Should Roy Hodgson choose John Terry for the Euros?
As Roy Hodgson prepares to announce the England squad for the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine, there is growing uncertainty over whether the Chelsea skipper John Terry is going to be picked due to an inconsistent season at the back for the Blues.
Much like the West London club, John Terry has had an up and down season both on and off the field and Hodgson faces a difficult decision on whether to include the former England captain.
The main problem Hodgson faces in his selection process is that he can only realistically select one player out of both John Terry and Rio Ferdinand. This is due to the fact that Terry is accused of racially abusing Rio’s brother Anton in a game between Chelsea and QPR earlier in the season. Terry is set to face trial after the European Championships. If Roy was to select both John and Rio, it could potentially divide the England camp and this is certainly not a risk that a new manager would take when going into a major tournament.
Another reason for the uncertainty surrounding Terry’s selection has been his form in this campaign.
The Chelsea skipper has made some high profile errors against both Arsenal and Liverpool this season and he has looked very uncomfortable when exposed to one-on-one situations. Terry has never been known for his pace, but he has looked especially flat-footed this season and many teams have exposed this weakness, causing Chelsea to drop points and suffer in the league table as a result.
Despite Terry’s wobbly performances throughout the season, he has dramatically improved since the January arrival of Gary Cahill from Bolton Wanderers. Cahill is big, strong and very athletic and his style of play has complemented Terry’s; this was especially evident in the Champions League semi-final first leg against Barcelona where the centre-back pair were simply brilliant.
Terry has certainly looked more at home with a quick centre-back alongside him and his latest error against Liverpool at Anfield was when he was playing alongside Branislav Ivanovic who is not as mobile as Cahill. The two found themselves too far apart and due to a Terry slip, Jordan Henderson ran through on goal and beat Petr Cech. Would that have happened if Cahill had been there to cover John Terry? Probably not.
It will be intriguing to see who Roy Hodgson picks in his squad for the European Championships.
If he picks John Terry then inevitably Rio Ferdinand will be left out because of their personal issues, but personally I would still pick John Terry over Rio purely for footballing reasons.
One thing you can guarantee with Terry is that he will give 100% every time he pulls on the white shirt, even if the team fall short with their collective performance. Despite Terry’s iffy performances over the season, I think he and Cahill have built up a very formidable partnership at Chelsea and it would only make sense to carry this over to the national team.
Another reason for Roy opting to go with Terry is the tactics that he would adopt would probably be similar to that of Chelsea’s.
England under Roy Hodgson will probably be very compact and defence-minded and there will be emphasis on keeping clean sheets whilst trying to hit the opponents on the break. This style is similar to how Terry plays at Stamford Bridge and it allows the defence to be a closer unit on the pitch, therefore giving each other more protection in the gaps where the more technical sides like to explore.
It is yet to be seen whether John Terry will travel with the England squad this year, but I think Roy Hodgson would be foolish not to take him.
Whilst he has not performed to his best this season, he still brings bags of experience and he plays alongside a fellow England international in Gary Cahill. This partnership could be the heart of this new-look Three Lions side and if Chelsea’s Champions League performances are anything to go by, we are in for a treat in Poland and Ukraine.