Hodgson: It's Terry's time to shine
10:20, 11 Jun 2012
England manager Roy Hodgson believes Euro 2012 provides John Terry with the perfect stage to prove his class.
The presence of Terry within the Three Lions fold has been a hotly-debated issue, virtually since his court case into alleged racist remarks at Loftus Road last October, which the 31-year-old strenuously denies, was put back to July.
Despite that issue, questions over the reasons for Rio Ferdinand's omission, plus the fact Terry has twice been stripped of the captaincy, the Chelsea man remains a fundamental member of England's plans.
But if he was worried about being remembered more for the off-field issues than his actual ability, Hodgson feels Terry realises now is the time to change the debate.
"I think he feels this is a great opportunity to show the very best of what he can do," said Hodgson.
"We all know John's qualities, what a great centre-half he is and what a warrior he is.
"We also know he is a player capable of taking other players with him.
"In this tournament, I'm just hoping John will show all the qualities I have seen over many years with England.
"I am convinced he is very determined to do that."
Of his current international colleagues, only skipper Steven Gerrard and Chelsea team-mate Ashley Cole can better Terry's tally of 73 caps.
That experience alone makes Terry a pretty significant figure.
However, he also remains a leader in the English tradition, someone who will fight from the front and inspire those around him.
That is what Hodgson is looking for from a player who manages to divide opinion almost like no other.
"Once again he is coming off the back of a very good season with Chelsea," said Hodgson.
"Towards the end he played a major role in them getting to the Champions League final even though he couldn't play in the game itself.
"And, of course, if we're talking about John and Steven (Gerrard) they are two of our most experienced players.
"They've been involved in many international matches, in tournaments and also with their club sides at the very highest level."