SHOWDOWN! Fabio Capello flies in for summit with John Terry

04 February 2010 08:20
John Terry has been telling friends, teammates in the Chelsea dressing room and anyone else who will listen that he can survive the furore surrounding his relationship with Vanessa Perroncel. He has thanked them for their support, blaming the media for his new role as England's Captain Chaos.

Whatever his views privately, he has been putting on a strong public show and has been encouraged by the reactions of his Chelsea colleagues, including England team-mates Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard.

He will find his audience with Fabio Capello entirely more challenging. Capello returns from a relatively peaceful break in Switzerland, where he has been recuperating from a knee operation, to face his first full-blown crisis as England manager.

Does he sack his captain, or back him?

Showdown: Fabio Capello (left) will wait to hear Terry's side of the story before making a decision on the England captain

Delayed by a final appointment with his specialist on Wednesday afternoon, Capello will arrive in London on Thursday armed with a dossier on his skipper and an open mind. He wants to hear from Terry his version of events before deciding on his future.

Terry, it is expected, will not offer to resign but may choose his words carefully and agree to 'do the right thing' by the England manager.

He wants to protect his World Cup place and will seek to reassure Capello, but there is little chance he will mention the 'R-word'.

Capello is likely to want to hear a different 'R-word' remorse from the Chelsea defender when they meet face-to-face for the first time since England concluded their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Terry missed the friendly against Brazil in Doha because of injury, but there will be no such withdrawal when Capello summons him this time. Sources claimed that Capello would at least like him to offer his resignation in recognition of the storm he has created.

Scandal: Terry (left) has kept his counsel since the revelations about his relationship with Vanessa Perroncel (right), the former partner of Wayne Bridge (below left)

Their meeting may even take place on Thursday night, allowing Terry to concentrate on his Chelsea duties on Friday. Capello believes he has had to endure enough distraction.

That will also free the England manager to focus on his first public duties of this World Cup year, travelling to Warsaw with an FA delegation for the Euro 2012 draw. The prospect of England facing challenging trips to the Baltic states is nothing compared to the mess left by Terry.

Phil Hall, Terry's spokesman, said: 'John asked me to make it clear that he has made absolutely no statement about his future as England captain. He is keeping his own counsel until he speaks to the England manager and then Mr Capello will decide what announcement will be made.'

Hall, a former News of the World editor now hired by celebrities as a media troubleshooter, is likely to shadow Terry at the meeting.

Capello, who may also feel he requires Wayne Bridge's version of events before making his final judgment, is likely to wait beyond the weekend to make a  definitive decision, just in case there are more surprises regarding Ms Perroncel in the Sunday newspapers.

But if it is agreed that Terry will stand down, the announcement will come immediately, with an agreed statement to follow.

Bridge trained with Manchester City on Wednesday and will be assessed by Roberto Mancini, who may include him in the squad for the weekend trip to Hull. His team-mates will not wear the Team Bridge T-shirts sported during their home win against Portsmouth, the club confirmed.

Captain fantastic: Terry (scoring for England) has received the backing of Under-21 boss Stuart Pearce

Meanwhile, Terry, interestingly, was given his first public support from within the FA as Stuart Pearce, one of Capello's coaching staff and manager of the England Under 21 team, spoke about the qualities of the centre half.

Pearce, a former captain himself, sits alongside Capello on the bench for senior internationals and shares the dressing room.

He said: 'Fabio will be wanting to be a dominant voice. I couldn't see anyone else going above Fabio and making a decision in respect of who captains the side.

'I think the last decision should always be the manager's on whatever goes on. The one thing I would say is that John Terry is a fantastic captain, in footballing terms, on and off the pitch.

'I think he is a selfless professional and his form is fantastic for his country. I'm not a big lover of witch-hunts against people.'

If the manager decides he requires a new captain, Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard, Lampard and, most unlikely, Wayne Rooney will come into his thinking for the home friendly with Africa Cup of Nations champions Egypt in a month. 

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Source: Daily_Mail