Early Doors

Blunt knives out for Terry

Early Doors

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It's hard to believe that just five short weeks ago the news of John Terry's alleged affair with Vanessa Perroncel was still to break.

Since then England have lost a captain, a left-back and any hopes that this time there would be no media frenzy to act as a ready-made excuse for underachievement at a major tournament.

England fans will get their first chance to voice their displeasure at their erstwhile skipper tomorrow when England take on Egypt at Wembley.

The Three Lions supporters are known to love a good booing, with Gary Neville, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole all being on the receiving end in recent times.

In the absence of the assembled press pack unable to find another any other decent lines (Milner: "I'll give it my all". Baines: "I'm looking forward to the experience"), Terry has become the default focus once again. And yes, ED is tragically aware of its complicity in this.

First it was hoped that him losing the armband would draw a line under the episode, then it was Wayne Bridge's withdrawal, then it was the non-handshake on Saturday that was meant to finally bring some form of closure, but here we are again. As usual, the last person to get their voice heard is poor old Johnny Punchclock.

Wayne Rooney took time out from answering questions about how nice it is to score a few headers in his pre-match press conference to plead with fans not to give Terry a pantomime tongue-lashing.

He said: "I have played in England teams when some of our players have been booed. It has not been nice, not just for that one player, but for the whole team. Leading up to a World Cup, you want the fans behind you. We need their full support. It is really important. I hope he gets a good reception."

However, chances are any abuse is unlikely to affect Terry too much. A thick-skinned individual anyway, he has already had to endure plenty of chants at away grounds since the scandal broke, has been on the receiving end of what passes for satire these days on shows like Mock the Week and has even been the subject of a debate on Newsnight.

So the boos from a few thousand people with half a dozen tins in them each probably won't get his back up too much.

The friendly could prove a double-whammy for Arsenal fans going along to watch the match. If Terry is replaced by Ryan Shawcross at half-time, then they can get in twice the booing for their admission fee.

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PODCAST: The latest Eurosport-Yahoo! football podcast is now online - Alex Chick, Jonathan Symcox and Tony Mabert discuss a good weekend for Wayne Bridge and a bad one for Aaron Ramsey.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "Things happen on the pitch. It's happened to me many times. But I could not stand it there. It is not an excuse, but my mother was ill. She was in hospital. This people did not know. But it was a bad time. More than once they insulted my mother and I never responded. But there ... and it happened. And to apologise for this? If it was Kaka, a regular guy, a good guy, of course I would have apologised. But to this one? I apologise to football, to the fans, to the team, but to him I cannot. Never, never. It would be to dishonour me. I'd rather die. There are evil people. And I don't even want to hear those guys speak." - Zinedine Zidane still refuses to apologise for head-butting Marco Materazzi during the 2006 World Cup final. We miss you, Zizou.

FOREIGN VIEW: "My contract says I can only play 60 minutes a game. But the team plays much better without me and so Gross did the right thing. I do not know what he expects from me, but I have a problem with him. We talked, but nothing was achieved. My chances of staying here? Zero per cent." - Alexander Hleb has evidently not been given a ticket to the dream by Stuttgart manager Christian Gross, and instead is hoping for a one-way trip back to Barcelona. 

COMING UP: Live scoring of two matches in League One and six in League Two this evening. Make any of these more interesting with a flutter at Eurosport Bet. Plus there are plenty of other goodies forthcoming throughout the day. Danny Murphy give us his take on the Shawcross/Ramsey debacle, there's the latest update of our European Power Rankings and The Fantasist gives us a rundown of the latest movers and shakers

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