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Chris Hatherall - Terry mistake will help England

Published: 23 Jun 2010 - 11:49:29

John Terry has certainly shaken up the England camp as fans gather here in Port Elizabeth, and for all the fuss and criticism about the way he did it let's just hope it has the desired effect.

It was almost like a Chelsea good-cop, bad-cop double act in Rustenburg this week as first Terry said his piece and then Frank Lampard was sent in to calm things down.

It woke reporters from their slumber big style and provided newspapers with the kind of World Cup copy they could only dream of a week ago.

The contrast between the two players' delivery is marked but the double act has worked time and time again at Chelsea. So why not with England?

I've covered Chelsea for many years and the routine there has been pretty simple; when things reach rock bottom on the pitch the players hold a team meeting, sometimes with the manager present, sometimes without.

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They shout, they have their say, one or two things are changed and then they win the next game. It happened this year after losing to Inter Milan in the Champions League, a set-back which was followed by a thoroughly miserable performance at Blackburn.

I remember a colleague of mine, who is actually Chelsea fan, was lambasted by some supporters for his report on the game, so critical was it in its tone. But there is no harsher critic than a fan who has just been let down - and that’'s how we're all feeling about England now.

The Chelsea players obviously agreed because Lampard says they held a serious inquest - before bouncing back to win the Double. Did that meeting indicate lack of respect for Carlo Ancelotti? No. Did it make Ancelotti a bad manager? No. Were JT and Frank wrong to speak up? No. So what's different this time?

Maybe JT didn't think hard enough about how he was going to make his point this week; maybe, as deposed captain, he wasn't in the strongest position to make it - and maybe Fabio has dealt with it swiftly in his inimitable way.

But if it's got everyone a bit pumped up it could turn out to be a good thing.



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CHRIS HATHERALL has been covering football at the highest level - and Brentford - for 20 years. He has written for most UK newspapers and many overseas through the Hayters agency, and covers Premiership and Champions League football for publications in Japan, the Middle East and Ireland. He covers England at home and overseas, and this is his fourth World Cup where he hopes, once again, to see the trophy come back home.

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