Tears won“t be shed for departing Terry
Published: 27.09.12 / Written by: David Gold
There was something rather nauseating about John Terry“s statement on Sunday night announcing his retirement from international football.
Someone else had to be to blame for the sequence of events that led to the premature end to his England career. It could not possibly have been that the net is closing in on one of the most disliked characters in English football.
So much of this is self-inflicted, from a man who has consistently been in trouble over the years. Few really believe surely that he is actually racist, although he admits using a word that is racist - only that it was a sarcastic response as though to say "as if I'd say that?" But there are certainly many happy to use it as a stick to beat him with nonetheless.
Which makes this not so much about racism. It is right either way that the FA should take action where alleged racism comes into play, as it has done here, as it would send out a poor message if they did not. But whether or not Terry is guilty does not necessarily make him racist.
But it does make him a very dislikeable individual who causes divisions wherever he goes seemingly. Many believe that it was his fault Rio Ferdinand was not at Euro 2012. Roy Hodgson preferred the Chelsea man, and therefore Ferdinand was not picked, allegedly for football reasons. The rest of us suspect otherwise.
That is the heart of the Terry issues. Few can prove anything where the Chelsea captain is concerned. Such a fine defender at his best on the pitch, Terry shows similar qualities off it. He is always able to wriggle his way out of a hole, cast someone as to blame who is not himself and find a way out of the tightest of spots. But that does not remove the suspicion most have of him that he is just not a very nice person, and that his presence is a divisive one in the England squad. Oh, and that he sums up so much that is wrong with modern football. Over inflated wages, egos and poor behaviour.
He is also a player who claims and plays up to the "brave" tag, yet there is much evidence to the contrary. How brave is it to step up to take a penalty kick in a Champions League final when there are others who are better qualified? What Terry did, by the looks of things, was seek to grab the glory - rather than do the genuinely brave thing of recognising that the team would be best served by its best spot kick takers having the first opportunities. Had Salomon Kalou stepped up instead, Chelsea may now be defending a second European title, rather than their first. It is a suspicion confirmed by last season, when Terry pranced around celebrating as though he had actually had something to do with Chelsea's win. As it was, he had done more than anyone to sabotage it, having been sent off for a truly cowardly knee in the back of Alexis Sanchez in the semi final, an act copied by the similarly spineless Joey Barton weeks later.
Of course, this comes from someone who has never met Terry. Yet the Chelsea man seeks to make fortunes off the back of his image, of presenting himself in a certain way and putting forward the image of a brave warrior. Yet the public evidence available, seems to suggest precisely the opposite is true. His retirement from international duty is welcome. But it is typically Terry - jumping before being pushed, and seeking to blame others for his own failings.