Fabio Capello has dashed John Terry's hopes of captaining England again but still expects JT to be a leader without the armband.
Capello stripped Terry of the honour following revelations of the Chelsea star's alleged affair with the mother of Wayne Bridge's young son.
The speculation surrounding Terry's relationship with Vanessa Perroncel proved to be so hurtful for Bridge that he now feels his position within the England squad is "untenable" and has no longer made himself available for international duty.
Capello is still hoping Bridge will change his mind.
However, the Italian has made it perfectly clear it will not be at Terry's expense, even if there is no way he can ever be restored to his former status.
"Until the World Cup, John Terry will not be the captain again," said Capello. "After the World Cup? If I remain as England manager? I think not.
"I asked for the captain to set an example for the young people; for the children and the fans. What he did was not good. I told him this and he understood.
"But I took the decision only because of what happened with Wayne Bridge, nothing else. I didn't ever consider taking John Terry out of the squad, just as I didn't decide to take Wayne Bridge out.
"And I don't believe the other players will have lost respect for him because they know his leadership qualities."
Capello has never really understood the English fascination with who captains the team.
To him, it was perfectly straightforward Rio Ferdinand should step up, just as Steven Gerrard will take over against Egypt on Wednesday now the Manchester United man has been ruled out with a back injury.
Equally, past experience makes it easy to stress Terry's role within his squad essentially remains the same.
"In Spain or Italy, the captain is the oldest player or the one with the most caps," said Capello.
"Here it is different. You look at the captain in a different way.
"To me, being a leader is more important than being the captain. John Terry is a leader. I have asked him to be the same. He will be the same. He will be a leader without wearing the armband."
Stephen Warnock and Leighton Baines will be given the chance to take Bridge's place next week.
Once Wednesday's game is out of the way, and the dust has settled on Bridge's meeting with Terry at Stamford Bridge, Capello hopes the full-back will look at the situation again.
He will doubtless speak with the 29-year-old, as his assistant Franco Baldini has already done, to try and stress Bridge's perception of the situation does not square with Capello's.
Not that the Italian is guaranteed success. After all, he approached a far more straightforward problem in trying to persuade Jamie Carragher he did have a worthwhile role to play with England and met with a straight no.
"We all look at life with a different vision," said Capello.
"It is his opinion that it is better for the squad that he is not there. I think he could stay with us without a problem. I don't think it is in the best interests of the squad at all for him not to be there.
"But it is his decision, anything else is not important."
For someone renowned as a strict disciplinarian, Capello seems remarkably laid-back in his attitude to player behaviour, which seems to be spiralling out of control.
Asked if he worries about it, he shakes his head. There is only one thing that bothers him.
"There things are not good for the fans or the players. But I am not concerned. I hope when I decide the squad the best players are fit. This is what concerns me. Not these problems."
And not the WAGs (Wives and Girlfriends) either.
Capello could hardly have failed to notice the parade of glamorous females on show in Baden-Baden during England's last World Cup campaign.
The Bafokeng complex, England's base for this summer's tournament does not offer much in the way of outside interests, and as Capello is not interested in anything that goes on outside that area, wives and girlfriends are not on his radar.
"I know it was the virus of the last World Cup," said Capello.
"I hope it won't be like that again.
"I don't know where the WAGs will stay. Out of the training ground is far enough for me. What happens outside the training ground and outside the pitch is not important."