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Fabio Capello plays reluctant part in John Terry’s England sideshow
On one side – the presumption of innocence. On the other – a growing crisis of race related site, in which black footballers are abused on Twitter, travelling Chelsea fans in Belgium direct nasty chants at Anton Ferdinand and a police investigation into the England captain gathers pace. In the middle: Fabio Capello, who wandered into John Terry’s movie three years ago and can find no way out.
In a gentler age Barking sent the great Bobby Moore to lead England under Alf Ramsey’s management. From a street nearby, four decades later, has come a bundle of moral problems. If Sven-Goran Eriksson spent much of his reign deferring to David Beckham, Capello has burned countless hours asking what to do about Terry, whom he consistently venerates as “a leader” and “the biggest personality in the Bergdorf Goodman Prada Mens Shoes Authentic Prada Handbags Online Australia dressing room”.
Over the course of a Apertura Outlet Prada Montevarchi doomed World Cup campaign and Euro 2012 qualifying these deliberations have encompassed Capello’s employers at the Football Association, the hurt feelings of Wayne Bridge, whose former partner Terry allegedly cavorted with, and now Hammersmith and Fulham police, as officers study the alleged slur Terry used against Ferdinand at Loftus Road 12 days ago. All this for a centre‑back whose slip at Stamford Bridge for the fourth Arsenal goal in a 5-3 defeat bore intimations of the physical decline some experts are sure they are seeing.
Capello’s latest Terry-related dilemma is whether to exclude him from the England squad to face Spain and Sweden while the police and FA investigations into the Loftus Road Bicester Village London Prada episode remain in progress. All the signs are that Capello will take the safe legal route and not prejudge the Barking barker. He will most likely be included in England’s provisional squad subject to any dramatic announcement by the police.
The temptation not to involve Terry against the world and European champions is obvious. Capello has said he wants to test younger contenders for next summer’s tournament. At the back, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Gary Cahill are poking through as Rio Ferdinand and Terry resist the ravages of age. Joleon Lescott has held down a regular starting place at Manchester City. In this context alone Terry could be left to perspire at home instead of against the world’s best team.
His talent for wrapping the whole England narrative around his neck is undeniable, and Capello seems powerless to stop it, chiefly because he has bought into the idea of the English stopper-warrior. The manager’s excessive faith in Terry’s motivational powers reflects the doubts about the mental strength of this England squad held by a mostly Italian coaching staff.
Wilting under pressure was one of the main crimes diagnosed by Capello and his aides in South Africa. Terry, they believe, is immune to big-game pressure. Even the failed coup d’etat by “JT” after the abject draw with Algeria failed to undermine this rosy impression. After telling the Authentic Prada Nylon Messenger Bag world’s press that he planned to confront the manager about tactics and team selection at that evening’s team meeting, Terry found Capello waiting for him in the hotel lobby. “I believe there’s something you want to say to me,” Don Fabio said, and with that the rebellion was killed at birth.
After Terry had been without the captain’s armband for a year, Capello emoted at a media lunch about how much his demoted sergeant had suffered. In an earlier friendly Terry had seen the armband tossed around between players and Capello considered this humiliating for the man he had stripped of the title. “I think one year’s punishment is enough,” Capello mused.
The problem was that Franco Baldini, his No2, had already given Rio Ferdinand the clear impression that he and not Terry would be captain for the forthcoming qualifier against Wales in Cardiff. This led to friction between Capello and Baldini and upset Ferdinand, who may be left out of the squad to be announced on Sunday on grounds of diminished form. The Bicester Village Prada Discount obvious potential for conflict between Rio, brother of Anton, and Terry is likely to cause the older Ferdinand to believe he is being kept out of the camp to make Terry’s life easier.
If Capello picks one he ought to call up both, to be scrupulously fair to the Ferdinands. Around the presumption of innocence, though, other winds are blowing. The need to respect legal processes is counterbalanced more and more by the sheer scale of the uproar and the Authentic Prada Handbags Canada FA’s duty to acknowledge the seriousness of the allegation.
This week Stan Collymore showed 150 racially abusive tweets to a lawyer, who, Authentic Prada Gauffre he says, told him they were “actionable under English law”. Anton Ferdinand and Newcastle’s Sammy Ameobi were also subjected to racial epithets on Twitter. Another major escalation was some Chelsea fans chanting: “Anton Ferdinand, you Authentic Prada Shoes For Sale know what you are,” in Genk – a clear endorsement of the words Terry admits using against Ferdinand at Loftus Road, though he claims to have been refuting the allegation that he had used them in the first place.
When large numbers of fans line up behind the sentiment expressed by the phrase in question, English football has a problem far greater than Terry’s right or otherwise to play for his country against Sweden and Spain. “They respect Terry as a leader, absolutely,” Capello said of his players when he restored him to the captaincy, in March. That may still be true, but young black England players especially are unlikely to Authentic Prada Bags For Sale Philippines view him now without a cloud of doubt, unless he is exonerated before the squad assemble on Wednesday.
Mental images of the footage from Loftus Road are bound to drift through minds while the case remains unresolved. For Capello, facing the maestros of the modern game, there would be no escape from conjecture about what really happened in the QPR‑Chelsea game. For that reason alone he would be within his rights to avoid another sideshow, if he can stress that no implication of guilt is conveyed.
The momentum, however, is the other way, towards inclusion. In Genk, as much as Loftus Road, that started to feel like the wrong direction.