John Terry’s achievements are often understated because of the controversies he has been involved in both on and off the field. But that doesn’t mean that the footballing world doesn’t know how to differentiate between the his personal and professional life.
When it comes to being a footballer, a captain and a mentor, there hardly are many names who can match what John Terry has done over the years with Chelsea as well as with England’s National Team. His passion for his team stands out, be it putting his head in front of a ball travelling at knots or playing with 2 broken ribs, Terry epitomizes passion.
Rafael Benitez in 2012-13 had concluded that John was not fit enough to play 2 matches in a single week, oh boy, has he been made to eat his words. Terry made 47 appearances in Jose’s first season after returning to the Bridge. And this term, he has become only the second outfielder to play every minute for a Premier League title-winning team. Only Gary Pallister achieved the same feat over a 42-game format in 1992-93, but he was seven years Terry’s junior at the time.
His heroic performances have not gone unnoticed and have enticed praises from every corner. Even Rio Ferdinand went on to applaud the Chelsea captain in his blog for The Sun –
“Just because we no longer get on does not mean I’ve lost my admiration for him as a footballer,” Ferdinand wrote “His performances for Chelsea this season have been nothing short of outstanding and I’m not afraid to say it.”
Jamie Carragher, a contemporary and Liverpool legend in his own right, goes even further.
“There have been a lot of great centre-backs in Premier League history, but I think he has been the best that we’ve seen,” he told Sky Sports last month. “For the next 20 or 30 years, that position at the near post, when we see other defenders doing it, we’ll call it ‘the John Terry position’.
“We’re not just talking about a big aggressive centre-back. Terry is always in the right position. His understanding of where to be, his reading of the game and reading crosses cannot be matched. I don’t think we’ve ever seen anyone better.”
Marcel Desailly the World Cup winner, former Chelsea captain and legend who mentored Terry, when John made his debut in 1998 also had something special to say about the Englishman –
“We knew that in the leadership aspect he was going to be a great player, and you’ve seen it – he’s a real leader for his team,” the Frenchman told.
“But as a player I was not expecting him to do so well for so long. He’s 34, he’s still performing well.
“He’s tactically very clever, he can anticipate to block the opponent, not giving them space, winning the psychological battle – he’s very strong in that aspect.
“Physically he’s a heavyweight, he’s having problems with his back, and he’s probably changed his lifestyle – diet, sleeping. He’s been very strict with it and that’s why he’s still one of the best defenders in the Premier League.”
John Terry’s recent achievements are stupendous when his age is accounted. At 34 , he has played every single minute in the League, a feat unimaginable. When he is compared to his contemporaries, it is then you realize what a great feat last couple of seasons have been for him.
Ferdinand won his final Manchester United title at the same age in 2012-13, but made just 26 starts as he managed chronic back problems. Carragher and Sol Campbell spent even less time on the pitch as they wound down their careers at Liverpool and Arsenal respectively, while Pallister was playing at lesser clubs like Middlesbrough. The battered body of Nemanja Vidic, still only 33, has long faded away.
It is remarkable that the Chelsea captain has kept his defensive abilities in top notch even at this age, some might even say he is like wine, just getting better with age. He also has 38 Premier League goals to his name, becoming the joint-highest goal-scoring defender in Premier League history, equaling Everton’s David Unsworth.
During a small interview with Neville during Chelsea’s title celebration, Terry did not speak of himself in such glowing terms. He said,
“I’ve had a good season, but without those guys around me – the youth, Matic sitting in front, letting me do what I do best, I wouldn’t be playing week-in and week-out.”
The arrival of Matic and him maturing into a destructive monster, the return of Jose Mourinho and his deep defensive line have also helped John’s game, but there cannot be any denying the fact that Terry’s leadership and organizational qualities have made it immeasurably easier for Matic and Courtois to hit the ground running in the Premier League. His guidance has helped Cahill become an England regular and given time, he may do for Kurt Zouma what Desailly did for him.
Very few players Premier League defenders have been so influential and none for so many years. Terry’s sheer quality long ago earned him a place among the greats.
John Terry is in a class of his own!
CAPTAIN LEADER LEGEND!!!!
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Edited By: Harshal
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