It's tough being the captain

PUBLISHED: 14:16 11 February 2010 | UPDATED: 17:00 10 September 2010

Zöe Fail, Capital Canaries

Everyone else is talking about John Terry's indiscretion so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon. After all, you'd have to have been a hermit to ignore what he's been up to given all the front page coverage, news stories on television, threads on the pinkun message board and the various jokes being bandied about.

Everyone else is talking about John Terry's indiscretion so I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon. After all, you'd have to have been a hermit to ignore what he's been up to given all the front page coverage, news stories on television, threads on the pinkun message board and the various jokes being bandied about.

I've not read any of the articles, only the headlines, which are enough to tell me he might have been a naughty boy. Just goes to show having so much money, fame and talent isn't quite all it's cracked up to be. I've always been a staunch believer that a happily married man, or woman, has no need to look elsewhere. He obviously has problems we will never know about, and that's how it should be.

However, when you are in the public eye, you have to be aware that the media are always going to look out for some story to castigate popular personalities. Remember bad news, gossip and scandals sell papers. Can you recall the last time you read a happy or positive story on the front page of a newspaper?

I'm not going to judge John Terry; there are plenty of others to do that. What I am concerned about is how it will affect our chances in the World Cup over the summer. Anyone who believes he should not have been stripped of his captaincy is under a great delusion.

How can anyone say that all the captain does is call the toss and lead the team out? I was staggered to read that post on the message board over the weekend.

A captain must have the respect of the team underneath their leadership. How can anyone think the England team could respect him following this behaviour? It was inevitable, in my opinion, that he would lose the armband. We need our national team to have a captain who is respected and trusted by all of his team mates; who will lead them out with pride; who can make good judgements; who can unite the team.

At whatever level they play, a divided team will fall short of their potential - we only have to look to recent seasons to see how that affects results - whereas a united team is capable of success beyond expectation - look at where we are today.

We, at Norwich, have seen how a respected captain can lead the team to great achievement. Malky was inspirational in the season we went to the play-offs and I defy anyone to say all he did was lead the team out and call the toss. His presence in the team meant we had a voice at the back, directing players when it was needed; offering support or an admonishment, if required; issuing the manager's instructions; leading by example by playing with passion and dedication; modelling professionalism, on and off the pitch, to the whole team; in fact to everyone associated with the club.

In my time as a City supporter, the most inspirational captains I've seen have been Malky, Ian Butterworth, John Newsome, Iwan Roberts and Craig Fleming. These players have displayed most, if not all, of the above qualities in leading our team, on and off the pitch.

Down at The New Den, we saw what can happen when your captain is absent from the team. It was always going to be a hard game with their home record, but it was even harder without Holt. Those central defenders must have rubbed their hands with glee knowing he was missing. We survived without him for two games but last Saturday, in South Bermondsey, was a different story. The game needed his physical presence and leadership. The space in mid-field was all too obvious and that's where we fell down without him.

On his return, Holt must ensure he plays with all those qualities and more to restore our slightly dented faith in him as our captain. I was disappointed with the actions leading to his dismissal, hence 'slightly dented faith', as I don't expect that from a City player; accidents happen that lead to cards but I'm undecided on the extent of deliberate action in this particular instance.

The captaincy of a team is not a role to be taken lightly. The season Drury was captain, we saw how the pressure of the role impacted on his game, at times suffering slightly, yet he has always been a true professional at this club, never one to make his name in a song but conspicuous by his absence from the team, as Holt is also proving to be.

However I feel about the situation, John Terry's leadership will be missed in South Africa and I wouldn't relish having to make the decision, that Capello must, to decide upon a new captain for the competition. Whomever he chooses as the new captain, someone will gripe about it. I'm not happy at it being Rio Ferdinand at present - he has been woefully 'awol' on the pitch in recent England games - but then I'm not the England manager, thank goodness.

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