KICKAROUND: Should John Terry be Stripped of his Captaincy?

Fabio Capello has stripped John Terry of the England captaincy in an attempt to put an end to the scandal that threatens to derail England’s 2010 World Cup campaign.[ad#as2]

Terry was reported to be shocked and disappointed following his short meeting with Capello but accepted the reasoning behind the decision.
Capello appointed Terry’s deputy and fellow English central defender Rio Ferdinand as his successor and Steven Gerrard as vice-captain.

Our bloggers assess whether the English gaffer has made the right call.

Alex Michaels: Capello was absolutely right to strip Terry of the captaincy in that he will have lost a lot of respect from the players and can hardly lead from the front when representing England. At the same time, the English place far too much importance on the captaincy issue, and Capello himself could hardly understand it when he first came to England. In other countries, Italy and Spain included, the captain is usually the most capped or most experienced player and is there for the coin toss and to exchange pendants. Capello knows Terry will still be a leader on the pitch whether he has the armband or not, and he has other leaders in the team in Gerrard, Lampard, Barry, Beckham, Ferdinand to name just a few. Terry forced his hand this time, but it’s not like he’s been dropped from the team. I can imagine Capello wondering what all the fuss is about. Get over it and move on.

Peter Howard: In simpler times, a spat like the one involving Terry and Wayne Bridge would have been settled with a few fists after practice, and then everyone would just move on. However, in 2010, the tabloid and twitter world makes it much more difficult to handle such a dispute quietly and behind the scenes. In many ways, that would be better for everyone. Capello has now had to insert himself into this mess and strip Terry of the captaincy. This is not the type of situation a coach needs to meddle. Capello certainly has every right to demote Terry, and Terry likely deserves that. But Capello could have waited to see how this blows over. He certainly now risks the players taking sides in this issue, and no squad should ever start a World Cup year with a divided change room.

Greg Neville: I agree Pete, sort it out behind the sheds after practice. The only problem is that Terry has four inches on Bridge and is at least a couple of weight divisions higher than the Manchester City defender. The fair thing to do would be to give Bridge a ‘free kick’, I’m thinking to the groin, to get the spat underway. The last thing you want to do is attempt to resolve this issue through the media. Capello stripping Terry of the captaincy has just given this story more legs and the sordid headlines and scandal revelations are likely to continue well into the build-up to the World Cup in South Africa. There’s more to being the captain of your country then the performance on the pitch and for this reason Terry should have been stripped of the armband. But his successors are not squeaky clean either, so it might be time to give up that ideology that a captain must be a role model and judge it solely on his ability to lead on the field. The bigger question facing Capello still awaits him: does he play the left-back Bridge and centre-back Terry in the same England line-up? It’s a good thing they are no longer Chelsea team-mates.


  1. Joe 22nd February 2010
  2. douglas 20th February 2010

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