2010 World Cup: Has the John Terry Affair Ended England's Chances?

Barney Corkhill@@BarneyCorkhillSenior Writer IFebruary 11, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 07:  Captain John Terry celebrates after Didier Drogba of Chelsea scores the first goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on February 7, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

The new decade has not started well for John Terry. No sooner had it begun before he replaced Tiger Woods as the new public enemy No. 1.

The reason for this, as has been well documented for weeks now, is the allegation (and it remains just an allegation) that Terry had an affair with the former girlfriend of England teammate, and ex-Chelsea teammate, Wayne Bridge.

The incident raised a number of questions.

Would John Terry's position as captain, or even his place in the squad, be in jeopardy? How would the strict disciplinarian Fabio Capello deal with his skipper? Why didn't he have an affair with Ashley Cole's wife instead?

Answers, to the first two questions at least, arrived soon after.

Capello eventually came back to England having recovered from a knee operation to meet Terry. Speculation was raging over what decision would be made, and we didn't have to wait long for an answer.

The meeting lasted just 12 minutes before it was announced that Capello had stripped John Terry of the captaincy.

It was the latest farcical incident in an already distorted story.

The melodramatic and pretentious media with their artificial outrage had once again succeeded in getting a front page story from an everyday event.

All they really accomplished, however, was to hurt England's World Cup bid yet again.

Whether or not John Terry was everybody's pick for captain in the first place is irrelevant. He wasn't mine, and I know I'm not alone in that line of thinking.

However, Capello had developed an air of consistency to England the likes of which we haven't seen in a long time. The core members of the team, the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard, and Wayne Rooney, were beginning to perform.

And, in the midst of all these stars was the captain, John Terry. Regardless of whether he was the right man for the job, he had years of experience in it, which made him more qualified than any other player in the squad.

Now, the new captain, Terry's centre-back partner Ferdinand, must get that much experience in a matter of months to lead England into the biggest sporting event in the world.

It's impossible.

By all means, the newspapers and other media outlets should report the news that Terry has been caught with Bridge's ex-girlfriend. They have an obligation to do so.

When they begin to act like saints themselves and condemn him for his actions, however, they start to create a moral panic that not only makes them look hypocritical but also harms the nation they supposedly love.

You can bet that more than one of the writers who lambasted Terry's actions has done a similar misdeed of his own.

In my opinion, Capello bowed to media pressure in his sacking of John Terry.

The only justification I can think of doing so is the fact that it could cause a major rift in the side, but even that reasoning has pitfalls.

We don't know whose allegiances lie with who in the England dressing room. One key player may be Bridge's best friend while another may be Terry's.

Should a rift occur, a "Team Terry" vs. "Team Bridge" situation is possible, and that would be of serious harm to the team. Leaving Wayne Bridge out of the squad would only slightly lessen this.

If this were to happen, the players on "Team Bridge" would not be anymore loyal to Terry because he is no longer wearing an armband, which would effectively be the only difference as you can be sure Terry will still have a major influence on the side.

Removing Terry as captain, then, would make little to no difference at all.

This is all assuming that Bridge is angry with Terry. The woman in question was, after all, Bridge's ex-girlfriend. Therefore, all Terry has done is have an affair with a single woman.

The real victim in all of this is Toni Terry, John's wife. What happens between them is a private matter and should stay that way.

The fact that John Terry's professional life, and something as precious as the England armband, has been under scrutiny is reprehensible.

Yes, what Terry did (if the allegations turn out to be true) was wrong. Shock, horror, he isn't the perfect role model. He isn't whiter than white.

So he is stripped of the captaincy and it is given to someone who supposedly is.

Rio Ferdinand. The same Rio Ferdinand who, just over six years ago, was banned for eight months for missing a drugs test.

Had it not been him then Steven Gerrard was the next favourite. The same Steven Gerrard that, earlier this season, was on trial for assault after an incident in a nightclub.

Wayne Rooney's name was thrown about too. The same Wayne Rooney who had sex with a 52-year old prostitute and grandmother of 16.

The point I am making is that no one in the England setup is perfect. You can go through the entire squad and find misdemeanors next to almost every player.

David Beckham has had more allegations thrown at him than I care to count, but he was still an excellent captain.

All in all, I think it was the timing of this incident that counted most against John Terry, and he is very unfortunate in that respect.

If any of the above incidents had happened at the same time as the allegations against Terry and vice versa, he would undoubtedly still be captain.

The short memories of those involved in football can be both a blessing and a curse, depending on which side of the fence you fall on.

By the time the World Cup rolls along, this would have all been forgotten about, which makes it even more confusing why Capello saw fit to change his captain.

So, has the John Terry affair ended England's chances of winning the 2010 World Cup? No, but it has affected it, and for that we can blame the media as much as, if not more so, than Terry himself.

When will they stop looking for the next crisis or villain and focus on helping the side?

John Terry's Chelsea side may be flying high in the Premier League, but they aren't the best side in the world! Click here to find out who are!


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