Morality will always be one of the hardest topics to debate because each man will always have his own level – so let’s stick to the football.
How do you do that when someone asks you to compare the situations of Wayne Rooney and John Terry? One had an affair with a prostitute while his wife was carrying his child, the other was having it away with a team-mates bird behind his wife’s back – no doubt while she was taking care of the children they already have.
What’s this got to do with football though? I mean, whilst they’re both complete cocks for screwing around, blokes the world over do it and it doesn’t make front page news – but then that’s the point isn’t it – and that’s exactly what it’s got to do with football. Blokes all over the world don’t earn in excess of £100,000 a week and play in the Premier League and yet they’re probably more careful about where they dip their wick than either Rooney or John Terry.
Think about it, it doesn’t take anyone with more than half a brain to suss that if you’re the sort of famous that sees you in the papers and on the TV week-in-week-out, then a kiss and tell story is worth a punt to any old tramp with gravity-challenged knickers. Worse still, if you’ve sold your fame around being dad of the year, a loyal servant and all round team player and then f*** over a team-mate, when the press get hold of it – which is always just a matter of time – you’re in it up to your neck.
So, having established they’ve both been naïve, stupid or just arseholes, is that where any similarity between their stories ends? Because few would feel there’s much similarity between how things have panned out for them both. Whilst Rooney may well feel he’s been rinsed by the red tops, John Terry was hung out to dry in every available column inch. And whilst Capello’s wrath might have seemed pretty clear where the former England captain was concerned, with Rooney, there didn’t appear to be a decision to make. So why the disparity?
Well, for a start, when you look at the men themselves, whilst Rooney’s popularity was on the rise , building him a more favourable image – not only settling down off the pitch but pretty much on it as well, John Terry’s popularity with the press was already on the decline. Whereas the Rooney’s were probably more accustomed to OK magazine photospreads of family day’s out with the buggy, the Terry family had given journalists much meatier stories to cover leading up to the ‘big one’ from the Chelsea captain himself.
So, it’d been a while since JT was held in much regard by the press and probably pre-Mourinho since any of the opposition could stand the sight of our ever-present leader, so slating him when he stepped onto the pitch was almost a national sport in the big away games anyway. Rooney, on the other hand, was becoming a bit of a darling again following Ronaldo’s departure.
Not for us of course, but whether acknowledged outside of United and their supporters in the media, or not, here was a young bloke who was portrayed as loving both his football and his missus since he was a kid. A player who might see the red mist occasionally but only because of his passion and commitment. So for Rooney, his recent antics off the field are likely to be attributed to him being a bit of a soft lad, a lad who genuinely loves his wife and son but got married a bit too young and got caught up in the pressures of it all. John Terry meanwhile, at 29 and without the country’s sympathies, is considered old enough to know better, an arrogant twat on the field and a serial womanizer and all round shady geezer off it.
What about England though, because whilst a fair few United supporters, whilst rightly unhappy about Rooney’s behaviour will of course remain firmly in his corner – you probably don’t get many United supporters watching internationals. Well, as far as Capello was concerned, it was a very unfussy response to the stories about Rooney, with business pretty much as usual. Not so for John Terry, with the ceremonial stripping of his England captaincy for several days in the press before the England boss actually did it.
Mind you, in all fairness to Capello, Rooney didn’t have a captaincy to lose for a start and whilst Terry’s behaviour was deemed unsuitable for him to continue to skipper the side, he did continue to be selected for the first team as well. So no difference there really but what of the reception from the crowd? To be honest, I don’t think there was much fuss about either because like Capello, (if you ignore the Wembley tourists), genuine England supporters couldn’t really care less as long as neither of them develop two left feet by way of retribution for their sins.
No, for me, Rooney has yet to really suffer the consequences of his actions. He hasn’t had to face an opposition crowd in the Premier League since the story broke and if he plays, it’ll be tough on him against Everton – although realistically, it’s probably nothing compared to facing his missus.