Euro 2012 is fast approaching but the sight of John Terry being left on his backside again at Anfield last night will have given England boss Roy Hodgson yet more food for thought.
Terry’s place in the squad for Poland and Ukraine is already far from assured as it is unclear whether Hodgson is inclined to select him alongside Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.
The Chelsea skipper has been charged with racially abusing Ferdinand’s brother, Anton, but with the trial not set to take place until July, taking him to the tournament could provide an unwanted distraction.
Terry strenuously denies the allegations but they were a major factor in the FA’s decision to strip him of the England captaincy and Hodgson must assess how the 31-year-old would be received by his fellow squad members.
How Hodgson deals with the issue could well go a long way towards determining how England – who are at an industry-leading 12/1 to win Euro 2012 with bwin – fare in Poland and Ukraine.
None of this is new, but what will also now be occupying Hodgson’s thoughts is the alarming decline in Terry’s performances in recent weeks, culminating in an absolute stinker in Chelsea’s 4-1 defeat by Liverpool on Tuesday.
Terry was arguably at fault for two of the Reds’ goals, the most glaring being a costly slip which allowed Jordan Henderson to run through and score.
It was reminiscent of his tumble as Robin van Persie bore down on him in a clash with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge earlier this season, with the Dutchman gleefully capitalising to complete his hat-trick in a 5-3 win for the Gunners.
Terry was also nutmegged three times, the most costly being the one by Luis Suarez in the build-up to Michael Essien’s early own-goal which set the tone for a sorry evening for the Blues.
Hodgson is not without alternatives to Terry, with Chelsea colleague Gary Cahill impressing since his switch from Bolton and Joleon Lescott excelling alongside Vincent Kompany in Man City’s march to the Premier League title.
How he deals with the issue could well go a long way towards determining how England – who are at an industry-leading 12/1 to win Euro 2012 with bwin – fare in Poland and Ukraine.
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