Am I missing something?
Let me get this straight. Last year following personal indiscretions that discredited him among his peers, John Terry was stripped of the England captaincy. At the time for all the pros and cons, I felt this was the right decision. From there Capello appointed Rio Ferdinand the new captain with Steve Gerrard as the vice-captain.
Ferdinand has really been injury prone in that year and has probably played a handful of internationals in that time, if that much. Gerrard, as with Liverpool has tried to lead his country by his performances, but sadly as with most England players, had a World Cup he’d want to forget. Since the World Cup and especially recently even he has had his injury issues.
Fabio Capello’s decision, however, is not a contingency measure. This is a statement of intent. This is the course he wants England to take. It is an interesting statement to say the least.
On a recent Football Focus, Garth Crooks made the statement that essentially it doesn’t matter what we think, the decision lies with the England coach. For a media commentator, that kind of defeated the whole point of addressing the question. Of course it’s down to Capello, but that decision has consequences for how Capello is viewed by England supporters and even more importantly by players.
What does this say about Ferdinand and Gerrard? What if you were in their position hoping to get your place back in the England set-up only to find your position taken through no fault of your own? How would you react? Of course the professional in you would spout out that it is just a privilege to play for your country and although captaining the side is an honour you want tor retain, you abide by the decision of the boss. You will be fully behind the side because you want your country to do well and you appreciate it’s about having leaders on the pitch.
In as much as the professional can say that commendably, it would only be human to be hurt by the decision. Hurt and confused. Hurt, confused and somewhat bitter.
There is no doubt that Terry is a gifted captain. Chelsea tick over as they do because of him. There isn’t an issue over giving a guy a second chance. The issue surrounds rhe manner in which it’s done and implicitly what it says about how highly Capello values the contributions of his senior players. With there already being a camp of discontent over Capello’s failings at the World Cup, this is another decision that can stoke the fires of those hostile to him. What’s worse is even the few supporters he has left would be hard pressed to support this decision, and it will be another stick to beat the guy with if England fail to make progress in his last tournament, should England qualify.