Fan's eye view: Chelsea fans won't be calling for Terry's head
The Toxic Twins? Sure, John Terry and Ashley Cole have behaved idiotically. But then footballers always have, and you can't help resigning yourself to the fact they always will.
But on the pitch the pair have been a major factor in Chelsea's excellent start to the season. And as long as they carry on putting in the great performances in a Chelsea shirt, do fans care about their actions?
Of course we do. No one wants to be associated with unacceptable behaviour. But, as fans, we will be led by the club. So if Chelsea fines Cole for his idiotic tweet, there will be few complaints.
When it comes to Terry, however, the situation for us is more complex – mainly because we think of ourselves as being part of the Chelsea family.
Not so long ago the club banned a fan for life for using racist language towards Didier Drogba. Logically they should adopt the same standards towards players.
And, let's face it, if it was a fringe player who contributed little to the team, few fans would moan if he was thrown out of the club. Look at how quickly former striker Adrian Mutu was forgotten when he was sacked by Chelsea for drug offences.
But JT is different. He's our captain. He's been at the club for 17 years – in an age when such loyalty has disappeared from football.
Players now come and go in a couple of seasons as they chase richer rewards and fame.
So we value a player like Terry who seems as committed to the club as we are. JT is a key part of our football family. If he were a brother, son or whatever we would shake our heads at his transgressions but forgive him for them. So you won't find many Chelsea fans calling for Terry's head, despite his use of an unacceptable racist term.
Saying that, if the club were to take decisive action against him, I would of course applaud them.
Because it is Chelsea I will go on supporting, long after Terry has stopped playing, and all the current woes are a distant memory.
Simon Read is a former season-ticket holder and a Chelsea fan since 1967
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