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John Terry: Flawed but fearless - not one sign of remorse from England leader

23 Mar 2011 15:27:49

John Terry: Flawed but fearless - not one sign of remorse from England leader

Even John Terry admits he is 'not everybody's cup of tea' and there were elements of his performance on Tuesday that will only reinforce the more negative feelings towards him. There was an aggressive, almost sinister edge to some of the statements he made, and a lack of remorse that suggested lessons had not necessarily been learned. Follow me: John Terry (left) leads the England squad on a training run As he declared on a number of occasions, he still does not agree with the decision to strip him of the England captaincy 13 months ago. But one also has to recognise that there might be some method in Fabio Capello's apparent madness. That there might just be some value in reinstating this controversial figure, even if the England manager and his staff could have gone about it in a way that did not display so little respect towards Rio Ferdinand. If you are looking for an England captain who is tough and uncompromising and leads by such an example, Terry left no one at the team hotel in Hertfordshire in any doubt that he really is that man. It was not Terry's idea to come back as England captain. It was Capello's. But he knew that if he did accept the armband for the second time in his career - and he said he did not hesitate in saying yes - it would leave him exposed to another avalanche of criticism. He has actually now been punished twice for the mistakes that led to him being summoned to Capello's office at Wembley. And the fact that he was prepared to withstand the battering hehas endured for the past week does demonstrate his unbreakable passion for the role. Badge of honour: Terry faces the media after being reinstated as England captain It took some nerve to appear before the television cameras, radio microphones and written media at the team hotel, especially when he could have left it until Friday for the more traditional pre-match press conference in Cardiff. By agreeing to put himself up three days earlier, he sacrificed himself for the benefit of the team. 'I want to get this out of the way and draw a line under it,' he said, and for that he deserves credit. He had to face some tough, if inevitable questions. Not least one that concerned the alleged affair with Vanessa Perroncel. Had he seen Wayne Bridge now that his former friend and colleague was back living and playing in the south? Had any attempt been made to patch things up? He said 'no' but there was a subtle change in Terry's expression that was difficult to read. It was hard to tell if he was about to burst into tears or explode with rage, diving across the table to throttle the journalist who had dared mention the other Bridge in his life. But it also marked the end of the briefing, with Terry rising from his seat and leaving the room. Certain things he said still don't stack up. 'I never tried to cash in on anything,' he said. 'There was an issue with the statement that went out initially, that had nothing to do with me. It was a company that didn't represent me. I've never cashed in. I'm not the best looking guy anyway, so people aren't going to want me spread all over the place. But I've never tried to cash in on the England captaincy. I'm not that kind of character to cash in.' The evidence of the past has suggested otherwise and those chaps at Riviera Entertainment who circulated that original email, offering the England captain for hire at the right price, might argue that they were instructed to act for Terry in an official capacity. The fact that he was so unrepentant, so intransigent, was also a little troubling. Did he not take any responsibility for forcing Capello to change his skipper just four months before the start of the World Cup? 'I understand,' he said. 'As I said to the manager and Franco Baldini at the time. I obviously understand and stuff. 'But when I sat there... we talked through stuff. People say it was a six-minute meeting but it was 10 or 15 minutes and we spoke about stuff openly and honestly, which will hopefully stay private between us three. I accepted their decision. But it doesn't mean to say I agreed with it and I never will. That's me being very proud and having been honest with them. Then they made their decision, which I didn't agree with.' Thinking of England: Fabio Capello has had plenty on his mind of late There is a problem with Terry and it is something he highlighted in his response to one question. Since losing the captaincy, had anyone close to him given him 'a talking-to'? Had anyone told him to take a good look at himself? 'No,' he said, and it is this failure of those close to him and those who indulge him by failing to see his faults, which actually leaves him thinking he has been the victim of a great injustice. Even when the guy who has reinstated him also took the decision to strip him of the captaincy in the first place. It was Capello who hammered him hardest for that astonishing performance in a press conference during the World Cup, accusing him of 'a silly mistake'. But if Tuesday was an attempt to deal with the past and move on, then perhaps it is now time to follow suit - however much we might disagree with the decision to reinstate Terry. Capello has brought him back and if nobody at the Football Association or within the England dressing room is prepared to object, either publicly or directly to Terry and Capello, it becomes increasingly difficult to argue that the wrong guy has the armband. It was far from easy for Terry on Tuesday and he admitted to being nervous; overwhelmed even. He also suggested that he deserved credit for staying out of trouble for the last year and focusing on playing to the best of his ability, for Chelsea and England. Having been given the captaincy for a second time, he needs to make doubly sure that there are no more scandals or controversy. But on Saturday he captains England against Wales in a European Championship qualifier and, having faced yesterday's interrogation, should now be supported in trying to lead his country to an important victory.  Thanks, Jens - but we're not QUITE as desperate as Arsenal! Jens Lehmann met England's squad at the Arsenal training ground, and looked as though he was offering to deputise for Joe Hart (right). Fortunately they also have Rob Green and Scott Carson in reserve. Doh!  Martin Samuel: Deafening silence ends the John Terry affairEngland players don't have a problem with me, says returning skipper TerrySo, how exactly can England stop Wales' flying winger Gareth Bale? Raymond Verheijen: the Dutch maverick plotting to foil Fabio Capello and EnglandTerry pays tribute to Capello after being reinstated as England captain  Explore more:People: Vanessa Perroncel, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Fabio Capello, Wayne Bridge Places: Cardiff, United Kingdom, Wales Organisations: Football Association


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