Bates warning for troubled Terry
By Paul Higham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Chelsea stood by Terry and Chelsea team-mate Jody Morris by including them both in their Worthington Cup win over Tottenham on Wednesday night, just hours after they pleaded not guilty of actual bodily harm and affray.
Despite the club showing their faith in the pair, Bates was quick to warn the 21-year-old defender that he is at a crossroads in his career now and must be careful not to throw away a promising future in the game.
"John is now at the crossroads of his career," said Bates. "His England hopes are currently in tatters and already he is taking stick from the crowds.
"He must ask himself if he wants to follow the path which is littered with drunks and wrecks of former players or emerge from this episode stronger and better for it.
"For the last two weeks, John Terry has been written up as a rising star by too many newspapers. This weekend, several newspapers have turned on him and vilified him.
"That in itself will be a lesson to him. To lose your reputation is easy - winning it back takes character."
A further warning to Terry comes from the news that Jonathan Woodgate did not have his contract with agency SFX renewed when it expired at the end of the year.
Terry is also represented by the agency, and must now be wary that he does not suffer the same fate as SFX are desperate to keep their clean-cut image.
Bates, who commented in his programme notes, made no mention to Morris, although boss Claudio Ranieri said that he had no problem including him in his starting line-up.
"For me, it was the right day to play Jody Morris as the team needed a midfielder who could keep possession, switch it and play on the ground," said Ranieri.
"He was not at his highest level but he did well for the team and was a point of reference. He jumped up in the air when I told him that he was playing."
With the recent court case involving Lee Bowyer and Jonathan Woodgate, and several other incidents involving young footballers, the issue of their behaviour has come under the spotlight.
Bates said that the amount of money players are given at an early age is a major factor in their bad behaviour.
"At all levels of society, alcohol-induced excesses of bad behaviour are now prevalent and there is nobody to set an example," said Bates.
"The problem is that most footballers come from working class backgrounds and suddenly find themselves at, a very early age, earning money that their peers can only dream of.
"Unfortunately much of it is fritted away on fast cars, designer clothes and an attitude to pleasure reminiscent of the 18-30 holiday packages.
"There is a limit to what we can do. We cannot watch over them 24 hours a day."