JT couldn't play his way out of trouble
After John Terry's decision to quit international football, Chris Charles sums up the life and times of 'Teflon Terry'
Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got in for me. A classic Carry On film line – and one that would serve as a fitting epitaph to John Terry.
The Chelsea skipper announced his retirement from international football on the eve of an FA hearing into allegations that he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
As impeccable timing goes, it was right up there with any of the crucial challenges he has made on the pitch, while closing another chapter in a career dogged by controversy off it.
"Terry is a centre-back from a bygone era – a beast of a man carved from the proverbial granite"
Terry can rightly point to the fact he has already been cleared of any wrongdoing in a court of law and if he is exonerated for a second time, the calls for him to reverse his decision will begin, with England manager Roy Hodgson having already nailed his colours to the mast by controversially picking the former Three Lions captain for Euro 2012, while omitting Ferdinand’s brother, Rio, from the squad.
Hodgson argued that he was taking Terry on footballing merit - and on that point it is hard to disagree, with the 31-year-old rarely letting his country down, despite mischievous chants suggesting the opposite whenever he pitches up at a rival Premier League ground to unwittingly fulfil his role as everyone’s favourite pantomime villain. (Although many opposition fans would secretly love a player of his stature marshalling their defence.)
Terry is a centre-back from a bygone era – a beast of a man carved from the proverbial granite whose motto could be borrowed from Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings - You Shall Not Pass.
"Like Galloway, the defender has been embroiled in controversy after controversy but always seems to shake off whatever is thrown at him"
A commanding presence at the back, with an admirable ability to organise and galvanise team-mates, he never knows when he is beaten – witness the goal-line clearance against Ukraine that earned his team a vital victory at Euro 2012, whatever the subsequent replays of the incident suggested.
And you could never question his commitment, continuing to play for his country despite twice being stripped of the captaincy and staying on the pitch whilst injured against Moldova earlier this month – a match which proved to be his last for England (although don’t bank on it).
If George Galloway were ever to cross swords with Terry, he would undoubtedly salute the player’s indefatigability –or, if you prefer the football parlance, bouncebackability. Like Galloway, the defender has been embroiled in controversy after controversy but always seems to shake off whatever is thrown at him - earning him the nickname Teflon Terry.
You get the feeling many of his Chelsea team-mates would walk over burning coals if he asked them to, while the ‘JT. Captain. Leader. Legend.’ banner that adorns Stamford Bridge succinctly sums up the views of most Blues supporters.
But despite those softly-spoken tones and cheeky grin, there’s no escaping the baggage that comes with John Terry. Captain, leader, fantastic player – most definitely. Legend? Not likely.
Chris Charles is a QPR fan who used to write very funny blogs for the BBC. He likes punk music but dislikes celery. You can follow him on Twitter @Chris_Charles
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