Saturday, June 17, 2006

John Terry - National Hero

I remained utterly staggered by the sheer brilliance of John Terry's save off the line just a few minutes before the half-time whistle in the England v Trinidad and Tobago game. You can see it by clicking on the arrow above.

The speed at which it happened is breathtaking. The way in which he kicked the ball away was, it seems, based on pure instinct. It is almost a reflex action. It is just unbelievable. From the camera angle originally broadcast it looked at though the ball may have gone over the line - it was that close to going into the goal.

An ITV commentator called it a "match saver". I agree. If the ball had gone in we would have gone into half-time one-nil down and who knows what would have happened in the second half. A goal like that can change the whole outcome of a match.

Defenders don't get many mentions in dispatches. Theirs is not the glamorous end of the game. They never (or very rarely) get to do a robot or put their shirt over their heads when they score. But John Terry shows how defending should be done and, indeed, he has been called the "King of Defenders".

He certainly deserves the "man of the match" award for the England v T&T game, and should be feted as a hero on his return.

In my humble - extremely humble - opinion, his save deserves mentioning in the same conversation as Gordon Banks' save against Pele in Mexico. It had the same reflex nature about it.

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