After an impressive start to the Premier League season with Chelsea former Blue Ray Wilkins has backed John Terry for a shock return to international football, but would it be a good idea?
The 32-year-old played 78 times for England but quit the Three Lions in 2012 after the racism row involving then QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. But Wilkins believes that Roy Hodgson should do all he can to try bring the Chelsea captain back into the fold, especially as there are a lack of options at centre-half and Gary Cahill, who occupies a starting role with England, isn’t playing regularly for his club.
I think Wilkins is right when he says that Terry deserves a call-up for his form and that he’s experience would be valuable if it was at Hodgson’s disposal but it’s not as straightforward as that when you consider the reasons why he decided to call it a day in the first place. Terry described his position in the England squad as ‘untenable’ when the FA decided to pursue the racism charges following the defender’s aquittal when the case was heard at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
On the other hand, there is also the argument that everyone has moved on since then and Terry accepted and served the punishment that was handed to him at the beginning of last season. He still cares a great deal about the fortunes of the national side and recently admitted that it was far more nerve-wracking to watch them than play for them as he congratulated the team after clinching a spot at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Trevor Brooking disagrees with Wilkins and told the Daily Mail that he believes Hodgson would be more likely to look at younger options than Terry whilst the manager himself said that although he’s an admirer of the player, it’s not the right moment to start thinking about a potential recall. With England having problems within the camp at the last World Cup he wouldn’t want to take any risks in that regard either.
I believe that one of the reasons why Terry has looked better, sharper and fitter than he has done over the past two seasons has a lot to do with his own happiness and the return of a trusted manager in Jose Mourinho, but also because he isn’t having to play so many games as he now gets a nice rest during international breaks and his manager rotates Cahill into the side every now and then.
At the beginning of the season I had concerns with the Chelsea defence and over Terry in particular as years of playing through injury looked to be catching up with him and his reputation took a battering over the past few years which has to take its toll, but I’m pleasantly surprised and delighted to see him look much more like his old self than he has done for some time.
The debate over whether or not he should be recalled will probably rumble on as long as he’s playing as well as he is and it is good to see that it’s being recognised.