The recent news that Capello has stripped Rio of his captaincy and given it back to John Terry is yet another laughable episode in English football. Not just because we’ve given the armband back to a man who is dodgy as email spam, but the way the whole thing was communicated. Let’s look at the evidence:
1) Terry was stripped of the armband for various good reasons. Not only for the Bridge gate debacle (because in his own warped way he probably thought he was shagging her for the team), but for other things that have come up in his private life. His serial philandering (although to be fair to him everyone else is at it and I’m pretty sure all football teams would be captain-free if you had to be monogamous to be one), the alleged charging people up to £10k to have a look around the Chelsea training ground and renting his Wembley box out on the black market. Don’t even get me started on his shoplifting mum and drug-dealing dad. Is this really the man we want leading out a team that represents our country, the Royal Family and David Cameron? They have enough issues to deal with without having Terry linked to them.
2) The fact that Rio found out he was dropped at the same time as the rest of the world. Let’s put this into context: how would you feel if everyone at work found out you’d been sacked before you? Or being like Minnie Driver and finding out your relationship with Matt Damon is over when he tells the world on Oprah. Or worse, being dumped on Facebook?
Fabio has some explaining to do, and rightly so – the England set up is a debacle. When Rio got whiff of being dropped he texted Baldini (why he couldn’t dial the number and actually speak, God knows, but then as I mentioned in a previous blog these footballers can barely do anything for themselves), who in turn DID pick up the phone and insisted that Terry was being appointed as captain only for the game against Wales on Saturday week. Rio would be back after his injury – rest assured. Clearly Capello and Baldini don’t speak because Capello then met with members of the media and all but confirmed that Terry would indeed be reinstated on a permanent basis, while adding that he intended to travel to Manchester today to break the news to Ferdinand.
Apparently when Ferdinand learned of that, his representatives (again not him picking up the phone – but I digress) contacted the FA to seek clarification and officials refused to confirm what Capello had said. It succeeded only in infuriating Ferdinand more – and who can blame him? Whether he actually complained about this or got someone to do it for him, who knows.
He’s even bemused by the use of his injury problems as justification for his demotion. This season he has made the same number of England appearances as Terry — albeit just two. In the 24 appearances he has made for United this season, he has not suffered a single defeat. The loopholes in the injury argument are as big as Maradonna’s former waist line.
Now it’s clear the way all of this was communicated was just farcical. BUT I do see the point of ensuring we have a constant captain. Yes Rio has been injured, and we don’t want a repeat of the Denmark game with players passing the captain’s armband around like a jazz cigarette, but surely there’s a better contender than John Terry. Quite frankly it’s embarrassing. We couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery.
With the backbone of our England team ‘getting on a bit’, this was the perfect opportunity to use players like Rio, Stevie G and Terry to act as mentors to a new, younger captain who will have the role for years to come.
This leads to the next and more pressing question for me. Who? With the senior experienced players being over 30 and the rest bit-part squad players, I think the most pressing problem for the next England manager (start thinking now Harry) is who the hell will line up for England in the future. Our nation’s team has serious issues that need to be addressed now if we’re ever going to win a major trophy in my lifetime … (for the record I’m nearly 30).