He has been castigated in all quarters as national newspapers, football pundits and pub-goers alike have all taken turns to pass judgement on the star's private life - qualified as they are to do so.
Like many Chelsea fans, I was certainly very disappointed to hear the stories as they emerged on Friday evening. It's saddening to see a player who you have supported and held in such high esteem supposedly make so great a mistake, and it is very easy to feel sympathy for Wayne Bridge, whose feelings have been entirely neglected by the newspapers so keen to get one over on John Terry.
Publicity disasters flow from Chelsea Football Club and its employees like water from a dripping tap.
At the end of the day though, this really is none of our business. Yes, the job of England captain does demand setting standards both on and off the pitch, but there are boundaries over which the media intrusion should not invade. The bottom line is that we - 'we' being either journalists or just the man on the street - are in no position to pass judgement on John Terry's private life.
The debate over John Terry's actions is everywhere. There's relatively little I can usefully add to the mix (though I'm sure I'll try over the coming days). But, as the criticism reaches a crescendo, I think it is worth reminding ourselves of the better side of John Terry: him as a professional, as a leader.
Despite the accusations of fans of other teams, Terry is a defender of unquestionable quality. He has twice been voted the best defender in the Champions League (2005 and 2008), and was considered the best player in the Premier League by his peers in 2005. He was also included in the FIFPro World XI for four consecutive seasons between 2005 and 2008, and his international exploits led to him being named in the all-star squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Most recently Terry was named in the UEFA 2009 team of the year (the only Englishman to do so), a compilation of players put together by over four million fan votes. The Sun seemed pretty proud of our JT when they reported the news just last week.
At club level, he has been by far Chelsea's most successful captain, winning two league titles (on the way being a crucial part of the best defence ever to grace the Premier League), two FA Cups and two League Cups. He's also steered the club to a seemingly endless number of Champions League semi finals and its first ever final.
And in a footballing context he is a proven leader. Chelsea managers Mourinho, Grant, Scolari, Hiddink and latterly Ancelotti - managers who have between them won untold numbers of league titles, four European Cups and one World Cup - all chose Terry as their captain without a moment's hesitation. England managers McLaren and Capello (himself a European Cup winning coach) all identified Terry as the man for the job.
And those leadership skills are evident to see. Since he took the captaincy back in the summer of 2004, a truly special team spirit has emerged at Chelsea, and with it a never-say-die team spirit in the image of it's captain. He himself has had a number of hurdles to overcome - some of them self-inflicted, yes - but he has time and again overcome them on the pitch.
Yesterday's performance against Burnley was one such example. At the moment it's is certainly difficult to 'admire' John Terry the man, but rather easier to admire him as a footballer. He wasn't called on to do much yesterday, but he didn't put a foot wrong. His goal was a classically John Terry - a powerful bullet header of the type we haven't actually seen from him for a long while, and a great response to adversity.
None of this takes away from what he has supposedly done, and most of all won't take anything away from how his alleged actions have hurt people around him. From that perspective, I guess that some of the outrage is understandable to a point. But the crucial thing is that John Terry is a footballer, and isn't it in that field that he should be judged?
And, as it happens, he's rather good at it.
What do you think? Post a comment...