• hours
  • minutes
  • seconds
  • Share
England captaincy decision

Capello turns to Baldini to solve Terry problem

January 31, 2010
By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

Fabio Capello has left it to England general manager Franco Baldini to talk to John Terry about his role as Three Lions captain, Soccernet understands.

• Terry embroiled in affair scandal
• Terry will keep England captaincy
•  Bridge "couldn't stand to be in same room as Terry"
• Bridge to get call-up if fit

John Terry
Empics / TonyMarshallJohn Terry: Under pressure after revelations

Baldini, one of Capello's most trusted aides, will take charge of a 'fact-finding' mission to allow Capello to evaluate the entire situation.

And Capello will only act if he believes that the situation will affect his team planning for the World Cup finals - by creating disharmony within the camp - knowing that the players need to be together for two months this summer.

The England coach will not be influenced by the players, by the FA, or by the media lynch mob. Nor will he be taking any moral stand; his decision will be purely based on football reasons, which tips the balance in favour of keeping Terry as captain.

A source close to Capello told Soccernet: "Capello is not the slightest bit interested in players' personal lives unless it affects the team.

"All he is concerned about is whatever might damage the team and the team plans for the World Cup. If he believes there is a problem he will take care of it.

"Capello never speaks to the players about these matters, so I am sure it will be left to Franco Baldini to talk to John Terry, and to others involved to evaluate the situation, and then to report to Capello all the details. Capello then will evaluate them and how it might affect the World Cup plans.

"The FA know where they stand with Capello. He decides everything involving the England team, and by that I mean everything. One only has to look at how Ancelotti handled the situation at Chelsea: there was no question of him making any decision about his captain, but he does not have Wayne Bridge at Chelsea."

As revealed on Saturday by Soccernet, the FA will support Capello if he decides, as expected, to keep Terry as captain.

To strip Terry of the captaincy will create a new problem of selecting a successor, and potentially disturb the balance of the dressing room so close to the finals.

Capello refuses to be rushed into any decision about the England captaincy, and Terry's leadership could depend on the men who would be high on the list to replace him. Senior, experienced, seasoned England internationals, the stalwarts of the team Capello will rely upon in South Africa, will be consulted about whether Terry retains the respect and motivation of the squad.

Vice-captain Rio Ferdinand, the team's best player Wayne Rooney, Terry's club colleagues Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, plus Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard, will be the key opinions sought by Capello and his trusted aide Baldini.

Providing they back the skipper then Capello's decision will be made that much easier if he does retain the captain. Other squad players who could be affected, such as Bridge's Eastlands team-mates, will also be consulted.

A source close to the key decisions told Soccernet on Sunday: "There is no doubt Fabio Capello will think very deeply whether there has been any impact on the other players, and there is only one way to find out. The key issue is that the players trusted their captain before this, do they continue to trust him now?"

As for a timescale for a decision, the source added: "No one is in a hurry. No one knows all the facts, and no decision will be made until Fabio returns to look at all the facts first. The next match is not until a month, so what is the hurry? There is no point rushing and making a mistake. Everyone needs to make the correct decision, so it is best to find out the facts, and then think about it first."