Arguments For and Against John Terry Returning to England National Team

Rowanne WesthenryFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2014

Arguments For and Against John Terry Returning to England National Team

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    England are just over four months away from the opening match of the 2014 World Cup against Italy at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus, Brazil. Roy Hodgson has a little over three months to finalise his 23-man squad for the tournament, and there is a surprising name under consideration.

    John Terry retired from international football, per BBC Sport, in 2012 after the FA continued with their disciplinary hearing over a matter he had already been cleared of in a court of law. He described his position then as "untenable," but could he be on the brink of a return to the national team?

    There have been plenty of conflicting reports as the countdown to the tournament intensifies. Dave Kidd at The Mirror reported in January that Terry would be throwing his name into the hat for selection, while James Dickenson at The Express has said this week that Terry will not return to the fold.

    Whether Terry will rejoin the side remains to be seen, but the real question is whether either side should consider such a move. Let's take a look at the arguments for and against Terry returning to the English national team.

For: His Experience, Talent and Leadership Would Be Invaluable

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    England never really looked convincing during their qualification campaign. They will need to sort that out if they are to stand any chance of getting out of Group D in Brazil.

    Wherever your club loyalties lie, Terry's qualities as a defender and a leader cannot be questioned. Former Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins summed it up perfectly when speaking to BBC Sport about Terry's future with England:

    John is one of a kind in on-field play. He is a great organiser, he can look after his own job and can organise other players around him. As a player, that is exactly what England are looking for.

Against: The Return of the Media Circus

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    RICKMANSWORTH, ENGLAND - MAY 31: Captain John Terry talks to the media during a England Press Press Conference at The Grove Hotel on May 31, 2007 in Rickmansworth, England. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
    Pool/Getty Images

    Terry has never been particularly popular outside of the confines of Stamford Bridge. The media have leapt on his indiscretions over the years with glee, but the spotlight on him has dimmed somewhat since his retirement from the England team.

    Returning to the side would mean giving up the little bit of privacy he has gained since quitting.

For: Ready-Made Partnership with Gary Cahill

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    Terry has played every minute of Chelsea's Premier League campaign so far this season, with Gary Cahill at his side for the majority of those games.

    According to WhoScored.com, the Blues have conceded just 20 goals so far, the fewest of any club in the league. 

    With England facing an incredibly tough group, it would certainly make sense to take such a solid centre-half pairing to the World Cup.

Against: Injury Could End His Club Career

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    A recent report from Neil Ashton at the Daily Mail suggests that Terry is set to sign a one-year extension at Chelsea.

    With Jose Mourinho's comments on Terry's performances so far, per Tony Banks of The Express, and the affection Terry has for the club, he may not want to jeopardise his future as a Blue on the off chance that he could help England get to another quarter-final defeat.

For: It's His Last Chance at a World Cup

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    Terry told The Telegraph in 2012 that he would always be proud to play for England. Having seen his Chelsea teammates Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard pick up their 100th caps, there is a chance that Terry could return to add another few to his collection of 78.

    At 33 years old, this is undoubtedly the last major international tournament that he could take part in, and the lure of one last shot at glory could be enough to change his mind.

Against: It's Time to Move on

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    While it is obvious that Terry coming out of retirement would strengthen the squad for the World Cup, it is hardly a long-term solution to their defensive woes.

    The likes of Micah Richards and Phil Jagielka represent a better mid-term option than Terry, while Michael Keane and Carl Jenkinson could step up to the senior squad sooner rather than later. England manager Roy Hodgson put it best when he said, per Daniel Jones of The Metro:

    We’ve moved on from that. John retired. We’ve qualified with our 10 matches and 10 matches with (Gary) Cahill and (Phil) Jagielka and we’ve seen a very good performance from Chris Smalling [against Germany]. I think it’s important that we continue along those lines, continue looking forward and that we don’t start panicking and looking backwards every time we have a reverse.