JOHN Terry’s decision to retire from international duty does, I suspect, actually have something to do with his age. If he was 26, I don’t think he’d bother.
He’s had all the trauma from the summer’s court case and I think he’s retired because he believes the FA will find him guilty in their own disciplinary hearing, and he doesn’t want to be labelled with that.
There’s still the possibility that he could get away without any charges, but knowing the FA and their past, very few people are so lucky.
It’s certainly quite out of character for him. He’s not the sort to just give up on an England place, but the pressure he’s been under is likely to have had something to do with it. He performed very, very well at the European Championship in the summer but, either way, there’s no doubt he was at the end of his England career, though he might even regret the decision.
The 2014 World Cup is less than two years away but he obviously feels as though the FA are going to rule against him so, if they do so, how can he be selected again?
One of the decisions England manager Roy Hodgson appeared to have made was to select Terry over Rio Ferdinand. You could argue that this makes an international return for him more likely, but I can’t see that being the case.
This could tell us a lot about Hodgson. If he selects Ferdinand, then he’ll lose some credibility. He said that the reasons Ferdinand wasn’t selected for Euro 2012 were footballing, so if that’s the case there’s no reason why that should now change.
I honestly don’t expect he will. Ferdinand’s England career, for me, is over. I also don’t think he would be particularly keen to play under Hodgson. It takes a huge commitment from a player to return after being dropped; sometimes you have to accept you’ve had a good run in the team but that it’s over.
If it were me selecting Terry’s replacement, I’d go for Gary Cahill, his club team-mate, and retain Joleon Lescott. What more could you want? One’s a Premier League winner and the other helped win last season’s Champions League. I’d have a lot of confidence in them as a pair.
Beyond those two, Manchester United’s Phil Jones and Chris Smalling would be the next to make the squad, but I don’t believe that they’re quite ready.
Trevor Steven is a former England footballer who played in both the 1986 and 1990 World Cups and the 1988 European Championships. He now works as a talent scout and