Is John Terry the victim in scandal?
Would he or wouldn’t he was the question a nation asked itself this weekend as Chelsea exchanged pleasantries with Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.
Bookmakers took wagers, pundits pontificated, WAGS wagged and we all held our breath for a split second as an outstretched hand was pointedly ignored by Wayne Bridge.
This avoidance of flesh-on-flesh contact no doubt caused annoyance to a couple of Italians and the air-hand himself because it signaled that the John Terry saga has legs and still wants to run.
And if we’re honest with each other, which we always are in this piece, we know that this tawdry affair has the real possibility of derailing Chelsea’s lust for domestic and European glory while also interfering with a drought that has endured for 44 years, namely England’s quest for the World Cup.
By now, I’m sure you’re all familiar with the ‘alleged’ details of Terry vs. Bridge, but if you’re not, here are the ‘alleged’ cliffs notes.
Boy meets girl. Girl has baby. Girl and boy split. Girl needs a shoulder to cry on. Boy’s married best mate provides shoulder. Oops!
This 'oops' to date has caused John Terry to be relieved of the greatest individual honor to be bestowed on an England player, namely to captain the national team.
The 'oops' to date has also seen John Terry make more uncharacteristic defensive errors in six matches than we’ve seen from him in the last six seasons. Let’s not beat around the bush, the guy has lost form. It's as simple as that.
The 'oops' to date has seen his club side, Chelsea, lose three of their last six matches in all competitions. Coincidence? Come on.
This 'oops' to date has Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, Chelsea manager, Carlo Ancelotti and England manager, Fabio Capello, telling all-and-sundry to watch their off-field behavior.
The 'oops' to date has seen England’s number two left back and heir apparent to Ashley Cole excuse himself from the national team squad for the foreseeable future.
Nothing to see here, right?
According to ‘Team Terry’ though, he’s a rock despite all the lurid tabloid tales. According to ‘Team Terry’ the ‘lads’ are rallying around him. According to ‘Team Terry’, Wayne Bridge is a bottler (an English euphemism for coward).
Listen, I would love to live in ‘Team Terry’ world. It must be like Disney Land. However, in ‘Team Webster’ world he has become nothing short of a liability.
Agreed ‘Team Webster’ might not have the most clout in the football world but it doesn’t take Albert Einstein to see the effects that JT and his wandering are having on the Blues and the Three Lions. Both seem in disarray at exactly the same time.
Look, I’m not the morality police. I have no idea what it’s like to earn $200,000 grand plus a week and have a bevy of buxom young women throw themselves at me. Does my imagination know the answer - yes and if I asked myself the question ‘would I be tempted as a married man?’ The answer would be ‘you bet ya.’
However if you are caught what are you going to do?
Golfer, Tiger Woods recently had to answer that question. It only took him three months to figure it out.
Eventually what we saw from Tiger when he finally realized that the game was up was that his silence made him look pathetic. His voice and honesty was the quality that made him look almost human.
John Terry, as far as I can see, wants the world’s media to see him as a ‘man’s-man’, a geezer, and a lad who has been victimized by certain sections of the media who don’t like him. He is the victim. Get new PR pal.
I can’t help but see you as the ‘bottler’ your friends have supposedly cast Bridge as.
Look, at the end of the day, when the England team is in Soccer City and Brazil is next door, you need a united dressing room to go to war. There is an unspoken pact that the man next to you has got your back. Once that bond is broken, a dressing room is broken.
Wayne Bridge did what was best for himself, his son and ultimately his country.
Sometimes what happens in life is bigger than football, Chelsea and England are about to find out.
Until then, I’ll see you at the far post.