Friday came, and along with it the announcement by the English FA that John Terry had yet again been relieved of his duties as skipper of the English National Team.
Just two winters back, the situation was quite the same.
Then too, the Three Lions had their preparations for a major tournament disrupted when the Terry sex scandal broke out, and Fabio Capello swung the axe.
We saw what happened with England in the summer that followed. They failed to set the World Cup alight and barely made it through Group D, scraping out a route to the round of 16 with a win in their final group game.
What followed was a pummeling they received at the hands of the counter-attacking assassins of Germany. Frankly, even despite the disallowed goal, they were not deserving of any better. Yet again, the stars of England had put in pedestrian showings on the big stage. What they were lacking was a spirited leader on the pitch.
Let me make a statement that most of you, at least the unbiased lot, should agree with: There are few out there possessing the leadership qualities that this man Terry has. He's a natural.
With all due respect to Steven Gerrard, Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard, I feel the only one who can be right man for England is Mr. Terry, or as the Blues faithful would put it, Mr. Chelsea.
Removing him from captaincy is nothing short of shooting yourself in the foot, as I see it. The English FA have said that there is a possibility that he is reinstated as the skipper, but I can't see that happening with a disciplinarian like Fabio Capello occupying the managerial hot seat.
The racist allegations are something we all will have our opinions on. I sit in my living room at this very moment, wondering if this is the very same man who captains a club whose first team is half-black, and is praised so much by the bunch too. Obviously, these accusations are not completely bogus, but give this some thought: Who is the real loser in the midst of all this? The national team, of course.They are losing out on the best possible man to take the captain's armband. I'm pretty sure I would not stand alone if I were to claim that the Three Lions would have had a much better WC 2010 if JT had retained his post.
Not only do sudden changes like this one unsettle everyone involved in the National setup, but these also become a constant factor of bother for the player at the receiving end of all this. JT was not his usual robust, dominant self in South Africa, as you all know.
The fellow has clarified his stance, but still, if the allegations made by Anton Ferdinand are proven to be true, then the decision of the FA can be termed as a masterstroke, made just in the nick of time. But as of now, this can only be termed as a presumptuous one; a prime example of buckling under media pressure.
Look out, England fans. Your team could be in for a very difficult time at the Euros should things stand as they do presently.