THE BLOG

This Is the Time for Terry to Come Back

24/03/2014 17:29 GMT | Updated 24/05/2014 10:59 BST

England have as much chance of winning the World Cup as Nick Clegg has of winning the General Election.

But why not improve those slender chances by bringing John Terry in from the cold.

After another magisterial performance at the Bridge on Saturday, it takes a particularly perverse England manager to keep him out. And I don't believe Roy Hodgson is perverse; I think he's just being too much of a politician, not wanting to offend the old farts who pay his salary.

It's not just that Terry is playing some of the best football of his career, and is absolutely commanding at the heart of Chelsea's defence, but that his relationship with Gary Cahill is so complete. People go on about the understanding between Sturridge and Suarez, because some people think football is only about strikers. But a great team, like Bill Shankley and Bob Paisley's Liverpool, is built from the back.

Today's Liverpool side have given Arsenal a serious stuffing this season, as have Manchester City. But, in doing so, Liverpool conceded one, and Manchester City three. Chelsea on Saturday, kept a clean sheet, and after an early flurry by Arsenal, never looked like conceding. And Terry and Cahill were immense at the Etihad denying Manchester City a goal at home, when on every other occasion this season, they have been rampant.

In the Premiership so far, Liverpool have conceded 38, Arsenal 34, City 27 and Chelsea 23, way less than a goal a game. As the lawyers say; res ipsa loquitur. The thing speaks for itself.

Whatever happened with Terry and Anton Ferdinand was sorted out in the courts. It's over. In common fairness to Terry, that should not continue to be held against him.

But what other reason is there to keep England's finest central defender from rallying to the cause in Brazil, as I firmly believe he would, if someone at the FA could be bothered to put their arm around his shoulder.

Of course Terry has said repeatedly his England career is over. Well, he would, wouldn't he. Why would he want to expose himself to further humiliation, by suggesting he would come back, and then be told by Hodgson, he isn't wanted. John Terry is a patriot. An appeal to his patriotism in England's hour of need would, I believe, definitely work.

So, is Hodgson really afraid of the FA's old farts? Maybe so.

Surely this is a moment for Greg Dyke, brought in to make the FA fit for purpose, to inject some common sense into the 'Blazers' primeval ways.

Comes the hour, comes the man.

Over to you, Greg.

David Mellor presented 5Live's 6.0.6 for seven seasons, and was football columnist for the London Evening Standard for 10 years