Former England captain Alan Mullery believes England manager Fabio Capello had no alternative other than to remove John Terry as his captain in a meeting between the two men at Wembley this afternoon.
The 29-year-old was informed of the decision by Capello after allegations surrounding the Chelsea skipper's private life came to light.
The Football Association granted Capello permission to take the decision over Terry's future personally, and Mullery believes his swift action - the meeting reportedly lasted just 12 minutes - underlines the command the Italian has over his squad - and will serves as a warning to other players.
"It says to me he's very, very strong," Mullery told Sky News. "He's asked John for all the details and he's made a decision.
"I don't think he had any other course than to say 'well, we'll have to change the captain, John'.
"When the manager talks to the other players, I think they will all see this situation and perhaps it may improve some of the players that have got away with things now and then.
"John's not been barred from playing football, and there's no way he should have been. He will be at the World Cup and he will be exactly the same as before, other than [not] wearing an armband."
Mullery insists the decision to strip Terry of the national team captaincy should not have any bearing on his club situation at Chelsea.
"He'll stay as Chelsea captain, there's no doubt about that, and he deserves to be. But when you look at the England captain, you expect a little bit more," he said.
Former Wimbledon and Wales manager Bobby Gould believes Capello took the decision to axe Terry prior to his arrival back in the country earlier this week.
"Mr Capello is a very, very strong and well educated football person. He'd made the decision before he came back to England," Gould told Sky News.
Gould believes the removal of Terry need not have a destabilising effect on the England dressing room, saying: "I think they'll turn round and breathe a sigh of relief that it's all over and look forward to the next captain and they'll get on with it.
"The dressing room's a very strong place."
Former England striker Mark Hateley believes Capello has done the right thing.
"I think it's probably the right decision," he told BBC Radio Five Live. "It's all about being 'Team England' at the moment.
"The first thing (Capello) did when he took over from Steve McClaren was get the dressing room harmonised.
"John is vocal anyway. An armband is an armband but he will be still be a captain by his leadership qualities on the pitch.
"I think in any England team, be it football, rugby or cricket, you should have 11 captains."
Former England midfielder Ray Parlour said the squad must now pull together and back the manager's decision.
"It's a massive statement from Fabio Capello," Parlour told BBC Radio Five Live. "We all know he doesn't muck about with decisions, he makes the decision that he thinks is right at the time and that's why he's England manager.
"He's paid a lot of money to make these decisions.
"England have always wanted this sort of manager to make decisions like this.
"The FA have met up with Fabio, he thinks it's best for England and we've got to stick by Fabio Capello because hopefully he will bring the World Cup back to England."
He added: "I think it was always going to happen.
"John Terry is by far for me the best skipper in the team but Fabio Capello thinks it's best for the squad.
"Rio Ferdinand will do a great job as well.
"If you're going to win the World Cup you don't just need one skipper, you need at least four or five around the pitch.
"Whatever happens in people's private lives, the England football team is a lot bigger.
"I think they've got a great opportunity this year to win the World Cup.
"Sometimes you have to be professional. We want the best for England.
"I'm sure Capello will have had a meeting and said, 'let's put this to bed, we're a team, we all have to get on'.
"It's not just 11 players win the world cup, it's the whole squad. You never know when you might be needed and you have to have a good rapport with the other players."
It is alleged that Terry had an affair with Vanessa Perroncel, the ex-girlfriend of England team-mate Wayne Bridge, also a former club-mate of Terry's at Chelsea.
Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor hopes both Terry and Bridge can now move on and, if possible, rub along together if each is selected in Capello's squad for South Africa.
"It's not been an easy decision for Fabio to make but he's the manager and he's the right person to make it, and he'll be hoping that this will now enable the England team to move on and focus on the World Cup," Taylor told Sky News.
"They have two lads who are in the same squad and you don't want either of the lads to be disadvantaged by what's happened, because they're footballers and that's what they want to do.
"There's been some good examples where you don't necessarily have to love or like your colleague, but when you're on the field, you've got to get on with it.
"It's got to be what's good for the team."
Asked whether the decision was hard on Terry, Taylor said: "It's not unexpected to be fair. He [Capello] will be hoping that this will clear the air and allow people to move on."
Prime Minister Gordon Brown expects the public to support Capello's decision, saying: "He's made his decision, I think people will abide by the decision that has been made, and it is a matter for Mr Capello.
"I look forward to the England World Cup team doing well in South Africa, but these decisions must be those for the manager, and Mr Capello's made those decision."
Mark Lawrenson felt Terry should have stood down when the allegations first emerged.
The former Liverpool and Republic of Ireland defender told BBC Radio Five Live: "From John Terry's point of view, in many ways he'll be relieved but I'm surprised he had to wait for Capello to make that decision for him.
"I thought he should have resigned last week. He probably would have avoided most of the stuff we've read this week in the newspapers."
He added: "Capello has made his position even stronger today.
"It's the relationship which can be fostered between Bridge and Terry which will be the biggest problem.
"In many dressing rooms, people just don't get on. I know this is slightly different but ultimately if you don't get on with someone, it's not a problem, it just means when you play together you're very professional.
"You don't have to go out for a coffee every time you train.
"In many ways this might make England stronger.
"John Terry is a leader anyway, so that might be a bonus for England."
Martin Keown felt Terry's position had become untenable.
"His private live had infected his professional life," the former England defender told Five Live. "(After the allegations) it's very difficult to trust him in the same way.
"He's a role model as captain and there was only one way it was going to go, Capello being such a disciplinarian.
"You always felt he was going to make this decision."
He continued: "Moving forward Capello is going to have to bring both of these players together.
"The team have got to build a lot together as a group.
"A lot of healing needs to be done by Wayne Bridge after the public humiliation he's had to endure.
"Let's see if time gives them a bit of comfort and they're able to deal with it better."