Arsenal hero Ray Parlour has compared England captain John Terry to his former Highbury teammate Tony Adams, and has backed the under-fire Chelsea star to silence his critics by performing on the pitch.
Terry is currently under investigation for allegedly racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand, but is in line to be recalled by Fabio Capello for Tuesday night's international friendly against Sweden. A hostile reception is likely to greet the often wayward 30-year-old, but the aforementioned ex-Arsenal midfielder, believes Terry should see the game as an opportunity to silence his critics and prove just why Fabio Capello deems him the ideal captain of the national side.
Parlour believes Terry is a similar character to Arsenal legend Tony Adams, in that both the Chelsea star and the former Gunners captain, lead with 100% commitment on the pitch.
The former midfielder believes Terry can inspire his teammates and earn people's respect by displaying his obvious leadership credentials when he leads out England on Tuesday night.
"It's a chance for John Terry," Parlour told Sky Sports News. "He has his problems at the moment off the field but on the field it's very important that he just concentrates on his football, goes out and puts a good performance in.
"That's the main thing he has to do, concentrate on his football, put in an eight out of 10, nine out of 10 performance and it will maybe shut a few critics up.
"Sometimes the football's a relief. When you're not playing football you think about things and what's going to happen, but once you walk across that white line, there are lots of people that have played with problems - and with John Terry there is a problem at the moment, off the field.
"He's just got to cross that white line and make sure he does his best for England."
Parlour believes Terry is likely to receive a mixed reaction from England fans on Tuesday night, but believes the much maligned defender has the character and strong personality to defy his mounting detractors.
Citing his hugely vaunted former Arsenal teammate Tony Adams, who suffered some well documented off-field problems of his own but managed to maintain his imperious form for club and country, Parlour suggests Terry will ultimately be judged by his performances on the pitch.
"I'm sure there will be a mixture of reaction from the crowd, but as soon as that first tackle goes in, or he wins the first header, I am sure the crowd will come round, realise he's giving 100 per cent for England," Parlour said.
"If he can do that as a skipper and get a victory tomorrow night I am sure people will look back and think he had a really good game and led, like he should.
"I played with Tony Adams at Arsenal and England as well and Terry's the nearest thing I've seen to Tony Adams. I can see that at Chelsea he's got his team-mates' and people's respect for the way he plays and his 100 per cent commitment.
"There's no doubt he's a leader. It's important he goes out tomorrow night and acts like a skipper, drives his team on like Tony Adams used to do and has a really good game.
"The spotlight will definitely be on John but he's used to it. He's experienced enough to go out there and just worry about his football."