Eurosport - Fri, 05 Feb 16:10:00 2010
Did Fabio Capello make the right decision sacking John Terry as England captain? Here are arguments for and against.
WHY CAPELLO WAS RIGHT
He has abused the position
It is estimated that the England captaincy is worth £500,000-a-year to Terry, who has benefited further from portraying himself as a family man (2008 Dad of the Year, no less). Having profited from his position, he can hardly argue that he is not a role model, and he clearly failed to hold up his end of the bargain.
The England captain is a public figure
There is a reason why it is known as 'the second most important job in the country' (presumably Simon Cowell has the most important). And, like any public figure, the England captain is expected to uphold certain moral standards. He is a hero to millions of kids and a national ambassador - how could he possibly have stayed?
He cannot be trusted
Even if Terry's on-pitch authority was not compromised, a World Cup is about much more than playing seven games of football. Twenty-three players have to live together at close quarters for a month, and that could create tensions, especially if he comes face-to-face with Bridge across the table-tennis table.
Do you want him lifting the World Cup?
OK, ok, we might be getting ahead of ourselves here - most England fans would be happy enough to have Piers Morgan wearing the armband as long as we won. But if we look back in 30 years at photos of the trophy being held aloft by a man associated with grubby extra-marital behaviour, wouldn't it have cheapened the triumph just a little bit?
The media storm has to stop
It is believed that Capello quizzed Terry on further allegations - and the likelihood that those allegations will surface in the papers. This story will run, and run, and run. It won't go away now the Italian has stripped him of the captaincy, but the manager has isolated himself from criticism now he has taken strong action against Terry.
WHY CAPELLO WAS WRONG
Terry is the best captain
However much of a PR embarrassment, this scandal does not compromise his ability to lead on the pitch - nobody thinks team-mates will suddenly stop listening to him. Negative stories will continue whether he is in the team or not, so he might as well play. And if he plays, he should be captain, because he is the best man for the job.
Terry is more important than Bridge
Let's be brutally honest. If Wayne Bridge says he cannot be in the same England squad as Terry, it should be an easy decision who gets left at home. It is cruel, but we are trying to win a World Cup. Would you rather lose your back-up left-back or your first-choice central defender and your best on-pitch leader?
Chelsea don't have a problem
Terry has continued as Chelsea skipper without the slightest hint of dissent - and it was the club connection that led him to become, er, acquainted, with Vanessa Perroncel. Most of the squad were around when Bridge played for Chelsea, yet they seem unconcerned and Carlo Ancelotti has received no criticism for keeping Terry on.
Who's going to replace him?
If we want a paragon of moral virtue to captain England, there are not many contenders. Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney have all been the subject of negative headlines over the years. If absence of controversy were the only criterion, Paul Scholes would have led England at two World Cups.
Rooney can fly under the radar
John Terry is not England's most important player, Wayne Rooney is. And the Manchester United man was in danger of being crushed by the weight of public expectation until last week. Now we have the perfect smokescreen, as all the media attention is shifted to Terry, leaving Rooney free to get on with playing.
What do you think? Leave your opinion in the comments box below!