John Terry just been announced as England Captain
John Terry’s route to becoming captain of England was one that only a few years ago would have seemed highly unlikely. Yet after a summer as one of the few English players to return from the World Cup with their reputation enhanced, he now seems like the obvious choice to succeed David Beckham.
Born in Barking on the 7th December 1980, Terry is the rare thing that is a modern day one-club footballer. His career not only mirrors the rise of Chelsea from mid table team to International super club, but his presence as captain retains an important link with the traditions of the club.
As part of the Chelsea Youth set up, Terry, initially a midfielder, always stood out; winning the clubs young player of the year award in 1999, making his first team debut against Aston Villa in the Worthington Cup that Year.
By the 2001/02 season he had established himself in the first team making 49 appearances and had already made a reputation as a strong defender who could score crucial goals, with the winning goals in both the Quarter Final and Semi Final of that seasons FA Cup. This led to his selection for the Under 21 international team in which he was eventually named captain.
With this rapid rise in prominence came other distractions and in January 02 Terry was charged with Affray for an incident in a Kensington Nightclub along with 2 other footballers. Subsequently cleared of all charges in August 02; Terry’s career was at a crossroads.
It would have been very easy for him to have developed the wrong sort of reputation, reaping the rewards that even an average premiership player can get. Instead the 2002/03 season saw Terry put in consistently strong displays at the heart of the Chelsea defence earning him his International debut as a substitute against Serbia and Montenegro in June 2003.
Winning the PFA Player of the year award for the 2004/05 season saw him cement his place in the international team and his combination of strength, tactical awareness and leadership abilities helped dispel the notion that Chelsea won the premiership on the back of their wealthy owner’s cheque book. His transformation from academy prospect to club leader also shows that the influx of foreign stars does not always hamper the development of genuine English talent.
At 25 and with the possibility of another 2 world cups within his grasp, John Terry seems ideally placed to return the focus of the captaincy back towards on field leadership instead of the more media focused spokesman of his predecessor; perhaps proving wrong those who think the golden generation passed with the ending of the Eriksson-Beckham era.