Euro 2012: John Terry Ends England's Chances of Becoming European Champions
John Terry has been considered as one of the best defenders in the world.
The Chelsea star has won numerous accolades for his play and has certainly been one of the best English defenders in history.
Terry's play allowed him to be elevated to the English captaincy after the 2006 World Cup, a position that he was able to hold onto until early 2010, when news broke of an affair between Terry and his former best friend Wayne Bridge's fiance.
After that news broke—and after the massive media pressure that came with it—the English Football Association had to take away Terry's armband. They gave it to Rio Ferdinand.
This move was officially the start of the beginning of the end for England's 2010 World Cup hopes and proved to be a distraction for the national team.
When England fell out of the tournament thanks to a lack of heart and poor defending against Germany, the FA gave Terry back the captain's armband.
Terry went on to keep that title through Euro 2012 qualifying. and his work helped England earn a spot in the tournament after failing to qualify for the 2008 edition.
For once, there was very little discussion of England winning a major international tournament in the months before the competition started. Yet, by not discussing England's chances, they were still going to be a tough side to defeat.
This England squad has the experience of participating in international tournaments and were solid in a tricky qualifying group.
The Three Lions also have a strong goalkeeper in Joe Hart, who is among the best goalkeepers in the world. And, despite a premature loss of Wayne Rooney for two matches due to his red card during qualifying, the attacking core is still strong.
Fabio Capello is also a great manager who knows how to win major tournaments, and England were not put into a tough group.
Furthermore, England have begun using a stronger style of football that does not rely on a traditional "dump-and-chase" idea that was used in previous generations by the Three Lions.
Yet, Terry had to allegedly act in a racial matter to Anton Ferdinand against Queens Park Rangers last October. This has led to a trial against Terry for racially abusing Ferdinand, which will continue after Euro 2012.
This development might have affected England in Euro 2012, but the decision made several days later to strip Terry of his captaincy certainly changed everything.
This only got worse just several days later when Capello publicly questioned the FA's decision to take away the captain's armband from Terry.
To put it simply, this is a case of deja vu.
Changing captains during a public scandal is never a good thing, but doing it several months before a major international tournament is even worse. It causes all sides involved to split and weaken during a period when everyone should be trying to get stronger.
Then there are people who are questioning whether Terry should even be on the national side.
People will also question whether the to-be-named replacement captain will be viewed as a puppet figure of a Capello/Terry regime or as a legitimate leader.
Yet this development and separation that is existing in the England camp only means that England has no real chance of winning the tournament.
Even though England is without their best striker and are aging, they looked like they would probably advance from their group and had a decent chance of reaching the semifinals.
Now that dream is essentially over.
England still have a decent chance of advancing to the quarterfinals in Euro 2012, but they no longer have the unity that is required to win an international tournament. Instead, England's players and the FA will continue to be kids in an adult game.
Maturity and strong communication is always needed between both groups. Yet, England's immaturity continues to plague the national team from reaching their lofty expectations.
John Terry is not a perfect individual and his actions have hurt everyone around him. Maybe England will succeed without him, but Terry is not the only major flaw from all of this.
The other flaw is that it's important that the FA and an international manager keep a strong relationship in order to prevent controversies like this from happening.
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