In a quite odd turn of events, former Italy captain and World Cup 2006 winner Fabio Cannavaro believes John Terry is soon likely to face the ax when next Fabio Capello calls upon players for Euro 2012 qualifiers. In a recent interview with the Daily Star Sunday, Cannavaro spoke openly about John Terry and how not to ‘cross’ Capello, or stand in line to suffer the consequences.
“You don’t cross Fabio and he won’t want anybody disrupting his tournament again“, was just one of a few loaded quotes the former Juventus man gave members of the press. Cannavaro also stated he believed Wayne Rooney and Ashley Cole to likely be the only two remaining starters left from a vanquished England squad that fell so dramatically at the hands of the Germans come the opening match of the Euro 2012.
All of this rings slightly odd to me because Cannavaro, now at Al-Ahli Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, really isn’t the person to be coming out speaking about the England national team. Now in the twilight of his career, Cannavaro has of course had a fantastic run, but most recently in the 2010 World Cup, he looked one or two steps off the pace. His Italian side were a shell of their former selves from the team that won the tournament four years earlier failing to even progress out of a relatively easy group stage. So why has Cannavaro chosen to target Terry?
England fans will have expected change from Capello before the next round of meaningful qualification matches begin. But to see Terry axed so quickly especially while central defensive partner Rio Ferdinand’s fitness is still a major concern would definitely come as a surprise to many an England fan.
The rest of Cannavaro’s interview played out as a suck up to his former boss while at Real Madrid. I for one don’t blame him as Capello is such an imposing figure, but the question here is does Cannavaro have a point?
John Terry did take a pretty hefty risk when he called out Capello in South Africa in hopes the boss would take Terry & co’s suggestions to heart and start Joe Cole in the crucial game v Slovenia. Brushed under the rug as if a minor distraction at the time, did Capello have the dropping of Terry in his plans all along as soon as the World Cup was over?
I personally think it’s too early to drop Terry as tested and viable replacements at the center of defense aren’t currently a dime a dozen in England. When Matthew Upson saw action against Germany, he looked unstable at times and was caught out when Germany scored their opener through Miroslav Klose. Ledley King is far too injury prone to be counted on, Michael Dawson had a great year with Spurs but didn’t seem to be in Capello’s plans during the summer and Rio Ferdinand is slowly recovering from the injury that saw him miss the tournament all together. Before we start mentioning the up and coming talent at the back, let’s wait and see who Capello picks for England’s next match, a friendly v Hungary on the 11th of August.
As much as Capello would have hated Terry’s ill-timed outburst in South Africa, he’ll need his experience at the back to build around regardless of what Fabio Cannavaro thinks. On Terry’s end, he’ll want to remember he’s no longer captain of the national team and although he thinks he has England’s best intentions at heart, Capello is the boss and Terry should stick to what he knows best, which is defending.