Terry is hands down England’s best defender… Get him back.
John Terry is not the first footballer to make a stupid mistake, and he certainly won’t be the last. Despite being acquitted by a court for using racist language towards Anton Ferdinand at the end of 2011, the FA banned the centre-back from playing for England.
As a result, Terry retired from international duty, and Roy Hodgson has since established Gary Cahill and Phil Jagielka as his first-choice pairing.
While Terry’s actions should never be justified, it is important to recognise the difficulty and discrepancy in judging a sportsman by a combination of their moral compass and their athletic ability.
If we’re going to pick an England team based on both, there’s more than a few of the current batch who would get nowhere near the squad…
Unless a truly unforgivable sin has been committed, surely Terry, and any other sportsman, deserves to be judged by what they do on the field. If you believe Terry’s sin is unforgivable, then fair enough – but the man has served a ban, paid a fine, and had his reputation and legacy dragged through the mud because of it. The man has suffered. Whether you like him or not, this is undeniable.
Roy Hodgson’s England side have a mammoth task ahead of them in the summer. Drawn in a World Cup alongside Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica, the Three Lions are going to need all the help they can get.
John Terry can give them that.
This season, he’s been the best centre-back in the Premier League. Terry’s made a habit of making last ditch tackles, heroic blocks, and has made up for his lack of pace with his practically perfect defensive positioning. He’s strong in the air, and a true leader. Chelsea have conceded the least number of goals in the top flight, and largely have Terry to thank.
What’s more, he’s been playing alongside Gary Cahill, a current England starting defender. Surely it’s a no brainer to start the English centre-back pairing with the with the best defensive record in the top flight for the national team?
If this wasn’t enough, Terry’s shown this season that he can deal with Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez. England will have a strong chance of getting out of the group if they can draw or beat Uruguay, and Terry had the brilliant striker in his pocket at Stamford Bridge this season. Current England centre-half Phil Jagielka on the other hand, was humiliated by Suarez during a 3-3 draw at Goodison Park and then during a 4-0 drubbing at Anfield…
Terry;s proven his big game pedigree time and time again, whereas Jagielka has never played a game of Champions League football in his life. For as impressive a season as Jagielka is having, he’s not in the same football pedigree as the Chelsea man.
For those worried about Terry being a disruptive influence in the England side should take a closer look at the current squad. Rio Ferdinand is not good enough to be selected any more, and Wayne Bridge (with whose wife Terry reportedly had an affair) is no longer in the international picture.
The squad is young, with players like Ross Barkley, Andros Townsend and Jack Wilshere – who will not have ‘history’ with the Chelsea skipper. What’s more, Steven Gerrard will remain captain, meaning Terry only has to focus on his on pitch performances, and can let the Liverpool man lead the side.
A World Cup only comes around every four years, so England must give themselves the very best opportunity to do as well as they possibly can.
On current form, the England side would undoubtedly be stronger with Terry and Cahill starting at the back.
In purely footballing terms, Terry walks straight back into the England side, so it depends entirely on how much weight you put on his previous misdemeanours whether you think he should be recalled.
Football is a cut-throat, results driven business though, and Hodgson will be missing a trick if he doesn’t do everything he can to persuade the 33-year-old to pull on the shirt once more, and lead the England defence in Brazil.