John Terry's Lessons To Be Learned

Antony HerbertAnalyst IIIFebruary 6, 2010

HULL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 02:  John Terry of Chelsea looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Chelsea at the KC Stadium on February 2, 2010 in Hull, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

The UK media have latched onto the news of John Terry’s extra-marital affair with increasing intensity and in their midst have left the England world cup team minus their first choice captain.

In what could be seen as a clumsy escalation of off pitch antics Rio Ferdinand was swiftly named as the Chelsea players successor and will lead the team into hopeful glory this summer.

Is this a disappointing travesty however, or is it rightfully the resulting decision that had to be made as a result of Terry’s lack of respect for fellow players as well as his own wife?

John Terry came into the game as an already reformed character due to certain discrepancies that he openly admitted to happening in his childhood that almost put paid to his potentially prosperous career.

Yet he inserted his legendary status into our minds and accumulated a barrage of awards and trophies that instead instated his name in the history books for many to idolise in years to come.

What we have to think about is whether his affair with Wayne Bridge’s former girlfriend and the consequential devastation caused to his wife will have a detrimental effect on the way he is perceived by his players, the manager, and also the fans, and does this perception deserve to destroy or disrupt his captaincy ?

In reference to Ryan Gigg’s recent and rather controversial claims that footballers deserve their massive wages the answer to this perception takes on the strongest defense of Capello’s decision to dismiss Terry as England captain.

If players deserve their wages which eclipse the every day essential jobs of teachers, nurses and doctors then does that mean they have to partake in the responsibility to behave in a certain way, and in a form that provides a vision of a footballer that can be respected by the rest of the world?

Do fans have a meaningful connection to their favorite players if what they do off the pitch contradicts their values and opinions in their own lives? Of course some will focus here on the stereotype that any red blooded male who worships football would probably commend Terry’s behavior, but this is mainly naive in its belief.

On pitch results should at times take precedence; a wondrous goal or polished performance can provide moments of absolute inspiration that entice spectators to the furore.

Yet players do need to understand their responsibility to provide honest and admired idols to the youngsters that accompany their dads to Saturday premier league matches and build up a dream of following in their idols footsteps.

Imagine if you were a father with such a child and extra marital affairs and off pitch violence seen by the likes of Steven Gerrard and Joey Barton in recent years had become common place events. Those players then seen to be paid ridiculous wages funded in part by overpriced tickets by the parents of the imaginative and dream filled children themselves would appear not to acknowledge the commitment that supporters are actually making.

It would be harsh to dismiss a player like Joey Barton fully from the game of football for his various issues outside of the match day events, but we must always remember that these players are given privileged positions that rely a certain amount on the in built gift of being able to kick a ball and kick it well that is born into a vast amount of players.

For most the decision to scrap Terry as England captain may be a little harsh ; he is the strongest natural leader that the England and Chelsea team’s currently have.

We know little about the viewpoints of other footballers who play and train every week with John, and this possibly could be the most important part of the decision that would actually matter.

From working with someone myself who has portrayed the same behavior John Terry is alleged to have shown it does become difficult to give them a level of respect that is required to give authority over others. You don't necessarily want to accept orders from someone who you cannot trust in.

Although another element to be considered is the ability for society itself to enact into vulnerable youngsters the detriment that any derogatory behaviour in any area of life can have on others. We all probably know someone who has committed adultery or has been in trouble with the police.

So maybe it is the government and others in positions of authority that have the greater responsibility to improve society throughout the country instead of people in the public eye being demeaned and subject to weekly bashings purely and simply because they are flashed upon the papers each and every day.

Terry has reformed his character from his childhood before, and you would expect him to achieve the same again.

Now therefore is the time for him to take this decision on the chin, use it to his advantage (a la Dwain Chambers) and come back fighting for his position. From past Chelsea downfalls we know that he is capable of such a feat, as he envelops characteristics that make him firm and confident in his playing ability and his opportunities to overwrite a wrong.