Last September, three days before the FA was to fine him £220,000 and suspend him four matches for racially abusing Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand, John Terry announced his retirement from international football.
“I am making this statement today in advance of the FA disciplinary charge because I feel the FA, in pursuing charges against me where I have already been cleared in a court of law, have made my position with the national team untenable,” he said at the time. (BBC)
In July the Chelsea defender had been cleared of the racial allegations at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, but the FA, in their own investigation, would arrive at the opposite decision.
And so Terry, 31 years old at the time and a veteran of 78 caps, retired from England duty.
But just seven months later, as Chelsea flew home from a Europa League match against Swiss champions Basel, Terry told reporters he would consider a return to the national setup. (Mirror)
Granted, his remarks weren’t taken all that seriously as he also stated Roy Hodgson would have to reach out to him before any possible comeback (Mirror), but the very fact he was entertaining a Three Lions return begged an obvious question: Should he be allowed to?
In the following five slides, we’ll look at reasons why Hodgson and England would be well advised to go forward without Terry.
Let’s get to it.
At present, John Terry is a retired England player—a former England player.
Hodgson and the England brain trust haven’t had the now 32-year-old in their plans since shortly after Euro 2012, and it would be ludicrous to suddenly re-introduce him into their thinking.
Granted, they’d surely be swayed if Terry was considered a key addition to the national team in advance of the 2014 World Cup. But he wouldn’t be.
In February 2010, barely four months before the World Cup in South Africa, John Terry was stripped of the England captaincy for the first of two times over the course of his international career.
The reason—allegations of an affair with the girlfriend of Chelsea teammate Wayne Bridge.
And the previous December a reporter had discovered Terry was providing secret tours of Chelsea’s training ground in exchange for £10,000 cash payments. (Daily Mail)
And just as the Bridge allegations were coming to light, it was also discovered Terry had offered personal use of his private box at Wembley Stadium to a third party for £4,000—also in cash. (Daily Mail)
Given this sort of behavior, Terry should have been forced out of the England team before the World Cup, because, as it turned out, the worst from him was yet to come.
On October 23, 2011, John Terry confronted Anton Ferdinand at Loftus Road, and following the match the Metropolitan Police were notified of an “incident involving racial abuse.” (BBC)
But because the FA did not act swiftly in dealing with the matter, it was allowed to fester, and in February 2012 Terry was stripped of the England captaincy a second time.
The decision came right from the top—from FA chairman David Bernstein—and in the coming days England, manager Fabio Capello would also tender his resignation.
Phil Jagielka, Gary Cahill, Phil Jones, Michael Dawson, Ryan Shawcross, Chris Smalling, Steven Taylor, Joleon Lescott.
All of the above are better options in the centre of defense than John Terry, who can barely get a game at Chelsea as it is.
This is one of the few positions where England actually have a wealth of options, so bringing Terry back into the fold wouldn’t even make sense from a depth point of view.
At the moment, John Terry can’t even get a game at Chelsea.
Interim manager Rafael Benitez favors a defensive partnership involving two of Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic, and with only a pair of spots up for grabs, the club captain is very much fourth choice.
Because of injuries and lack of form, Terry has started only 10 Premier League matches this season—his fewest since the 1999-2000 season.
Why bring a player back into the national team who can’t even play regularly at his club?