Is John Terry clutching at straws?

Two points dropped during a shaky performance at the KC Stadium: is the Terry World Cup captaincy cuckolding alleged abortion French lingerie model saga taking its toll on Chelsea?

Yes, says Jamie Jackson of The Guardian. And the “agonising” could continue until the weekend if this Independent report is true. “Further revelations”, if they surface, may finally condemn Terry.

In the same paper Matthew Norman writes “If England lead Argentina in the last minute of a World Cup quarter-final this summer, not one of us this side of the border would object if John Terry prevented Lionel Messi from equalising by slicing his head off with a scimitar (so long as the blade connected outside the box).” It is, says Norman, time to end the morality witch hunt of “a regimental goat”.

Not so, says The Times. By his actions Terry has threatened the harmony of the England dressing room. Anyone who has experience of playing in a team will recognise Terry has compromised “the success of the team or the unity of the collective... a principle [which] is stated so often and avowed so earnestly that it can become more sacrosanct than any marriage vow”.

Ultimately the decision is Capello’s, despite misgivings at senior level in the FA. Until then Terry may be encouraged by a new turn of events which might [or might not – solicitors acting for World Cup Bafana Bafana 2010] be prompted by the sources which are spreading the Terry line wherever possible. This story in The Telegraph says Terry “is understood to have received jokey text messages from other senior England players saying they want him to remain as captain because they do not want their private lives scrutinised. The messages have encouraged Terry that there may be hope that he can hold on to the role when he meets Capello.” The words ‘straws’, ‘clutching’ and ‘at’ spring to mind.

Some might ask why we couldn’t have waited 12 years for the Terry story to emerge. That’s roughly how long it took for this nugget to see the light of day. The answer? Because some of the key participants in the US 1998 World Cup failure says this affair affected them.

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