Chelsea fans can cry over the departure of John Terry (and social media has been a delight as a competition to over-react embarrassingly quickly took hold when the news broke of the ‘captain, leader, legend’s’ exit from Stamford Bridge), but the rest of us should just hope he goes quickly and quietly.
I find it impossible to laud such an ugly role model. I’d rather he just accepted his inevitable summer move to West Brom or Crystal Palace without fanfare or fuss.
He’s not worthy of adulation or even respect. His loyalty didn’t stretch to respecting his team-mates’ life partners. His gruesome character didn’t allow him to show solidarity to Americans in the aftermath of 9/11 or to indulge in friendly, witty, or intelligent banter when he was irritated by Anton Ferdinand.
Terry was a strong Premier League defender despite a chronic lack of pace, but he lacked class and quality on the ball. He was no Rio Ferdinand.
Terry also quit on England when the Football Association quite rightly dug deeper into the nature of his outburst towards the lesser Ferdinand. No-one should ever do that in any circumstance.
But then his desire to be seen as a patriotic England warrior, one willing to put his body on the line for his country, is at odds with his touting of a private box at Wembley for £4,000 a pop.
Maybe he saw international selection as a means to become enriched as well as a career goal.
I saw Terry in action in January when current Chelsea boss Antonio Conte deemed Posh weak enough to gamble on his ageing centre-back in an FA Cup tie at Stamford Bridge.
He was sent off for a rash challenge on Lee Angol after the rather harmless Posh striker had given him the slip.
Terry has played just twice since so his standing with Conte is obvious. Chelsea are winning the Premier League this season partly because Conte is no worshipper of reputation.
It looks like Chelsea prompted Terry’s departure. Otherwise the 36-year-old may well have hung around like he did in the 2012 Champions League Final when the suspended skipper hilariously stripped to his full kit to join in the celebrations after victory over Bayern Munich.
Instead Chelsea have confirmed what must have been obvious to even the most partisan of Blues’ fans. Terry is past-it. His form and fitness have finally gone in the same direction as his morals. South.
Chelsea have defended their man (or kept silent which amounts to the same thing) for long enough. He’s not required and he won’t be missed. He’ll be 37 midway through next season and Premier League clubs should tread carefully before making an approach for his services.
They won’t of course because a lot of chairmen and managers are starstruck.
China would be a far more suitable destination. As far away from here as possible.