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England skipper in the spotlight

Terry holds talks with Capello advisor

February 2, 2010
By Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

Soccernet can confirm that John Terry has held talks with Fabio Capello's closest adviser, Franco Baldini, but that resigning the England captaincy was not on the agenda.

John Terry
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The content of the short conversation between Terry and Baldini has been kept strictly private by the Capello camp, but Soccernet has discovered that the issues of Terry's position have not yet been addressed, and won't be until the England manager returns to FA headquarters on Thursday.

Baldini, who is busy collating all the information following the revelations over Terry's private life, is the trusted aid of Capello and will give his fellow Italian a detailed analysis of the situation.

Baldini has talked to a number of the senior England players and, as Soccernet has already reported, there is no move by the England players to oust Terry as captain, and they are quite content to let Capello make up his own mind.

It has also been confirmed that Capello intends to select Terry and Wayne Bridge - whose former girlfriend, Vanessa Perroncel, is at the centre of the controversy - in the same England squad.

Capello doesn't want the Terry scandal to impact on Bridge's England career and would expect him to turn up if he is fit to be included for the international friendly with Egypt on March 3.

The dynamics within the England squad will be paramount to Capello and might well be the main factor in his decision on whether Terry should continue as captain.

Therefore, Capello would defer any decision until the players meet up, and even then he might want to review how the dynamics could change for the second time they gather together.

Capello is in no rush to make a decision, but wants to ensure he does not do anything to upset England's hopes of winning the World Cup. Terry is a key component of the team and, with so many top centre-halves injured, there is no one to replace the Chelsea captain. Stripping him of the captaincy would not necessarily affect his commitment to the England team, but Capello might not wish to take that risk.

At the moment, no decision has been made, although it is clear that Capello is not impressed with Terry's latest brush with adverse publicity because the most significant difference is that it has impacted on another player.

It is a fact that some players have had a troubled relationship off the pitch but have performed together on it - Teddy Sheringham and Andy Cole is a perfect example for both Manchester United and England - and Capello sees no issue with Terry and Bridge being in the same England squad.

Capello's attitude is to treat all the players the same, and he is just as interested in Bridge as he is Terry, even though Bridge is a deputy for Ashley Cole, while Terry is firmly first-choice centre-half.

However, Capello doesn't feel compelled to select or retain an England captain based on morality, rather on his quality as a player. Terry's suitability to act as captain within the England squad has been compromised and for that reason Capello has a lot of thinking to do.

And there is a chance that Terry's future may become untenable with new revelations set to come to light. The publicist Max Clifford is in negotiations with newspapers for a £250,000 interview with Perroncel, which could bring more bad press for the Chelsea defender.

"I think her instinct is that she doesn't really want to say anything but there is a huge amount of interest and she will make her mind up in the coming days," Clifford said.