John Terry – The Beginning Of An End

A lot of unexpected things have happened already, just two weeks into the season. Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, last season’s top scorer and top assist-maker respectively, have failed to fire. The defence, a cornerstone to out canter to the title last year, has shown big cracks and conceded 5 goals already. No individual has provided any spark of encouragement yet, but then again, there’s still 36 games in the Premier League to change that.

The biggest surprise, though, has been John Terry’s position in the side coming in doubt. The Englishman was one of our two best players last year, along with Eden Hazard, but now, some very conspicuous weaknesses have surfaced. Against both Swansea on the opening day and Man City last week, he was dragged out of position on far too many occasions, letting the opposition centre forward get in behind time and time again.

There is no doubt that Fabregas’ lack of tactical awareness as a deep-lying midfielder has played a role in this, but for Terry, who prides himself on his positioning, ending up in no man’s land is unchartered territory.

He was substituted by Jose Mourinho for the first time in 177 games at the Etihad on Sunday, and to be honest, we looked much better with Kurt Zouma on the pitch. The young Frenchman may lack experience, but his strength and pace make him a sure-shot star for the future.

End of the road for the skipper?

Everything good must come to an end, and we Chelsea fans know that better than most, having lost so many club legends in the last couple of seasons. Amidst all that, though, it never occurred to anyone that Terry’s time will come as well.

A Blue since the age of 14, the now 34-year-old has been an ever-present in the side, a rock leading from the front. The likes of Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Petr Cech will go down as some of the influential players in our history, but the title of Mr. Chelsea will always to Terry, and rightly so.

The club’s policy of only giving one-year extensions to players above the age of 30 puts his future in doubt. He earned a contract by playing his heart out last year, but this time, even that may not be good enough. He will be 35 next summer, and even though there have been rumours of a possible move to Fenerbahce, there is also a chance of him hanging up his boots and staying on as a part of the coaching team at Stamford Bridge.

The desperation that we are showing to sign John Stones is also an indicator of the fact that Terry is not a first-choice option anymore for Mourinho. £40 million is a huge sum to spend on anyone, let alone a centre-half. But the youngster will flourish if he has someone like Terry to mentor him, as Gary Neville excellently put it his article in The Telegraph a couple of days back. An excerpt from that reads:

“If Chelsea were to sign John Stones, Terry becomes their most important player for the next years. If Stones could watch Terry in games 15 times a season and in training three times a week then his own development will be greatly enhanced.

To stay at the club where you belong sounds better to me than wandering around the world to prolong your career. Terry should be at Chelsea until he is 36, 37 years of age. He might play only 20 games a season, but they will be 20 very important ones, and the 200 training sessions will be crucial to the squad in maintaining that winning mentality.”

Source – The Telegraph

It remains to be seen what happens next. For all we know, Terry will put in some fantastic performances over the course of the season and win his place back. But he will know, and so will Mourinho, that he can’t go on forever.

Winning an extension to stay in the team for another season will be an uphill task, and it will be interesting to see what chooses to do if he is unable to prove himself this season.

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Edited By: Karan Dubey

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