Terry rises above turmoil
Published 31/01/2010 | 05:00
JOHN TERRY put his off-field troubles temporarily behind him at Burnley's Turf Moor ground last night, scoring the winning goal in the 82nd minute.
The Chelsea and England captain had retained his place in the side despite allegations emerging over the weekend about his private life, and he repaid manager Carlo Ancelotti's faith in him with the goal which extended Chelsea's lead at the top of the Premier League.
But Terry's problems appear far from over following the lifting of a high court injunction, which has brought to light Terry's affair with the girlfriend of former team-mate Wayne Bridge and threatened his future as captain of the England team.
According to well-placed sources in the England management team, Fabio Capello would like to retain Terry as captain, having been impressed with the leadership and concentration he has shown under his watch. However, he will only do so if he is completely satisfied that Bridge is happy with the situation, and that Terry continues to command the respect of the dressing room.
Bridge declined to elaborate on his feelings towards Terry yesterday, though he did issue a statement through his lawyers. "I have read the press reporting in the last two days," it read. "The reports deal with matters which are of a deeply personal and private nature. My primary concern is the welfare of my son [Jaydon]. Therefore, I intend to make no comment whatsoever either now or in the future about these reports and ask that my privacy is respected."
Another concern in the Capello camp is that Terry might be left exposed if he remains as captain, with all the publicity work that entails, putting him under unnecessary pressure and distracting from the team's World Cup preparations.
Terry, 29, headed home a corner from Florent Malouda in the 83rd minute but his celebration was noticeably muted. The goal was a cruel blow for Burnley, who had drawn level through Steven Fletcher after Nicolas Anelka had opened the scoring.
Terry had been subjected to jeers and taunts from the home fans, including a pointed chorus of "Same old Terry, always cheating".
The away contingent were more sympathetic and there was no frostiness for Terry from his team-mates. He shared a pre-match hug with Joe Cole and was not excluded from Chelsea's celebrations when Anelka scored.