Back-to-back defeats to Chile and Germany were always going to create a fallout, not necessarily the results themselves but more the manner of the losses. Hodgson’s revolution since taking over from Fabio Capello has been a quiet one, a slow transition towards a more youthful looking side. I believe England are heading in the right direction, albeit slowly, and if Hodgson can continue on this footing we may well surprise ourselves next summer.
It is for that reason that the knee-jerk towards reinstating the ‘old guard’ comes across as so absurd. The calls to bring back someone like John Terry comes from those who are all too happy to settle for long-term mediocrity – sure the Chelsea talisman would stiffen up the defence, but for how long? If Greg Dyke and the FA really do have this long-term vision for the future of English football, persistence with youth regardless of the short-term consequences must be favoured.
Don’t get me wrong I was as frustrated as anyone with the underwhelming performances of the last couple of weeks, our young stars looked totally out of their depth in the face of committed international standard opponents. The likes of Cahill, Smalling, Jones and Jagielka all looked to be struggling under the intense spotlight of the international arena. For some the simple answer is that they aren’t good enough, and this is where the root of the problem lies. We are too tied up in what is happening in the present that to worry about the future, get Terry in now and we may finish solidly in the Quarterfinals next summer, but then what?
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Terry went into international retirement following an FA ban for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand; at 32 he is only ever going to be a short-term solution. Former Tottenham and England defender Ledley King sees things differently; speaking to TalkSport on Thursday night he had the following to say:
“John Terry is a top quality defender. He’s got great experience. I’m sure he would add to the squad and the team if he was called upon but the decision would be down to Roy Hodgson and John himself.”
“I know he would stiffen up the defence. I still believe he is one of the better centre-halves in the country and he’s got the rest of the season to prove that. If we got to the quarter-finals I think it would be a pretty successful tournament.” he added.
“I think we’re looking to build to the future and want to come away with some good experiences and good performances.”
I neither doubt Terry’s ability or King’s judgement on it, but for me there is a real sense of making do with what we have here. Building for the future and bringing back John Terry is a contradiction of thought, and if we want to pursue our vision for the upcoming years this notion is absurd.
England’s young stars may well flop in Brazil or they could surprise us with a run through the competition; the reality is we don’t know and can’t really predict what our potential is. This is just a phase that we have to go through, and the longer we persist with the leftovers from the so-called ‘golden era’ the slower this transition will be. Bringing back Terry is a negative move and one that may stunt our growth in the years to come.
What does it say to those in contention for the centre half spot when Hodgson is forced to bring someone out of retirement? Clearly undermined and doubted, this isn’t the way to develop youth. You wouldn’t see the likes of Germany or Spain acting with this degree of desperation, and all over a couple of friendlies.
England’s form has been patchy at best, but that is what you expect from a young and upcoming side looking to find their feet on the world stage. To suddenly change your direction after a couple of friendly defeats is absurd, when it has ultimately mattered Hodgson’s England have delivered. For me it is time to keep the faith rather than turn our backs on one ot the most promising projects we have had for out national side in recent times.
Is bringing back John Terry as flawed as it sounds?
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