England’s old guard proved last Friday night that they are a force to be reckoned with – at least against weaker footballing nations. They got the job done.
34-year-old Frank Lampard’s brace helped the Three Lions to victory against Moldova but it is John Terry’s name, again, that generates most media speculation. The 31-year-old still faces an FA disciplinary hearing over alleged racist remarks he made to QPR’s Anton Ferdinand.
Roy Hodgson has said he wants to keep John Terry in the team but surely even he will find this difficult if Terry is found guilty of racially abusing Ferdinand. And a guilty verdict is a real possibility given the rate of convictions handed out by the Football Association from displinary hearings. Just two of 473 cases heard by the FA last year were given a ‘not guilty’ verdict.
Terry will miss out on his 79th cap against Ukraine tomorrow as he fights to overcome an ankle injury. His England career has been a cocktail of triumph, disaster and misdemeanour. The potted history and the numbers are worth reviewing.
- Made his debut against Serbia and Montenegro in 2003.
- Scored his first England goal against Hungary in May 2006.
- Named as the new England captain and successor to David Beckham in August 2006, scoring on his debut as skipper in a friendly against Greece.
- Stripped of his captaincy by Fabio Capello prior to the World Cup 2010 following his off-field antics with former teammate and close friend Wayne Bridge’s former partner.
- He was the only English player named in FIFA’s all-star World Cup squad in 2006 but he and the rest of his England teammates failed to qualify for the following international tournament, Euro 2008, their first absence from any international finals since USA ’94.
- His main defensive partner throughout his career has been Rio Ferdinand but the duo have not appeared together in an England squad since the alleged incident between Terry and Anton Ferdinand, Rio’s brother, took place in October last year.
The Numbers – Terry as England Captain
England have won 22 out of 34 internationals under John Terry’s captaincy – That’s 65% of their games.
This puts him ahead of Bobby Moore and David Beckham who won 63% and 59% of their games respectively.
Its not just a solid win record that England produced under his leadership. They have lost a mere 11.7% (four of 34 matches) of the games where Terry was skipper, the lowest percentage of any post-war England captain.
Terry ranks equal fifth (post-war) with Alan Shearer on total appearances as an England captain (34).
Whether you like him or not, Terry will be a tough act to follow. So who are Roy Hodgson’s alternatives? Fortunately, one place where England have considerable depth is in defence. There are multiple candidates waiting in the wings. Here we take a look at the best of his potential replacements.
With 10 caps already under his belt, Terry’s Chelsea teammate missed out on the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine this summer with a fractured jaw he picked up in a friendly against Belgium. Having played with Terry at Chelsea and winning the Champions League final in May his experience has come on leaps and bounds.
Featuring in Hodgson’s Euro 2012 squad, Jagielka has made thirteen first team appearances for England, winning ten and scoring once. A regular starter for Everton who has a lot to offer – just have to keep him away from the physio room!
The 22-year-old has featured for England at all levels and has three full England caps, making his debut in a Euro 2012 qualifier in Bulgaria in September last year. He doubles up as a full back for his club Manchester United but is naturally suited for a more central role. He is a player with serious potential and looks more than capable of filling Terry’s boots.
Another youngster to have been snapped up by Manchester United, utility man Jones can also slot in at centre back should his services be needed. Despite being ruled out for two months following a knee operation, Jones shows signs of great leadership skills and a wealth of knowledge for the game.
Think you know who’ll replace Terry at Wembley tonight? Why not submit your predicted line-up on our Facebook game “The Insider” – PLAY NOW.