Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Terry Has Made Right Call If He Rejects England Return

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Terry Has Made Right Call If He Rejects England Return

Article excerpt

Byline: JamesOlley at the heart of London football

THE end of John Terry's international career was controversial and unsavoury, but neither party should want to add a coda now.

Sam Allardyce shunned a chance to dismiss the possibility of calling on the Chelsea veteran when speaking with a small gathering of journalists at St George's Park on Monday. His body language suggested this was not the first time he had considered it. Terry, though, is today reportedly set to shun any comeback in favour of elongated his club career. It is the right call.

Merely listing Terry's rap sheet with appropriate nuance and detail would be another column entirely in itself, but one criticism that could never be levelled at him is a lack of patriotism. He wore the England armband with pride and never shirked even a friendly in an unappealing location or at an awkward time of the season.

Terry was part of a collective malfunction, but his individual wiring seemed largely impervious to the shortcircuiting England perennially suffer in tournament football.

Managers adore him for his reliability and there is little doubt Roy Hodgson would have taken him to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil had his bosses at the FA countenanced a return of a player they found guilty of racially abusing another footballer, despite a court previously clearing him.

Terry felt hounded out. The wound ran deep and he consequently threw himself into club football, where he again silenced those doubting his advancing years to play all 38 games -- every minute, in fact -- of Chelsea's 2014-15 Premier League title-winning campaign.

England's defensive struggles at the World Cup and Euro 2016, combined with Hodgson's removal in favour of Allardyce, appeared to create a climate in which Terry could be recalled.

Many of the senior FA figures so appalled by Terry's behaviour -- remember, he did not contest using the phrase "f**king black c***", only the context in which it was said -- have since left the organisation. England are also sufficiently humbled by that defeat to Iceland that no option is off the table.

Terry has started life in promising fashion under Antonio Conte, playing in both League wins to date and is intent on joining a list of ageing defenders who have thrived under the Italian. …

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