Alright lads, I'll try my best to look at this objectively. I've wanted John Terry to retire from int'l football for quite a while now. Let's get that out of the way. I've felt for a long time that he could lead our country to World Cup glory and, rightly or wrongly, he'd still return home and be looked at as a worthless c**t rather than a hero, as any other England captain would. However, not this way. I didn't want him retire under these circumstances.
I've always been very open about my feelings on Terry, whether on Twitter or in my day-to-day life. He's a bit of a prick and has dragged our club through the mud many times. Trouble seems to follow him around where ever he goes, and just when you think he's weathered one catastrophic scandal, another one pops up and round and round we go.
However, I do feel most of us have questionable moral standings. I have deliberately chosen not to judge Terry's actions over the years because a) many of them were unproven allegations and b) if everyone judged my actions over the years, I'd be I'd have been thrown to the wolves years ago. No-one is squeaky clean and for that reason, no-one is in any position to judge Terry.
Another thing that really bugs me is the tendency of football fans to take the moral high ground with a player that isn't playing for their clubs. We tend to judge a player based on who he plays for, rather than what he actually did, and regardless of what the facts actually are. I'd bet a nice wager that if Terry was an Arsenal player, the Gooners would be defending him blindly, shouting from the rooftop, telling anyone that'll listen that he's innocent, like most Chelsea fans have done.
For instance, the Suarez and Evra case. United and Liverpool fans have been at loggerheads for a very long time, both amicably (loosely termed) defending their player. However, if roles were reversed and say it was a Vidic/Johnson case, I'm pretty certain the Liverpool and United fans arguments would be completely reversed and they'd still be defending their player. Hence, it's never really been a question of moral standing, rather it's just fans blindly defending their player, irrespective of what actually happened.
My position on Terry is this - though he loved playing his country, he made the right decision. I like him as a player and if he feels that he's been forced out then that's unfortunate and it's entirely plausible that he does indeed feel like he's got no other choice but to hang up his England boots.
I had a long debate last night with my brother [he supports a lower league club and prides himself on being unbiased on Premier League matters] and he alluded to the fact that Terry could very well be playing the victim again, by trying to have us believe that he was forced out against his will, rather than admitting that he's getting a little older and that he'd rather retire on his own accord than hang around only to be told that he isn't good enough anymore. I think this is entirely plausible too, and I wouldn't put it past Terry at all to think this way.
With regards to where this leaves England, well it goes without saying that I think he's still England's best defender and it would leave us pretty lightweight the back. As much as I'd like to think Gary Cahill will now get the nod, not being a regular at club level automatically leaves him at a disadvantage against Lescott and Jagielka and if I'm being completely honest, I'm not entirely comfortable with any of those three pairings.
Anyway, upwards and onwards. This isn't the end for England, Chelsea or John Terry