AS MUCH as we try to focus on things happening on the pitch during the World Cup, sometimes the drama off the field it can be just as good.
For example, you might have watched that video of the French team’s fitness coach with his rather dramatic gesture of storming off and throwing his accreditation badge into the ground, right after Patrice Evra had confronted him for ratting out Nicolas Anelka to the press.
Anelka, of course, had exchanged obscenities with manager Raymond Domenech.
And in case you haven’t heard, England centre-back John Terry tried to instigate a mutiny against England manager Fabio Capello last Sunday during a press conference.
Basically, he announced that he was going to march up to Capello and confront him about his tactics and training regime – and that he had the support of the players. Which it turns out, he hadn’t.
But it really was the way Terry went about it that shocked people the most. He was pretty much telling Capello in public, through the press, that he should change the team formation to a 4-5-1, select his Chelsea teammate Joe Cole, and allow the England players to have a beer or two once in a while.
Sensationalism aside, the reality is that England had only ONE bad performance at the time, against Algeria, and even then they managed to secure a point.
Is Terry really so deluded that he thinks England were supposed to just turn up at the World Cup and sweep aside teams like Algeria?
Things sometimes go wrong in the World Cup, and upsets happen. That’s the beauty of it. Terry needs to learn to deal with that and trust his manager.
Capello is a manager whose pedigree is beyond doubt. One bad game doesn’t change that, especially not against opponents who played out of their skins.
If anything, Terry and the players should look at themselves first to see where it went wrong.
In a way, what Terry did was even worse than Anelka giving Domenech that expletive-laden tirade at half-time against Uruguay, because at least Anelka had the minerals to say what he wanted straight to Domenech’s face, instead of going through the press like Terry did.
And let’s face it, nobody likes Domenech anyway. The guy selects players based on their star signs for heaven’s sake. He doesn’t trust any player with the zodiac sign of Leo. True story.
But it gets better than that. He’s the same guy that used the press conference immediately after France were embarassingly eliminated from Euro 2008 to propose to his girlfriend, via the world’s media.
He’s been an absolute disaster, and I’m more surprised that it’s taken so long for someone to finally rip it to him.
Also, unlike Terry, Anelka was really speaking out on behalf of his teammates, not to mention millions of Les Bleus fans around the world.
The French squad has been criticised for deciding to walk out on training as a show of support to Anelka, but surely there was more to it than just standing up for a teammate.
It was probably also a sign of protest against Domenech’s leadership, and whatever baffling reasons the French Football Federation have decided to hold on to him throughout all the years of madness.
Thankfully, in England’s case, common sense prevailed. The players distanced themselves from Terry’s claims that they were on the verge of rebelling against Capello’s rule, and the proposed confrontation during a review of the Algeria match never took place.
Capello did well to label Terry’s actions “a big mistake” and move on, confirming that Terry will keep his place for the crunch game against Slovenia alongside Matthew Upson.
On his part, Terry has apologised to both Capello and his teammates, but surely the damage has already been done to the team’s morale.
It hasn’t been the first time that Terry has given Capello some headaches. It’s been less than half a year since his affair with Vanessa Perroncel, the mum of Wayne Bridge’s child, made headlines and forced Capello to strip Terry of the captaincy.
Hopefully, Terry will learn his lesson this time so we can get back to focusing on things on the pitch.