Bridge Over Troubled Water? Well boo f*$king hoo…

by Keith O'Connell

Friday, February 26th, 2010

So the latest instalment of this car crash of a footballing soap opera has come to pass.  In the aftermath of the scintillating and sordid airing of John Terry’s dirty laundry to the general public at large (why can he just wipe it on the curtains like everyone else?) we are told that Wayne Bridge is still devastated at the betrayal dealt to him by his former “Best Friend”.

For those who have been living under a rock for the past month, here is a quick précis of events.  Married father of two, or to give him his full obsequious title, “Father of the Year” (no, your eyes do not deceive you) John Terry cheated on his wife with the former girlfriend of his ex-Chelsea squad mate Wayne Bridge.  A number of other affairs have been muted but these do not have the same explosive exclusivity to the red-tops as former friends, and England colleagues no less, at war over a woman.

The lack of concern for Terry’s family partly stems from the fact that his wife almost immediately forgave him and stood by her man, leaving herself looking not unlike a totally classless WAG doormat, and also because stories of the aforementioned familial torment do not have the same shocking impact as the footballing angle.  So, like the majority of publications let us not dwell on these insignificant details, and instead keep our minds firmly on the footy.

With Terry’s reputation now in tatters, it was now a question of how these revelations would affect him professionally.  Predictably his club, manager and team-mates stood by him, and he scored the winning goal in Chelsea’s very next game, the day after the revelations came to light in the national press.  He seemingly carried on as if nothing was happening, much to the delight of Chelsea’s thick-necked, thuggish and foul away support.

During these tempestuous times, Fabio Capello was silently hunkered down and brooding on matters in Italy, rueing the day the judge overruled Terry’s confidentiality claim and unleashed the media.  What had been serene progress to and preparation for the World Cup was now drenched in controversy.

Did Terry still have the right to be England captain?  Could he still stand tall in the face of all of this adversity, and still be seen as a shining beacon and a good example to all of the starry eyed little tykes around the country?  The answer is that Terry unflinchingly could have, but Capello could not allow him to.  The question we should have been asking was, why should we all be caring so excitably about what a man does in his private life?  Is he a paragon of virtue?  Is he perfect?  And why are our lives so sad and shallow that we care so deeply about this?  Maybe if we were bringing our children up properly in the first place this sycophantic adulation of footballers might not even be an issue.

However, I am erring from my original intention and point here.  The storm centred around John Terry, and Wayne Bridge was almost a bit part player, relegated to the sidelines, pretty much a reflection of his football career.  Now I could understand Capello losing sleep over the question of John Terry’s future involvement, what with England’s central defensive supporting cast being eternally injured or out of form, but that of Wayne Bridge?  A man who was quite content getting splinters in his arse on the subs bench for Chelsea and England as Ashley Cole took his place. Sitting there picking up his more than £50k per week for doing sweet F.A. and essentially wasting what little talent he was supposed to have had?  A man who is now in and out of the first team for City for various reasons, and looks an error-prone shell of the player that scored the winning goal against Arsenal in the Champions League quarter final in 2004?

Nah, not for me.

He should instead be telling Bridge to take a leaf out of Terry’s book, to grow a pair and get on with it.  Still devastated?  You’d think Terry had stolen a current girlfriend, not a former one.  Aren’t these the things that men are supposed to get past?

Being selected for your country, in a World Cup year, is the stuff of boyhood dreams.  Wayne Bridge is just a passenger making a mockery of the life he has been blessed with, a life that any football fan would kill for.  Capello would do well to wash his hands of him, and turn his attention to Leighton Baines or Stephen Warnock as deputy for Ashley Cole.  Each of these players will be fighting for the number two spot behind Kieran Gibbs in the coming years anyhoo.

For all of the platitudes quoted and attributed to Fabio as this tiresome scandal has dragged on and on and on, the lament of Boo-F*$king-hoo would, for me at least, seem the most apt.

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  • Stevie

    Bridge is a terrible defender. I’m truly over the moon he has bottled it.

    His performance against croatia in the 3-2 defeat was one of the worst performances from an England player I have ever seen.

    Give Leighton Baines a chance, he’s been playing excellent since he made that left back spot his on at Everton

  • Keith O’Connell

    Yeah, I’ve always liked Baines. No nonsense, works hard and a cracker-jack of a left foot. I’ve always had a soft spot for Left backs that romp forward and score screamers.

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