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Terry can be England great: McClaren

England manager Steve McClaren believes John Terry can become one of the country's all-time great skippers.

india Updated: Aug 11, 2006 13:16 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

England manager Steve McClaren believes John Terry can become one of the country's all-time great skippers.

The 25-year-old Chelsea defender was named by McClaren to take over the national team armband from David Beckham, who stepped down from the role after the World Cup, and will lead the team for the first time against Greece on Wednesday.

"Choosing a captain is one of the most important decisions a coach has to make," said McClaren.

"I'm certain I've got the right man in John Terry. I'm convinced he will prove to be one of the best captains England has ever had.

"John has all the attributes an international captain needs: leadership, authority, courage, ability, tactical awareness and a total refusal to accept second-best.

"He has been an inspiration for Chelsea and is at his best in adversity.

"Over the five years I've been involved with the England coaching set-up I've seen first hand the respect that John has among his fellow players.

"There are a number of strong leaders in the squad and he will not lack support on and off the pitch."

Liverpool midfielder Steve Gerrard was also a contender for the role, but he will become vice-captain.

"It is the ultimate honour to be the captain of your country and I am very proud to be given this great opportunity," said Terry.

"It is an incredible challenge and one I am looking forward to very much."

Terry has won 29 caps since making his debut against Serbia and Montenegro in 2003.

He had not been considered for England before the 2002 World Cup as he faced assault and affray charges for an incident outside a London nightclub. Terry was eventually cleared and used the incident as a positive force in his career.

When McClaren talks of the great England captains, Bobby Moore springs to mind ahead of the rest and he had much in common with Terry.

Moore, like Terry, lacked genuine pace but more than made up for it by reading the game brilliantly. Both hail from the same East London streets, play in central defence, wear the England number six shirt and exude authority on the pitch.

Moore has lifted the World Cup, however, and this is something Terry must do before he can truly stand comparison. Claudio Ranieri made Terry his Chelsea skipper when Marcel Desailly was out of the team in 2003.

Jose Mourinho gave him the job on a full-time basis and told McClaren he will not regret his decision.

The Chelsea boss said, "JT deserves it. England deserves a captain like him. He loves to work, loves to win, loves to make people happy and confident.

"He is a captain. I am really happy and on this occasion I also want to wish Steve success in the England job and tell him that at Chelsea we are here to help him."

First Published: Aug 11, 2006 13:16 IST