Even in retirement John Terry is proving to be a polarising figure.
No, he hasn’t pretended to be an aeroplane on 13th Sep 2001, he hasn’t parked on a disabled car park, he hasn’t slept with a team mate’s ex (allegedly) and he hasn’t made a racial slur (allegedly). He didn’t even do the Full Kit W thing, or charging 10k quid for a behind the scenes stadium tour. This is about his self-organised Guard of honour, and the seedy implications behind it.
Guards of honour for a retiring player are very much en vogue over the last few years, but it is hard to think of one arranged by the player concerned.
He clearly has the kind of problem shared by the current President of the USA but, like Trump, his out of control narcissism has dragged others down with him.
Not only did he demand a guard of honour on being substituted, he demanded that said substitution should occur at the 26th minute mark because that’s the number on his back. Geddit?
Seriously, who gets substituted after 26 minutes?
What seems stranger is that everyone else, possibly because they couldn’t be bothered with the drama agreed. And the included the best manager in the league, and the opposing team’s manager who probably had other things on his mind.
The event was, of course, spot-fixing.
Those most offended by this carry on are not John Terry haters as such (that doesn’t really narrow it down) but cricket fans, who are only too aware of the insidious nature of spot fixing, and how it can escalate.
Cricketers have been imprisoned for bowling a no ball on demand. That has a very minor impact on the outcome of a test match. Admittedly an unwelcome stop in a football match for some tacky self-induced pageantry has less of an effect, but it still gets in the way.
Some will argue the difference was that the dodginess was not done in pursuit of financial gain, as with Aamir and co, but Grand Narcissism isn’t really a great defence either.
And cricket fans well know that spot fixing has small beginnings before escalating. This is not a good look at all.
Antonio Conte did wonders with Chelsea this season; turning the mid-table rabble into runaway champions. He must be wondering why he signed off on this particular shower though.