The media explosion surrounding the John Terry scandal has been felt all around the footballing world. The question is, when the World Cup kicks off in about four months, will the remnants of the story have any affect on England's South African adventure?
Of course not. While any story that involves the famous and their personal (sex) life will always attract a media circus (see Tiger Woods), this story breaking now rather than later will prevent it from being a distraction when the team kicks off against the U.S. in Rustenburg on June 12.
Surely it will be awkward when the English gather ahead of their March 3 friendly against Egypt at Wembley, but by then the story will already be a month old and out of the mainstream media's focus. There will no doubt be rumblings about the fiasco as the months roll by, but it appears the worst has the storm has passed.
With England boss Fabio Capello already deciding to strip Terry of the captaincy, he has essentially removed all speculation about the situation a full 120 days before the tournament begins. Whether Capello will return the captaincy to Terry before June, as has been rumored, is up for debate, but it won't create the media frenzy we've seen the last couple weeks.
It terms of leadership, the Three Lions shouldn't suffer much. The removal of an armband doesn't mean Terry can't be a leader of the back four along with Ferdinand. Not to mention the experience of Gerrard and potentially Beckham in the midfield.
Overall, this is an experienced squad and not a squad of angels. Rio's missed drug test and Gerrard's bar room dust up show that even the new captain and vice-captain aren't perfect. However, Terry clearly crossed the line when it comes to team chemistry and it will take time to heal that wound within the England camp.
The savior of the situation has clearly been Capello. With a level head and swift action, the Italian made his most important decision thus far as England's manager, and it might just be the decision that keeps England on track for a successful run in South Africa.
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