalou had a lot to say about John Terry when asked about the England conundrum. ‘I think that he is a great leader. If you (England) want to go to this type of competition you have to take people that will bring a positive aspect to the team and I think that JT can bring that to the England squad. “ Surprisingly this is coming from an Ivorian football player in support of a man who in mainstream media is seen as a vile human being who dishes out racial abuse on a regular basis. John Terry has every right to feel untenable after being proved innocent in the court of law and only to be put down by the FA whose track record doesn’t exactly scream out justice.
England at this point need a player who can be a leader, organizer and a wall at the back. John Terry gives them exactly that. The idea among the supporters however is that the country needs to move on. Pass on the mantle to the next generation and that I agree with. However the idea of “You can’t win anything with kids” is somewhat utopian. I really don’t want to be the new Indian Alan Hansen, but Terry provides invaluable experience. This experience coupled with England’s youthful attack could reap benefits in the long run.
Another common belief is that Terry will have a problem with the rest of the team, which is far from the truth. It’s been well accounted that Terry is close friends with the likes of Rooney, Hart, Gerrard and other stalwarts involved in the England setup. The player don’t feed off the same negativity about a player as a fan would after reading the morning newspaper.
The onus is on Roy Hodsgon. John Terry has always seen national duty as something to be proud of and if the matter was to be thrown across the room , I don’t see Terry refusing the opportunity to take part in what would be his last World Cup. At this point of time, Hodgson needs to make a decision about how he want’s Brazil 2014 to pan out. It’s not hard to see that England needs someone like John Terry. But after all that has happened, you don’t need a doctorate in human science to see that the country doesn’t deserve him.