Is Fabio Capello right in handing John Terry the armband?
No one will ever know what was going on in the mind of a certain Mr. John Terry when the England captain’s armband was passed hastily around Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium last month without it coming as close as an inch to him, even once. During the course of those frantic 90 odd minutes in Denmark, it was taken as a rather ultimate and humiliating verification that the man so ruthlessly removed from the role by Fabio Capello would never reclaim the honor.
As Terry waited in the wings, he saw that ever so precious armband that was once so dear to him dished out from one player to another as if it were Christmas and everyone was exchanging gifts. First Frank Lampard, then Ashley Cole and finally Gareth Barry, all wore the badge of office in the absence of first-choice bearer Rio Ferdinand and deputy Steven Gerrard as England prevailed 2-1.
It’s barely been a year since Terry was stripped of the England captaincy – a job he lost last February amidst allegations of an affair with the ex-girlfriend of England team-mate Wayne Bridge. But he may be putting on the armband again for the Euro 2012 qualifying match against Wales at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on March 26th, if that is indeed Fabio Capello’s verdict.
With both Rio Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard missing the trip as they are once again sidelined through injury, Terry is a logical choice as stand-in skipper. Rumour has it that Capello will be meeting with Ferdinand and Gerrard, the current captain and vice-captain, over the next two days about the present hierarchy and this suggests that he is seriously considering the reinstatement of Terry. Capello will also have to keep in mind the claims of Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney, third and fourth in the pecking order.
However, claims about Terry returning as the permanent skipper of the national team is another matter altogether.
Although Capello was quite right in sacking Terry, it would be wrong to even consider relieving Ferdinand of his duties. This bizarre series of events won’t just hurt the already damaged dressing room morale but will also reflect badly on the Italian’s ability to lead the English team. Not only Ferdinand but even Gerrard will have every right to question Capello’s decision to restore the captaincy to a player he dispatched with minimum fuss. Agreed Capello wants to avoid it being passed around like it was in February’s friendly against Denmark, but then they would not be human if they did not privately wonder about the logic of Capello’s change of heart.
Terry had held the job since his appointment by Steve Mclaren in 2006, but lost it when his reputation came under question. Now despite this, Capello appears ready to forgive and forget. But what we should ask ourselves is this – If Ferdinand was good enough to be named England captain by Capello after Terry’s dismissal, then surely he is good enough to continue, right?