Poll shows low support for Terry

A new poll on John Terry contains a series of interesting findings – and also tells us something about the pitfalls of using research projects to gauge the public mood.

The poll by PoliticsHome saw over 1,000 adults interviewed on Wednesday and yesterday.

Here are some of the findings:

Nearly half say Terry should be forced to stand down. The report doesn’t elaborate on why he should do so – is it because he played away or for potentially disrupting England’s World Cup preparations?

Just over three-quarters “think that being a role model for young people should be an important part of the England captain's role”. Why? Footballers are rubbish role models. Find someone running a social enterprise which gives deprived kids a chance in life. There’s a role model.

51% of those who took part “agree with the statement that 'there is no need for the public to know about John Terry's private life', compared to 44% who think there is a legitimate public interest in this matter”. That’s a split you’ll find reflected in most conversations on the subject.

Inexplicably, the poll avoided one crucial question - since when did who captains England become worthy of a poll? In the words of the late departed Bill Hicks, “did I miss a meeting?” Here’s the full report.

Terry is probably safe now, whatever a random bunch of people picked off the street think. So says Kevin McCarra in The Guardian, although like everybody else, he too has one eye on the Sunday papers.

Suggestions that players are backing Terry are “wide of the mark”, according to this morning’s Independent. However, the paper says they won’t risk overt opposition to Terry as captain in case it ruins their future prospects.

If the public wants John Terry to become a role model he could do worse than to get a job with the Salvation Army. Their latest recruit’s vision is “for Salvation Army buildings to be places where families can share the World Cup experience in a non-threatening and family friendly environment.” On second thoughts this sounds a bit too twee for the £150,000 grand a week defender. And what would the 44% who think there is a legitimate public interest in his affairs have to say if Terry followed God rather than Mammon?

Two very different South African blogs caught my eye this morning. The first believes price hikes could put visitors off during the World Cup (http://6000.co.za/peter-delmar-greed-killing-our-world-cup-prospects/). The second is very excited about the World Cup (http://brendamacdonald.blogspot.com/). In their different ways I feel the content of these blogs sum up the fear and optimism of a country desperate to prove itself on the world stage but anxious it may go wrong.

Did you know only two players have featured in five World Cups? Who are they? Email me and come back for the answers on Monday.

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