...for Fabio Capello for his impressive handling of the John Terry affair -- not only the correct and widely-approved decision to remove the England captaincy from Terry but also the way in which the decision was taken and communicated with a total absence of the concessions to media hunger which so often accompany anything of this kind.

The Football Association has also acted well by making it clear from the start that the decision was Capello's and his alone. Capello's statement after meeting Terry on Friday was a model of brevity and common sense coupled with thanks to the FA's Lord Triesman “for allowing me to make this decision in my own time and in the best interest of the team.”

It is impossible to judge what effect this unwelcome incident will have on England's performance at the World Cup in South Africa in June. John Terry is an extremely effective defender and gives confidence to those around him; if he can overcome this shock (and perhaps others still to come) he can still play a positive role in England's performance. What is clear is that Capello's leadership has been strengthened enormously.