OK, that’s not exactly what the Guardian’s Graham Ruthven had to say about former Chelsea captain, the 35 year old thought to be eyeing a retirement tour with whatever attention-starved Major League Soccer side (over)pays for him. Writes Ruthven, “he is a harasser of referees, an alleged destabiliser of managers who are not Mourinho, and, increasingly, a red card waiting to happen: he’s been sent of twice this year. That’s just his sporting flaws.”
Off the pitch is where Terry really blots the scouting report of any MLS team taking a look at him. In 2012, he was alleged to have racially abused QPR’s Anton Ferdinand during a Premier League fixture. A criminal case found Terry not guilty of racial abuse, but the FA thought different, handing him a four-match ban and a £220,000 fine after an independent inquiry, and eventually stripping him of the England captaincy. Factor in the occasional parking in handicapped spaces and the drunken mocking of American tourists in the aftermath of 9/11, and it becomes clear that Terry’s reputation is that of soccer’s ultimate pantomime villain.
It was difficult to feel sympathy for Terry, even during his greatest footballing indignity – when he missed a crucial penalty kick in the 2008 Champions League final – given the melodramatic way in which he adjusted his captain’s armband before taking the shot. If MLS is in the business of attracting fans, making public figures of their biggest names and best players, Terry is not the sort of player whose face would work well on a billboard. He’s hardly the most natural guest to appear on the Ellen DeGeneres show.
Perhaps not, but he’s a perfect fit for “The Steve Wilkos Show”.