Wayne Bridge has decided that he cannot be in the same team as John Terry. This probably shouldn’t come as any surprise – he’s clearly devastated by recent events, not just the loss of his friend and the respect of his child’s mother but through no fault of his own, every away match he plays in will come with ridicule he simply doesn’t deserve.
On the face of it, this is the best thing for England. Bridge has never really performed that well for his country, often looking error-prone (which is not unusual in this England team) and should, as we’re told Ashley Cole be fit in time, he would not have played anyway.
It gives a chance for a couple of young, promising players in Stephen Warnock and Leighton Baines to stake their claim and give Capello just enough time to decide whether they have the mentality for international football should they be called upon.
Make no mistake, this is a brave decision by Bridge. He has already lost more than anyone else in this affair – a friend, the mother to his child, self-respect, respect of away fans and now his chance at an international career.
It’s odd to think that in other areas of life, it would be the one who committed the sin that would be punished – Terry would be the one obliged step down from the national team – but in football, authority of winning exceeds any moral imperative.
By ending his international career now, Bridge has stifled the moral question which was never really addressed by the media at large and had yet to be raised amongst the players in the England team.
Only Wayne Bridge or John Terry could have ended the potential for moral conflict within the squad and for this, we should thank Wayne Bridge.