On Friday night it was reported that John Terry would like to be reconsidered for international duty, and wants to play in the World Cup finals in Brazil next year.
The Chelsea defender announced his premature retirement in September as the Football Association continued its own disciplinary hearing against Terry following the racial abuse incident with Anton Ferdinand.
Terry’s potential U-turn comes just months after Rio Ferdinand also decided he would like to play for England again and the pair who were almost ever presents for England between 2005-2010 could yet again be reunited.
With Terry linked with playing for England again (although the BBC claim he is still 'very much tired'), it ponders the question to Roy Hodgson; does he really need him?
The former England skipper being recalled wouldn’t mean just recalling a brilliant defender, but you also bring the baggage that comes with JT.
Inevitably there would need to be conversation between Terry, Ferdinand and Hodgson as to whether the pair can work together again, and considering Rio wasn’t selected before for ‘footballing reasons’ you wonder whether he would deem himself unavailable again.
You would also have to assess the spirit of the squad, it has been mooted that there is a harmony around the England squad and that they’re relaxed like never before, would this change with Terry and Ferdinand coming back into the fold?
The next England squad selected will be at the end of May, and with skipper Steven Gerrard ruled out, Hodgson may decide that bringing in experienced pro’s such as Terry and Ferdinand would be helpful to the rest of the squad.
The national team face Republic of Ireland at Wembley on 29 May and Brazil in Rio de Janeiro on 2 June, and Terry will want to be involved if he can prove his fitness.
There is no doubt that when on top form Terry is almost unplayable, and no one can rival his determination and fighting spirit for the cause but his lack of pace has been exposed before at International football, and could be again in 2014.
He was hopelessly ripped apart by Germany in 2010, and although he performed admirably in Euro 2012, the argument will be; have injuries this season taking there toll?
Hodgson has been struggling for centre-backs recently, with several unavailable during recent qualifiers and the pair that started against Montenegro – Chris Smalling and Joleon Lescott – have started a similar amount of games to Terry this season.
Smalling has featured in 22 matches for Manchester United, Lescott has played 28 games for City, whilst Terry made his 25th appearance of the season on Thursday night.
So Terry’s apparent lack of games this season might not be a stumbling block for the Chelsea skipper. Looking at the options available to Hodgson at centre-back, the list is made up of several good defenders but are any as good as Terry?
Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Michael Dawson, Smalling, Lescott, Steven Caulker, Steven Taylor, Martin Kelly and Phil Jones are some of the players recently called up in defensive positions for England.
Looking at the names in that list, not many can boast that they kept Lionel Messi quiet like Terry did last April (except Cahill), it is performances like that, that make you feel Terry would be an outstanding addition to the national team again.
At 32-years-old Terry is no longer a spring chicken, and players like Caulker, Jones and Smalling could all turn out to be outstanding defenders but maybe what England do need is John Terry restored to the heart of their defence.
He is a leader, and an inspiration to his teammates and with England in trouble in group H, Hodgson may call on the Chelsea centre-back.
He won’t be as important against the Republic of Ireland or Brazil but for the remaining four World Cup qualifiers Terry’s experience could be key, and what you can say about him is that no one will try as hard as the Blues legend.
If Terry wants to return for England, and it looks like England could do with him coming back, do you think recalling him is the right thing for Roy Hodgson to do?
image: © jorge-11