Roy Hodgson Will Rue Ruling out John Terry England Return

Rowanne WesthenryFeatured ColumnistFebruary 12, 2014

DONETSK, UKRAINE - JUNE 19:  John Terry of England shakes hands with Manager Roy Hodgson of England during the UEFA EURO 2012 group D match between England and Ukraine at Donbass Arena on June 19, 2012 in Donetsk, Ukraine.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

There has been a lot of speculation in recent weeks that John Terry could be set for a sensational return to the England squad for the upcoming World Cup in Brazil.

Terry retired from international football in 2012 after the FA pressed ahead with disciplinary proceedings over the Anton Ferdinand race row (per BBC Sport) before enduring a turbulent season at Chelsea under Rafa Benitez (per the Daily Mail).

However, he has been rejuvenated by the return of Jose Mourinho, and his partnership with Gary Cahill has led to calls for him to make himself available for England again.

Despite this, Roy Hodgson today ruled out a return to the England side for the former captain. The manager told the press, per BBC Sport:

The door isn't open because he has retired from international football.

When players retire, we move on. We moved on after our first qualification game, when John Terry limped off, and since that time we have chosen the players who are available, who have represented us well in my opinion, so we will continue with that.

John has retired and as far as I am concerned that is the situation. We have got along without him for the whole of the qualification and a few friendlies as well so we will have to get along without him in the future.

While it is true that Terry does not represent a long-term solution to England’s defensive troubles, and it is certainly admirable that Hodgson is sticking to his guns, this decision could return to haunt him.

JAKARTA, INDONESIA - JULY 25:  John Terry (R) of Chelsea celebrates his goal with Gary Cahill during the match between Chelsea and Indonesia All-Stars at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on July 25, 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia.  (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Ima
Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

Terry and Cahill have made a total of 307 clearances between them this season as Chelsea have conceded the fewest goals in the league. The pair have also blocked 33 shots and made 42 interceptions. Terry also has the highest total of completed passes of any Chelsea player as he continues to dictate games from the back.

While Phil Jagielka is having an excellent season at Everton, a ready-made partnership as strong as the one between Terry and Cahill could be critical to the Three Lions avoiding embarrassment in Brazil. Group D is among the toughest of the competition, with Uruguay, Italy and Costa Rica all presenting different challenges.

As Mark Lawrensen correctly told BBC Sport:

If Roy Hodgson fails in Brazil, the press will go after him anyway, so why should he be bothered? His thought is to take the best 22 players he can - and John Terry would be one of them.

All I would say to Roy Hodgson is that this could be your only stab at a World Cup as an England manager. So why would you not take the best English central defender? You forgive, but not necessarily forget with things like this.

It’s too late now—backtracking at this stage would undermine Hodgson’s position and open him up to more criticism than he must already be expecting.

Whatever happens in the summer, Hodgson has broken one of the most important rules of football: Never say never.

All statistics taken from