February 15, 2013

John Terry: Captain, leader, social media guru

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Captain? Yes. Leader? Yes. Leads by example? Barely. Social media guru? Well…

Since John Terry pulled his Instagram account, the world seems a smaller place. After weeks out injured, and after huge insights into his fruitful life, Terry decided that the service’s new terms and conditions was responsible for it closure.


The account was one of the most interesting out there. Few footballers need reminding that social media opens their lives to the world. And with few footballer’s having reputations as bad as Terry’s, it had the potential to be an online sitcom.

Duly it delivered.

After revaluations about abusing his teammate’s trust and sleeping with Wayne Bridge’s ex-partner to being found guilty of using racist language, Terry’s on-pitch success has somewhat been overshadowed.

Three images that stick to mind that defined Terry’s somewhat painful career: performing the walk of shame into an English courtroom accused of using racist language; a scandalized and lonely man grimly driving home from training; and a suspended player who changed into his kit to insert himself into the historical record in the wake of 2012 Chelsea’s Champions League win.

These were captured in this excellent article by Roger Bennett, which speaks of how JT used the social media platform to chip away at his old image. His Instagram account captured his life in rehab, posing with goofy smiles and looking upset when he couldn’t be with the “lads”.

Here are some examples:

–        A silly fixed pose as Juan Mata flickers in the background, a true captain.

–        Showing his maturity with a novelty ‘Hangover’ T-Shirt

–        Or in his custom bathrobe

–        Maybe fans would enjoy a fresher looking Terry when he had a better reputation

–        Maybe there’s another side with JT solving a Rubik’s Cube (Hardly likely)

My favourite is this one. He keeps his much cherished armbands, showing off his boyish charm and it is a reminder of the leadership qualities he can possess.

Maybe he is trying to show his human side, maybe he’s trying to get back at the haters. But one thing for sure, Terry is making hard work of restoring his reputation of being a great centre half and a proud English footballer.

Social media could help him. Similar to the way Gary Neville is now seen by the media and fans. He wasn’t always liked by opposition fans, but he is starting to build trust through intelligent insight. Although Terry lacks the intelligent part, the human side was refreshing.

Only if he used it right….


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