“John Terry’s career is over and cannot offer much to Chelsea now.” – A statement that is more like an April fool’s joke at the moment but few seasons ago, it might have been debatable.
The centre-back’s Chelsea career looked to be in serious jeopardy towards the end of the 2012-13 season. The club and the then manager Rafa Benitez was looking to find a replacement for the former England captain. Even Jose Mourinho wasn’t sure whether or not to give the Englishman regular first team football, when he arrived for his second stint as a Chelsea manager.
But the ‘Captain, Leader and Legend’ as we Chelsea fans like to call him, has cemented his place in the team. Terry has once again found his blistering form and has been as solid as a rock in Chelsea’s defense this season.
All it took was one phone call from the ‘Special One’ and what happened next is history. During a phone call to JT, Mourinho said,
“I need you to hit the ground running. People have written you off.”
Terry heaped praise on his manager and said in an interview,
“It’s just inspiring and, for me, there’s no better at drawing the best out of people than Jose Mourinho. He knows what buttons to press. It goes unnoticed a little bit. He knows what makes me tick. He knows if I make a mistake he can tell me – some players you can’t. It’s handling different players differently, and he does it superbly.”
But is he really improving? Well, stats don’t lie!
Getting better with age
Just like red wine, Terry is getting better and better with time. He is proving that age is just a number against passion and commitment. With no bookings this season, huge increase in tackles winning ratio and shots accuracy, the captain is getting younger at least by the performances. No doubt he is arguably the best defender present in the league and stats are just supporting the statements.
Better at 34 than 24
Not just better than last season, but better than he used to be a decade down the lane. Seriously? Yes. What has been amazing is an eight percent rise in duels won category and that too by committing fewer fouls comparatively. The improvement in the game justified by the stats is quite amazing for the captain. Less tackles per game can be justified as the change of style and inclusion of Nemanja Matic. But again the former has the upper hand in tackles with a significant 5% rise recently adding to the achievements.
No matter with whom he is playing, whether clearing the ball from the line or free scoring headers, John Terry always gives his best on and off the pitch. The mouth watering defending partnership of Terry-Cahill is as enjoyable as with Zouma. The French sensation has been evolving in a beast of a defender and there has to be some credit for the captain. Also his efforts have not gone unnoticed as the club have offered him a 1-year contract extension and hence our Captain, Leader and Legend is sure to stay at Chelsea for at least another year.
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Edited By: Harshal Ahire