John Terry: man or monster? Whatever you think of him, his talent and dedication is undeniable. An international career that has spanned eleven years, seventy-eight games and three captaincies, all came to an end in one second of insanity. On Monday morning, Terry announced his retirement from international football. Considered by some as the greatest modern day left-back – alongside Philip Lahm – Terry and success go together like cheese and wine. Last year he helped Chelsea win the Champions League and ensured his name was written in the history books. He has won three league titles and four FA cups while in Chelsea Blue.
John Terry loved playing for his country and wanted to win the World Cup. Unfortunately, due to poor management and certain players not delivering in big match situations, this dream was never accomplished. Whilst captain, these high profile defeats were evidently damaging to Terry, burdened by the weight of expectation, he regularly came under fire from supporters. Fans called out for an end to older England players, thinking younger players could lead England to glory. Despite this, Terry remained professional and consistently strong during his England games.
Captain, Leader and legend, Terry’s career came into danger of being defined by various moments. It seemed that Terry was always marred with the ugly staff of controversy. He allegedly racially abused Anton Ferdinand during a QPR – Chelsea match last year. This caused a massive upheaval and a public backing of Anton Ferdinand. Terry was however acquitted of the charges of racism earlier this year in court. He was vilified by the press in 2010 when he embarked on a secret relationship with French lingerie model, Vanessa Perroncel, behind the back of fellow teammate, Wayne Bridge, who had perviously had a child with her. This caused outrage and provoked a large section of the football fraternity to call for Terry’s retirement and possible court action. It contributed in the British public to losing faith in footballers and considering them all louts, rather than athletes.
Terry must be remembered as a fantastic servant to the country. A dedicated defender who did all he could to help England win major tournaments. He should not be remembered as a racist. It’s wrong for a man who has spend over 7,000 minutes on the pitch for England, giving his all to be defined by one second of insanity.
But whats next for England?
The old guard that have been mainstays of England’s squad since 2005 are aging. Terry’s departure represents a shift in the Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard and Terry mentality. Early in the 2000’s, Spain and Germany’s national squads hit a lull. They changed their policy and tactics. Spain used a 70’s Dutch total football style. They used the excellent facilities of Barcelonas La Masia academy, to doctrinate young players in a simple message. Skill and technical ability are more important than speed and power. Spain are now a superpower of world football, winning the last World Cup and European Championship trophies. If England are to have any sucess within the next twenty years, they must do the same. England need to implement, in my opinion, a rule that a minimum of six British players must be playing in a Premiership team at one time. They need to invest in Premiership academies and install some kind of universal playing style into their young players. England has the talent to be a footballing superpower once again, but it will take time and money if we are ever to win the World Cup for a second time.