Terry throws down gauntlet over controversial captaincy return

Defender invites team-mates to speak out if they are unhappy with decision

John Terry made a defiant return as England captain yesterday, claiming he should never have lost the job in the first place and inviting any players unhappy at the England manager Fabio Capello's decision to confront him face to face.

At the start of yesterday morning's training session, Capello announced to the squad that Terry would be replacing Rio Ferdinand as permanent captain ahead of Saturday's Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales in Cardiff.

Capello then asked the players if they had any objections to the decision, and no one spoke, as Terry was at pains to point out in a press conference later.

He admitted the decision may not be popular with all the players but said anyone who was unhappy should speak to him personally. Terry said: "I'm not going to be everybody's cup of tea. There are certain players at clubs who don't get on with each other. We know that. That's life. But I would respect people if they came to me personally rather than hearing things.

"The manager pulled the group together this morning and asked if anyone had any questions, and no one said a word. So I'll respect anyone who comes to me personally and we deal with it one on one."

Terry had been captain until he was sacked following allegations in February last year of an affair with Wayne Bridge's ex-fiancée Vanessa Perroncel. He has been reappointed after Capello decided Terry had been punished enough.

Speaking for the first time since regaining the captaincy, Terry also strenuously denied he had ever tried to exploit his position for financial gain. He was criticised in 2009 for an email sent on his behalf by a PR firm offering his services to potential sponsors. "I never tried to cash in on anything. There was an issue with the statement that went out initially, that had nothing to do with me. It was a company that didn't represent me. I've never cashed in. I'm not the best-looking guy anyway, so people aren't going to want me spread all over the place," Terry said.

He showed no sign of remorse following his 13 months without the England captaincy, repeating his claim that he should never have lost the job in the first place. He also hinted there was no chance of a reconciliation with Bridge.

Terry said: "When I met Fabio and [his assistant] Franco [Baldini] at Wembley [in February last year], I looked them in the eye and said they'd get nothing less from me, which I feel is what I've done. Maybe they've both looked at that in me. I didn't agree with the decision, which I told them face to face, but I said I respected their decision and I'll continue to work hard.

"I could understand it a little bit, but I just felt I didn't deserve to lose the armband. I think over the last four or five years, I'd like to think I've kept my head down and done the right thing."

The decision to reappoint Terry comes with both Ferdinand and Steven Gerrard sidelined with injury. Frank Lampard was the captain for last month's friendly in Denmark but when he was substituted the armband was passed first to Ashley Cole and then Gareth Barry, despite Terry being on the pitch. Capello has since decided it is time for Terry to return.

The Chelsea defender admitted to being nervous yesterday and said he had received supportive messages from players, such as Ferdinand. "I had the worst night's sleep ever, actually. I was pretty nervous," he said. "It was like the first day back at school, really. I was very surprised. Obviously, I'd seen the rumours over the last two weeks since the story broke, but I'd heard nothing directly. I wanted to concentrate on Chelsea really. I didn't know what to make of the speculation.

"I'd never given up hope of regaining the armband. But I had a big game for Chelsea at the weekend to concentrate on. But I'm delighted that the manager has announced it this morning in front of the squad."

England will train again today at Arsenal's London Colney training ground, before heading to Cardiff on Friday. Right-back Glen Johnson did not train yesterday but is expected to be fit. Scott Parker did not take a full part in training either following the death of his father on Friday, but he too is expected to be ready for Saturday's game.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?