Terry's all gold as threat of Bellamy melts away

 

Millennium Stadium

There was some trepidation in John Terry's heart, no matter how emphatic his claim that any England players who had issues with his reinstatement as captain might approach him privately – which sounded suspiciously like "I'll see you outside." Terry's fears were written on his face last week as he spoke, rapidly and without drawing breath, about his leadership qualities in a way that made his press conference sound like a job interview. He wants to be wanted.

There were some pitfalls ahead out on the pitch too and, as Terry's face flashed up on the Millennium Stadium screen like some pantomime villain and the boos issued around the stadium, there was no mistaking where they lay. Craig Bellamy was wearing fluorescent orange boots.

It's a year since the searing pace of Bellamy, in Manchester City colours, caused Terry some terror in a 4-2 defeat at Stamford Bridge and exposed his obvious weakness to speed. We can be sure that Bellamy had a conversation in store for Terry as well. Martin Keown described Bellamy yesterday as "one of the mouthiest players I've faced but he feels he needs to be, to be at his best", and the Welshman's firm opinions on the Wayne Bridge affair left him full of material.

You imagine that the Welsh game plan would have included Aaron Ramsey picking out a pass to allow Bellamy to race beyond Terry and tuck the ball into the net, though the realms of the imagination is where that notion must stay today. Ramsey's first afternoon as his nation's youngest permanent captain was spent being pressed deeper and deeper into his own half by Scott Parker – the most vital England presence yesterday – and those flashy boots of Bellamy were barely scuffed in the first half. He did find someone to talk to.

Bellamy's "conversation" with Ashley Cole lasted most of the first half, on and off, after a very early tangle with him, though Cole had committed no real injustice. It was just the Welshman, frustrated that it had taken three minutes of the game to fasten on to any possession, whipping himself into a fury that he might feed off.

There had certainly been no passes. The game was 43 minutes old, and Bellamy had switched from right flank to left, before he and Ramsey could link up with an exchange of passes, which allowed Chris Gunter a rare shot at goal.

As Bellamy's frustrations grew – he screamed at the sky when the first of two measured passes behind Terry for Leicester's Andy King rolled beyond their target and out of play because their recipient timed his run too late – Terry strutted around the English defence with the calm of a player who knew that this was the perfect place for a reinstatement.

There was irony about the way Terry advanced out of defence with the poise usually associated with the deposed Rio Ferdinand to provide the critical input to the move which won England their penalty. His sweet exchange of passes with Cole and through-ball for Ashley Young, who was tripped, are not qualities you associate with him.

Neither was the 30-yard pass Terry tried to execute for Young later in the first half, which revealed buckets of confidence. A thumping Terry tackle on King was hard but fair. When Bellamy finally got somewhere near him just past the hour, a wild tackle left Bellamy on his backside as the Englishman sauntered off.

There was a reminder, for a Welsh nation which has grounds for desolation today, of the damage Ramsey might have inflicted on Terry, had the 20-year-old not been operating on sucha remote plain from all but Bellamy. The home captain's sweet feint past his opposite number opened up Wales's best chance which he snatched over the bar.

Thus, Terry's remarkable record as England skipper is maintained – the nation have lost only two of the 20 games in which he has been captain – and as he took the English applause in the late afternoon sunshine, it seemed that this leader had never been away.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
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

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz