Terry granted leave after Everton 'exposé'
AFTER 12 days of scandal and sleaze, tawdry revelations and scurrilous tales, of humiliation and loathing, John Terry has his answer.
It takes just less than two weeks for Britain's sense of moral outrage to subside, for a crisis treated as though it threatened the very fabric of society to blow over.
The former England captain travelled to Everton for his first away game since being stripped of the armband in that 12-minute meeting with Fabio Capello, doubtless steeling himself for a repeat of the derision he received at Burnley and Hull -- Goodison Park is a hostile place at the best of times.
Terry's name was booed as the Chelsea team were announced, but he has never been popular among rival fans. There was to be no further special treatment. He was booed for his fouls, for an apparent handball, but Goodison seemed to suggest last night that, for Terry, the worst of the revulsion is over.
Instead, he was free to concentrate on his game. Against Burnley, Hull and Arsenal, the Chelsea defender has been rightly praised for his determination to put his ills to one side for the good of the team. Perhaps that has worn off too.
On this evidence, Capello has more to worry about than how the England squad view Terry's apparent alleged betrayal of a code of honour.
The Italian must begin to ponder whether, when all mitigating circumstances are eliminated, his former captain is quite the lionheart he is cracked up to be.
Last night Terry creaked. More worryingly, he creaked because Landon Donovan, who will lead the United States' attack against Capello's team in Rustenburg on June 11, and Louis Saha gave Terry a torrid time.
Any repeat on the high veldt will have England's World Cup campaign off to a far from ideal start.
The American and the Frenchman demonised him on the ground and in the air. After the exposé, the exposure. That the storm over the former has blown over will delight Capello, but only as much as Terry's torment last night will concern him. Chelsea, remain sympathetic however and confirmed after the game that he has been granted leave to miss Saturday's FA Cup clash with Cardiff as he battles to save his marriage.
"Carlo is giving him a bit of time off," Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins said. "They just had a little chat, John and Carlo, and decided that would be the best for all concerned." (© Daily Telegraph, London)