Monday 20 July ~
Now that our best-known footballers are immersed in celebrity culture, with its attendant personal managers, press spokesmen and image consultants, they keep wanting to tell us how they feel. The players signed by Manchester City seem especially prone to laying bare their emotions. Earlier this summer, Gareth Barry explained his decision to leave Aston Villa by way of an open letter to the club's supporters in a local paper. Carlos Tevez has insisted that he opted to move across Manchester because he didn't feel wanted at United – the £150,000 a week being offered by City had nothing do with his choice. Now it's John Terry's turn.
The man who apparently cried for days after missing the crucial penalty in the 2008 Champions League final is agonising over whether to stay with Chelsea or move to Manchester City who are offering a substantial hike in his already colossal weekly wage. Terry has not spoken publicly about the choice that is facing him, quite possibly because he is too choked up with the emotion of it all. Frank Lampard, however, has offered some insight into the dilemma facing his team-mate, telling the Times: "When you're a successful player this kind of thing is going to happen and then you have to make a decision. John's a very honourable man and it doesn't come down to money and things like that."
Of course, any player with a club who won the FA Cup and were runners-up in their domestic league and semi-finalists in the top European club competition would be tempted to join a team who had just finished eighth. It's the challenge. In the meantime, Chelsea are expected to tempt Terry to stay by offering to increase his salary but if he does decide against a move to City that won't be the reason. Here's Frank again: "I had an option to leave last summer, to go with a manager who I love, but it came at a time in my life that, maybe, just wasn't right. But the situation made me think an awful lot."
If Terry decides to join the sky-blue revolution, expect to see him offer a very long explanation of his decision to the press. Instead he should take a cue from the romance novels that Frank Lampard appears to have been reading and say simply: "Chelsea, it isn't you, it's me. All my love, John."