Wayne Bridge Tells English National Team To Go Jump Off One

↵Wayne Bridge was slated to be a reserve for the English National team in the 2010 World Cup – perhaps a starter if Ashley Cole's broken ankle doesn't heal in time – but that all seems to be gone now. In response to news of the sordid affair between former captain John Terry and Bridge's then-fiancée Vanessa Perroncel, Bridge announced that he's taking his name out of the running for a position with the English squad. ↵

↵

↵Through his lawyer, Bridge released a statement that the situation was "untenable and potentially divisive," which led to the decision that he would not play with the national squad in the near future. England is set to play Egypt next week in a tune up for the World Cup, and with Cole sidelined for months, Bridge was a likely selection to start, thus explaining the timing of the annoucment. Bridge's quotes, via The Guardian: ↵

↵
↵⇥"I have thought long and hard about my position in the England football team in the light of the reporting and events over the last few weeks," said Bridge in the statement. "It has always been an honour to play for England. However, after careful thought I believe my position in the squad is now untenable and potentially divisive. ↵⇥

↵⇥"Sadly therefore I feel for the sake of the team and in order to avoid what will be inevitable distractions, I have decided not to put myself forward for selection. I have today informed the management of this decision. I wish the team all the very best in South Africa." ↵⇥

↵
↵Make no mistake, this John Terry situation is bigger in England than Tiger Woods is here, so everyone has an opinion on this latest bizarre chapter. While English manager Fabio Capello is keeping his mouth shut right now, The Guardian did talk with former England national team players who had no problem giving their opinions on Bridge's decision. Former Arsenal and England back Nigel Wingerburn: ↵
↵⇥"I'm absolutely amazed. He's a terrific player. It's an honour and a privilege to play professional football and for your country and I can just imagine how strongly he must be feeling to do this. But the attention would not be on football and I think Bridge is obviously thinking he can't work with John Terry again. ↵⇥

↵⇥"I don't think he will come back if John Terry is any part of England squad and there's no way Terry is not going to be picked for the England squad, so for the foreseeable future and maybe the rest of his career Bridge has ruled himself out." ↵⇥

↵
↵Former Aresenal and England defender Martin Keown: ↵
↵⇥"[T]here's also a professional aspect here because he [Bridge] should have an overriding ambition to win the World Cup." ↵⇥

↵⇥"I fully understand if you feel that level of emotion and you're not able to deal with that. He's feeling like he's got a lot on his shoulders and he's made a decision that suits him, but I think he made the decision too soon and should be given more time." ↵⇥

↵
↵And then there's this news, from the Daily Mail, which sheds a little more light on just how tough this has been for Bridge. Keep in mind that Bridge and Perroncel are no longer together while Terry and his wife are working toward reconciliation. ↵
↵⇥News that he would not even shake Terry's hand prior to this weekend's game hardly gave credence to the belief any clear differences could be patched up. As Bridge has not formally announced his retirement from international 
football, it can only be concluded that he would consider a return should Terry 
not be involved. ↵⇥

↵⇥Terry must now carry with him the additional burden of knowing his own actions have resulted in someone he used to class as a close friend missing the biggest tournament any professional can be involved in. ↵⇥

↵
↵There always seems to be a reason why England underperforms on the international stage. In the 2010 World Cup, Bridge is making sure it's not him.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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