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How John Terry Attempts To Belittle Rio For Captaincy…

Rio Ferdinand England captainThere has been a lot said about Fabio Capello’s decision to make Rio Ferdinand temporary captain of England in the press this week. Some questioned how appropriate it was to make Ferdinand captain when taking in to consideration his less than glowing past. Others recognised the change in Ferdinand and his commitment to being a good role model.

Before the game, The Guardian wrote in praise of Ferdinand, hailing him as the best in the country for his position. “There is a new maturity to Ferdinand, which has been reflected in his performances this season. He has been the Premier League’s best centre-half, a key member of a defence that has conceded only 15 league goals.” The Telegraph reflected on Ferdinand’s past, whilst hailing the change in him. “There was a time, about four years ago, when the thought of Ferdinand captaining England would have appeared absurd. He had, after all, just been given an eight-month ban from all football by the Football Association for failing to undergo a routine drugs test. His private life had long been of interest to the more salacious side of Fleet Street and to think of him as leadership material, even for his club, let alone his country, appeared not even a subject for conversation. When attempting to defend their player, Manchester United pointed out that Ferdinand was ‘forgetful’ and hinted that at times he was a bit dim. However, since his return, against Liverpool in September 2004, his maturity has been self-evident on the pitch and in the passion with which he has taken to campaigning for sporting opportunities and against knife crime in the estates where he grew up. His articulacy and honesty are refreshing in a world where so many comments are deliberately banal, although it is his performances on a football field that would have most interested Capello.”

After being named captain, Ferdinand was modest and self-deprecating, whilst genuinely happy and honoured. “It is a fantastic honour and an achievement in itself to be named England captain,” he said. “As a kid you grow up wanting to play for England and to lead your country and I now have been given the honour to fulfil these dreams, so definitely I am very happy.”

Now, the France vs England game was nothing to write home about, with neither side covering themselves in glory. The game was boring and a penalty to France, courtesy of Calamity James striking again, was all that separated the sides, after Anelka easily beat John Terry for pace, bursting in to the box.

Ferdinand walked out proudly and put in a solid performance. Before the game, The Independent claimed it was Ferdinand’s captaincy to lose now, and I believe that still to be the case.

However, John Terry isn’t about to surrender the armband without a fight, and in an interview with ICON magazine, showed himself up as arrogant and disrespectful. Ahmed at addressed this same point, labelling the Chelsea captain “self-minded and self-centred.”

There is nothing wrong with Terry fighting his corner, highlighting reasons why he thinks he should be captain, but does he really need to do that at the detriment of colleague and friend, Rio Ferdinand, as well as every other potential captain?

“I do set an example in the way I play,” Terry claimed, although what example he thinks he sets I’m not too sure. “If they don’t want an England captain fighting for England in every way possible, fighting to win the ball and come out of the tackle, fighting for the cause, then that’s down to them to make that decision.” Does Mr Terry honestly believe he’s the only player in the England set up who fights for England? That if they don’t choose him, they are choosing a captain who isn’t fighting for England’s cause in every way possible? What is this statement saying about Ferdinand and co.?

“If Mr Capello wants someone who is going to go out there, desperate to win and to do everything it takes, then I’ll be his right choice,” Terry continued. “If not, that’s down to him to make the decision.” Again, John Terry is the man if Capello wants a captain desperate to win. Of course, Capello wants a winner, so Terry is again implying he is the only player in the team who has that desperation for success, and therefore is the only man worthy of the armband.

It begs the question, where was John Terry, the fighter, the warrior, the captain who’s desperate to win, when England failed to qualify for Euro 2008? He was the captain when England played out that goalless draw at home to Macedonia, a game which if they had won, would have secured their qualification. He was the captain when England played out another goalless draw against Russia a couple of months later. But he’s let off the hook, as he was injured for the crucial defeat against Croatia. However, let’s not forget that he was “injured” for England that evening, but managed a full 90 minutes for Chelsea in the league just three days later. Now don’t get me wrong, I am certainly a club > country man, but then, I’m not trying to prove I should be made captain of England.

He bailed out on England when they needed him most. When they needed a leader, a fighter, Terry preferred to rest up so he could give his all at the weekend in a league game for his Chelsea. Terry knew if he pulled out of that game, the best available back four, due to injuries and suspensions, would be Richards, Campbell, Lescott and Bridge. Still, he chose to leave them to it, and it was the defensive errors in that game which cost England a place in Euro 2008. But at least John Terry could play a full 90 minutes for Chelsea in a game where he would obviously be needed…against the mighty Derby County!

In the final blow, of demeaning his team mates and arse licking the manager, he says, “I am really passionate about it. It means so much to me, to my family. Mr Capello is a clever man and a great manager and he’ll give it to the right person.” I’m pretty sure that it is Capello’s intelligence which will help him to see right through the pathetic and insulting plea from Terry.

Ahmed correctly identifies this interview with Terry as something which has every potential to create divides within the camp. Ferdinand was on a high at being named captain, and to hear such self-centred talk from Terry will have no doubt been deflating. Of course, it’s a sort of competition for captaincy, and they both want it, but we haven’t heard Rio Ferdinand hailing himself as the only right choice. In fact, it was quite the opposite, him looking at the importance of all players on the field. “You need to play as a leader whether your captain or not,” he said. “It is important to have 11 guys who want to lead and want to lead on the pitch and have the balls to put their chest out and lead from the forefront.” Ferdinand graciously went on praise the other potential candidates, claiming “there will be no animosity between the players, we are all mature enough and professional enough to go by what the manger says. Steven Gerrard was captain last game, I am this time and if the manager wanted someone else next time then we will see.” Ferdinand obviously said this before reading Terry’s immature, self-serving interview!

What do you think of Terry’s comments about the England captaincy?

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Sam says:

    What a wanker.

    I hope he gets dropped for good.

    Even off the field, whilst most people have a cleaner slate than Rio’s, Terry has a pretty dirty one too- trouble with the police etc.

    On another note, why does Wesley Brown always play so badly for England? After starring as usual against the Scousers, I thought he was going to buck the trend on Wednesday…

  2. Anekin says:

    Terry- You wanker!

  3. jsos says:

    Chelsea rent boy! What a tosser. His words of desperation make me think he sees himself on his way out like we do. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass Terry.

  4. John says:

    scumbag! sure i read the other day he is in trouble for parking his flash car in a disabled spot

  5. LLoyd says:

    John Terry is only showing us why he should not be Captain of England not why he should be. His arrogance will be his downfall, Cappello hates arrogance or any self serving moves to try and put yourself above a team mate, he cut Beckham at Madrid because of it and there are a number of England players who will to their surprise meet the same fate. I cannot see Terry taking the armband back after his comments it would shoe Cappello as weak which he is not and will not allow.

  6. Sheffield Red says:

    Absolutely sums Terry up. I know David James totally mistimed his attempt to get the ball which led to the penalty, but why is he being vindicated more than Terry. He was out of position and was the wrong side of Anelka and as soon as the ball went past he stopped. Well if he thinks he is England captain material he needs to get his head out from his own arse and watch what the rest of us football loving fans see. I said it when Gallas left Chelsea that you wold see Terry’s weaknesses as a defender. Without a quick centre back alongswide him, John Terry really isnt as good as he thinks

  7. Whiteside10 says:

    I reckon Terry shouldn’t be even considered as captain mainly because he’s not even a certainty to be picked to play, let alone lead the team.
    For example, I was surprised that Capello didn’t play Woodgate alongside Rio against France, to counter their pace up front, but then I’m no football manager!
    As the comments above also state, Terry needs to rein his ego in a bit and stop thinking he’s better than he is. I can’t understand why defenders as slow as he is are rated so highly… in this day-and-age, you need pace at the back at the top level… passion alone isn’t enough…

  8. fuzzy says:

    You English analyze things too much. The fact that you ponder about a guy’s statements regarding the captaincy rather than concentrate on your football is one of the reasons that you wouldn’t be there in EURO-2008. OK he is a Man Utd player and one of the best central defenders in the world but he probably doesn’t care what Terry said to the media given the fact that the media will only present what they want you to see rather than the truth.

  9. franky says:


    there’s one thing you forget/don’t know. The EPL has a very high fair play standard and Terry, as Chelsea skipper, has highly failed at fair play (and having a big gob towards the referree). English people will not forget this until Terry really becomes an example.

    As a ManUtd fan I have to admit that I feared for Rio’s chances of captaining the Three Lions last night after he tried to get Torres sent off last Sunday, because exactly that kind of gigs are what Capello doesn’t like. And that said… Terry/Chelsea haven’t done great, but backstabbing like this might cost Terry even more.

    Remember, Capello is the guy who really doesn’t care about ‘proven track’ and only choses the guys who are in form. We’ll see rotation, otherwise Downing wouldn’t have selected, even Becks wouldn’t have -thanks to Lennon and Shawn-Wright who haven’t really performed lately- been selected. Fabio is different and as a national side manager his ruthlesness will be shown even more.

    The smallest error might mean a non-call. And Terry better watch out.

  10. Sam says:

    Anyone here read the Times? Aside from a great article about David Beckham (why England loves him when, and I quote, he is a “first rate prat”), and so much rubbish about analysing England (how it will never work because Backham can’t be a Ronaldo etc) there was a little insight into Capello’s “plans” about this captaincy.

    Apparently he is going to keep this rotation thing going to its bitter end, meaning Terry will get his chance, as well as Gareth Barry, and our very own Wayne Rooney!

    Hopefully what we are going to see with England is exactly the same as with United- Rio captain for the next few years, to be replaced by Wayne.

  11. ts says:

    Chelsea and their rent boy players & fans prove it time and time again.. you can’t buy class!

  12. Tom F says:

    nothing to do with the blog, but there’s nowhere else to vent my feelings!

    -Disappointed about Fletcher, cannot believe he’s injured now after being a great bit part player this season.

    -I was thinking about a forward who United should sign. There’s all this talk about Benzema and Berbatov, what about Robbie Keane?

    who cares I hear you cry, oh well.

  13. Sam says:

    TS- you sort of can buy class- Rooney, Ronaldo, Anderson, Ferdinand, Vidic, etc etc.

    Also, Terry was a homegrown player of Chelsea’s…

    Sorry, I agree with your sentiment in general about Chelsea’s policy though- at least we buy people to fill a specific role, instead of wildly paying ridiculous sums of money for someone who will never fit in

    Tom- Keane is a) a bit older than we want, and b) too much like our other forwards. We need a big boy to lead the line. Apparently Manucho starred yesterday, but I’m not confident he will be our answer- I can’t see him holding down a regular starting place ahead of people like Tevez.

  14. Tom F says:


    You are possibly right in saying we need somebody to lead the line, though I’d say Keane is more a finisher than what we have right now. Somebody who’ll put the ball in the net at any given chance.

    But who cares.

    PS Tevez doesn’t really hold down a starting position now with only Rooney as our lesser injured forward. Manucho is also 25 or so which is quite old considering our teams age right now, however I wouldn’t turn down an older player in the Sheringham / Larrson mould who can finish and has good experience. Can you believe in 2 months from now we’ll be in pursuit of some new stars! Woo!

  15. Whiteside10 says:

    I’m also disappointed about Fletcher, although we’ve got more than enough cover, so not too worried…
    Strikers? A difficult one, this, as we’ve got Frazier Campbell coming back, plus Manucho, so next season we’ll have at least four strikers…
    On the subject of transfers though, I read today that Ramos is looking to get rid of five or six players at Tottenham… Apart from Berbatov, I wouldn’t mind seeing Aaron Lennon here… As for any other foreign strikers, one stands out for me – David Villa…

  16. ts says:

    sam – i was more referring to class in terms of the attitude of a club in general – it comes from having a history of success.. for Chelsea think Wayne Slob winning the lottery ;)

  17. Red Yank says:

    If Terry were true captain material he would have respected the decision of the manager and then tried to earn it back by playing his best for his country and picking up the slack when Rio slips up. This kind of public nonsense doesn’t help anyone and does a disservice team spirit.


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