As I woke up this morning and I turned on my laptop, I went onto the internet on my usual rounds, and TheSun website is one of them. It was interesting to read the conflicting thoughts of two ex footballers. One is ex-England manager Terry Venables and the other being ex-Arsenal Legend Ian Wright.
Terry Venables is seeing things from the football side of things, very much thinking how it is going to affect England’s chances in the up coming Euro’s with the ex-England manager saying “it leaves England up the creek without a captain”. Venables goes on to make the point that there may be good players in the England squad, but there are not many natural leaders.
“Who can successfully replace Terry as captain at Euro 2012? The answer is: Nobody. Capello’s squad is hardly brimming with leaders. Good players? Yes. Great leaders? No. Rio Ferdinand is struggling for fitness, likewise Steven Gerrard. While Ashley Cole, for all his experience and consistency, is not captaincy material. The likes of Joe Hart, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling could be future contenders for the armband but at the moment they are still too young and lack the gravitas required. Scott Parker commands respect but has only been in the England team five minutes. His midfield colleague Frank Lampard would be a good candidate but he is no longer guaranteed a place in Capello’s starting line-up. That leaves Gareth Barry, another non-regular, or Wayne Rooney. In normal circumstances, Rooney could be the perfect choice. However, he will be suspended for the first two matches of Euro 2012.”
Now personally, I would have Scott Parker as England captain. He has natural leadership qualities, but some even argue that the role of a captain in today’s game is irrelevant. I am not one of those people. It does seem strange that players like Tony Adams, Roy Keane or Patrick Vieira don’t seem to be around any more, or are coming through the ranks. John Terry is definitely in that mode, but with everything that has gone on, he cant represent the Country any more.
Ian Wright sees t things differently to Venables, more looking at the morality of the situation rather than the affects on the England team. Wright wrote in his column “This is unsavoury and embarrassing for everyone in English football. I still want to see Terry remain in the team for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.” later going on to say “I still believe that you are innocent until proven guilty. We now wait for an explanation from Terry, who has admitted he used certain words at Ferdinand in the match between QPR and Chelsea. Terry is getting lots of support from Chelsea and I hope he has sat down with the team and given his version of events. But being captain of a national team at a major competition is different, which is why the FA’s decision to remove Terry as skipper was correct.”
Ian Wright loves his country and that is always clear to see when he is a pundit for any national games, and obviously wants England to have the best chance to win, but also understands that the England captaincy stands for something. To have someone that is under allegation for making racist comments would not look good leading out a team that has a large percentage of black footballers and to be behind an anti-racism campaign while have your National captain under investigation is rather contradictory.
It was the right thing to do to show that England is against racism, Football transcends the pitch and resonances out into the society. Sometimes things are bigger than what happens on the pitch, something I feel Terry Venables has missed, but Ian Wright fully understands.