John Terry Won't Be Missed by England for These 5 Reasons
On Friday, England will face San Marino in the first game since John Terry quit International football, stating that his position was made "untenable" due to the recent inquiry by the FA into his altercation with Anton Ferdinand (via Guardian).
John Terry is undoubtedly a solid captain, and a good footballer, but the fears I have heard some people express since his retirement are truly over dramatic.
England's defense will not leak nine goals each game, the team will not consist of 11 players running around a pitch like headless chickens without a "leader" and the world will not collapse and become engulfed by the sun if John Terry isn't playing.
And here are five reasons why.
The Negative Press Took Away from England's Performances
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John Terry has filled more front pages than back pages recently, and none of them are anything you'd want to wrap your fish and chips up in.
From affairs, to affray, to Anton, John Terry's off-field antics—and sometimes on-field antics—have overshadowed the national team players themselves. Having been stripped of the England captaincy twice, perhaps England can now have a less controversial character as their leader, and the press can go back to writing about England's performances and how they "should be doing better," rather than who is the latest person John Terry has upset.
Team Atmosphere May Be Restored
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As Terry fills up inches of newspaper columns, people tend to forget that he is hurting people around him, and those people are his teammates.
Having had an affair with one teammate's wife and insulted another teammate's brother, John Terry isn't going to be the most popular soul in the dressing room. Footballers are, after all, human—no, they actually are—and there is bound to have been schoolyard "side-taking" going on, which would not have done anything for team morale.
With Terry out of the picture, perhaps England can go back to having a harmonious squad, which can only improve performances on the pitch.
Competition for Places
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Competition for places is healthy, but when John Terry was on the scene, most defenders knew they wouldn't even get a look in.
The standard center-back pairing was John Terry and Rio Ferdinand, and if occasionally one of these were unavailable, there was the opportunity for somebody to step in...until the stalwarts returned. However, with Terry giving up on his international career and Roy Hodgson giving up on Rio's, there are now two spots available.
With this competition for places, you will undoubtedly see a marked improvement in defensive quality—as these players will be hungry to impress, and will work their hardest to do so.
Hodgson Can Build for the Future
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As well as competition for places, there is also now a great chance for Roy Hodgson to get rid of the deadwood before the next World Cup (I'm looking at you, Frank Lampard), and concentrate on building for the future.
Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are just two of the potential stars of the national team—and would have made more progress had their seasons not been blighted by injury—and the absence of Terry can only mean good things for England's young defenders and the team as a whole.
Without Hodgson having to face the backlash of leaving out players such as Ferdinand and Terry—as that would have been the first criticism had England lost a game with those two dropped—Hodgson now has a clean slate to work with. He can build a young, fresh and talented team around two new regular center-backs.
He Is Just Too Slow
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Whichever spin you put on Terry's retirement—or childish strop, whatever you wish to call it—the fact of the matter is, John Terry is getting slower.
Terry, now nearly 32, is past his prime. He is by no means a bad player, far from it, but he isn't the Terry we used to know—when he was fresh-faced and hotheaded, running around with partner in crime (literally) Jody Morris.
John Terry has started to get caught out by young, pacy forwards. He will always throw his body in the line of the ball, but he is starting to struggle to actually get there in the first place. Terry never was the quickest of players, but his speed is failing and he could soon be a liability.
So really, are we going to miss him at all? A few people will be surprised at this, but I don't think we will.