Chelsea's John Terry and Gary Cahill are the best central defensive partnership England can put on the pitch—nobody can doubt that fact. In the interest of our progress at the World Cup, we should all want those two playing together in Brazil, and it could still happen.
When it comes to Terry, the onus is not on Roy Hodgson. England's manager is in a very difficult situation, with Terry having been found guilty of racist abuse by the FA—as per CNN—yet not guilty of racist abuse by a court of law, as per The Telegraph.
The next move has to come from Terry, and I sincerely hope he reads this. Terry needs to make a statement admitting he was wrong. He needs to admit he said those words to Anton Ferdinand, tell the world he made an awful mistake in the heat of the battle and that's he sorry.
He should reach out to Ferdinand also. All it would take is a phone call, with Terry explaining himself, making his apology and standing behind it publicly. It's not an easy thing to do, but it's the right thing to do. The road to redemption begins there.
If Terry takes those steps, I see no reason why Hodgson wouldn't pick him for the World Cup. He wants his very best players available, and Terry is undoubtedly among them.
Some will make the argument that Terry isn't liked; that his very presence would be disruption. But if you asked the likes of Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Joe Hart who they'd like to see blocking the path of Mario Balotelli or Luis Suarez at the World Cup, Terry would be the answer.
Above all else, players want success. They want to win. Terry's presence in that England team gives them the best chance at that. Phil Jagielka is a good player, but he's not in Terry's class. And to get the best out of Cahill, Hodgson needs Terry beside him.
I've been a victim of racist abuse myself. I deplore racism. But if Terry is open and honest, he can move forward, and I would be right behind him. All he needs to do is admit he said those words and the door is open for a return to the England fold.
You're a long time dead as a footballer. Terry might be thinking of a summer in Mauritius, drinking cocktails and watching the World Cup at a bar, but he'll regret this glorious chance missed if he doesn't act now.
England need him in Brazil, and the English public can be extremely forgiving when it comes to footballers. So now's the time John Terry. Now's the time for Chelsea's captain, leader, legend to move on from the Ferdinand affair and get back to doing what he does best.
Say you're sorry JT. And you'll be on the plane to Brazil.