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Joe Strange - John Terry was already tarnished

Published: 01 Feb 2010 - 06:34:17

So after a week of gossip among players, agents and journalists, Friday brought news that the super-duper gagging order taken out by a Premier League star had been revoked.

If you had asked me then, who the scandal involved, I would've put my money on John Terry.

Let's face facts, the Chelsea and England captain is hardly whiter than white is he?

- Vanessa Perroncel gallery
- Burnley 1-2 Chelsea

Despite his undoubted prowess on the pitch, the defender has a chequered off-field past which has been too easily-forgotten by many fans and sections of the media.

Just after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, Terry, along with team-mates Frank Lampard, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Jody Morris were accused of drunkenly mocking American tourists at Heathrow airport, stripping naked, laughing and vomiting.

In 2002 he was arrested and spent a night in a cell after a late night fracas at a London nightclub which left a doorman injured - although he was later cleared of all charges.

Two years later and the former West Ham trainee was revealed to have been one of three Chelsea players who risked £40,000 a week between them betting on horse and dog races.

And as recently as December last year Terry was accused of taking £10,000 cash from an undercover News of the World reporter for a private tour of Chelsea's Cobham training ground.

In terms of his recent infidelity with Wayne Bridge's ex-girlfriend, the only surprise should be that he betrayed one of his best mates in football.

JT has already admitted to cheating on his wife before (when they were engaged in 2005), so should it come as a surprise that he's gone and done it again?

Of course not.

The sad thing is that his captaincy of England is only being called into question because of the possible effects on Bridge and the player relationships within the England squad.

Obviously this could harm the squad dynamic heading into South Africa, but it should be Terry's failings as a husband, a father and a role model which should be questioned rather than just how the likes of Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard will react to the news.

Friday's revelation was just another glimpse into Terry's skeleton-filled closet - a closet which should really remove him from arguably the most prestigious place in English football.

But who would replace him?

Rio Ferdinand who suspiciously missed three drugs tests and was subsequently banned for eight months? Steven Gerrard who was in court last year after being caught on CCTV throwing punches in a bar? Or maybe Wayne Rooney - the gambling-addicted, prostitute visitor?

The England squad is far from squeaky clean when it comes to off-field activities but Terry has by far the most controversial history of all the captain candidates.

He is a fantastic leader and a great player - as proved by a solid display and winning goal at Burnley on Saturday evening, but should that make up for his recent wrongdoings?

Only Fabio Capello can decide whether Terry will remain as captain for the World Cup but with the Italian known as a notorious disciplinarian, it wouldn't surprise me if someone else was wearing the armband come kick-off against the USA in June.

So much for a trouble-free build up to South Africa eh?

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FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:joe strange
A product of Brighton University's prolific youth system, Joe Strange has boundless energy and the enviable ability to cover every blade of grass in his Monday blog. Joe has written for a variety of football websites and fanzines and is also a regular contributor to golf.co.uk. Despite being born and raised in Kent, 'Stranger' is a diehard Everton fan and counts his team's penalty shoot-out victory against Manchester United last season as his most memorable football moment. Follow Joe on Twitter @joe_strange.

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