Two Sides Of The John Terry Coin: Naughty Boy, but Valiant Captain

Mary O'SheaSenior Writer IJanuary 30, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 09:  John Terry captain of England applauds the fans at the end of the FIFA 2010 World Cup Group 6 Qualifying match between England and Croatia at Wembley Stadium on September 9, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

What a tough week this will be for Chelsea and England Captain John Terry. Not only is his team competing on three fronts, but he now has another off-the-field indiscretion to answer.

Yesterday, a judge refused an extension of a gag order sought by Terry over the tabloid press in England, who had uncovered an affair with an ex-teammate's girlfriend.

Current Manchester City defender Wayne Bridge is said to be distraught after he discovered his former Chelsea teammate was sleeping with ex-girlfriend Vanessa Perroncel while she and Bridge were still an item.

Bridge and Perroncel separated in December.

This is the latest in a long line of personal scandals that the tabloid media have delighted in uncovering about Terry.

Rumours of affairs have previously surfaced, with Terry said to have bedded several other women.

Just last December, Terry was filmed by The News of the World giving a tour of the Chelsea training ground in return for a £10,000 fee—which he claimed would go to charity. He repeatedly stated the need for those in charge at Chelsea not to find out.

Money issues have long followed Terry, with some claiming he has a gambling addiction—a claim that has been denied time and again by the player.

On two separate occasions, Terry and his teammates have found themselves in trouble on nights out.

In 2001, Chelsea found themselves grounded in Sofia following the attacks on the Twin Towers. Terry and several other teammates took to the town, urinating in public before arriving back in Heathrow, where they had a food fight.

On another occasion, Terry blamed a toe injury for his inability to get to the bathroom, and instead relieved himself into a pint glass.

His parents have added to his woe.

In 2008, his mother was arrested on suspicion of shoplifting in Tesco—a major England sponsor—while in November of last year, his father was allegedly caught on camera selling a small amount of cocaine.  

Now it seems that his latest indiscretion may have been the straw that broke the camel's back. The media and other commentators have called for Terry to be relieved of his duties as England's captain.

Here we look at the for (head) and against (tails) of Terry's case. 

Tails:  John Terry has brought untold embarrassment to the England camp.

With a World Cup around the corner, this is the last thing England needed. Far too often, the country has failed to deliver, and with Terry himself, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, and Wayne Rooney at the peak of their careers, this could be their best chance yet.

Terry's actions are sure to destabilise the camp.

Heads: Terry's indiscretions have all remained off the pitch.

Gerrard, David Beckham, Lampard, Rooney, et al are all seasoned professionals who will not let an extramartial affair get in the way of World Cup success.

Fabio Capello will insure that this does not effect his camp in a negative way. 

Tails: At the very least, Terry must be removed as captain.

He has let his teammates down by cheating on one of their girlfriends. How are they expected to trust him when he can stab a friend in the back like that? 

Indeed how can Bridge be expected to take orders from someone who has smashed his trust?

Heads: Again, Terry cheated off the pitch, not on it.

His extramartial affair has nothing to do with his capabilities as a captain.

He has led England to the World Cup and is more than capable of doing so again in South Africa.

His teammates may be more wary of him off the field, but they know they can trust him on it.

Bridge will have to try to separate work and pleasure, no matter how hard it may be. He must put his country first and try to rise above what hurt Terry may have caused him. 

Terry's job is to lead his men to three points on the field.

Tails: Terry should be removed as captain because he not only let his teammate down, but the whole country.

A captain is meant to lead by example. Terry is hardly an example to younger kids on how to behave as a professional.

Furthermore, he could have severely hurt England's chances of hosting the World Cup.

Heads: Footballers are human, too.

Terry is surely not proud of what he has done and will make a statement as such. Admitting your wrongs is just as important an example of professionalism as anything else.

His off-the-field faults won't hurt England's chance of hosting the World Cup.

FIFA is concerned about infrastructure, stadium and fan safety—not who the country's captain is taking to bed.

Terry isn't the first—nor will he be the last—to do some after-hours training with a teammate's partner.

What John Terry did isn't shocking in the world of football; it is hardly one that is a bastion of morality.

However, some will argue that as England's captain, he should adhere to certain standards—and cheating with a teammate's wife would be breaking one of those.

There is little doubting Terry's role as England's captain on the field, but his off-the-field role may now be called into question.

With Lampard unlikely to want to take up his Chelsea teammate's mantle, and Rio Ferdinand and Gerrard plagued by injury and indifferent performances, it could prove to be an ideal excuse for Capello to give the armband to the on-fire Rooney.

Capello is his own man and will make his own decisions; however, his hand could be turned by one very important factor: sponsors.

Terry is the face of Samsung, Umbro, and Nationwide, among others.

Brands want their stars to be clean-cut, both on and off the field.

Their victories and efforts on the field will most definitely overlooked if they are guilty of not behaving in the right manner off it.

Extramartial affairs that come to the surface are something that sponsors don't like to see, as it can affect sales.

Companies are not shy in dropping their star names: Just ask Tiger Woods.

Capello has some thinking to do and some wounds to mend. One of the outcomes could see England being led by a new face in South Africa.