After being given the armband for the friendly against France, the press tipped Rio Ferdinand to be the man to lead out Fabio Capello’s England. However, John Terry was Capello’s choice for captain, an 8 month decision process that Scolari, Chelsea’s new manager, took all of 2 minutes to make. Capello couldn’t seem to give a reason as to why he had chosen JT, other than his ‘big personality’. Honestly, how much is he on, £6 million?

So now our player’s confidence has been dented needlessly. If Capello didn’t have the balls to make any changes, then he should have started that way, rather than raising Rio’s hopes just to let him down. It was definitely a case of ‘same old England’ in their friendly against the Czech Republic last night, with the usual suspects Heskey, Jenas and Downing being thrown on to change things when it wasn’t going England’s way. And no England game is complete without ol Calamity having one of his ‘moments’ in goal.

So last night, JT had his first chance to shine and show the country why Capello was right to turn down our Rio. How did he get on?

The Times: (nobody rated lower)

To say he looked sluggish would be an insult to slugs. Appeared unsteady on his feet on the wet ground, not for the first time in his life, and was twisted and turned by Baros at the heart of a defence that was far too easily discomfited by a side deploying a lone striker. For the first goal, he tugged Baros’s shirt, yet the Czech forward still turned him with ease and shot. 4

The Guardian: (nobody rated lower)

Pride at his second coming as captain was offset by his culpability in Baros’ goal. Although he got tight to his man, he was turned too easily. 5

Goal: (only Lampard rated lower)

Terry must shoulder the blame for the first goal. Was turned far too easily by Baros, and not a captain’s performance. 5

How did Rio get on?

How would he react to coming second in the captaincy auditions? Well, he performed better than the man alongside him in central defence in permanent possession of the armband. He had one casual moment when he allowed Baros to sneak in a shot from a tight angle after 15 minutes, but overall was the best – or perhaps that should be the least worst – of the England back four. 6

A solid performance by Ferdinand who must have been disappointed to lose the captaincy to Terry. 6

The Mirror‘s write-up is probably the most amusing though.

On a night when Wesley Brown got his first goal for his country, it’s amusing to see that new manager or not, England haven’t changed one bit. I do feel for the United lads though.




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