"John is the club captain. I'm more than happy with that and so are the fans [but] if he isn't in the starting XI he won't have the armband."
The anti-climax that was Mourinho's (second) first press conference revealed very little about his plans for John Terry. I don't think anybody expected EBJT to be stripped of yet another captaincy, or that he would be deemed surplus to requirements. Depending on our summer transfer dealings, the coming season will probably see him fighting with Cahill and Ivanovic for a starting berth next to our Geezer-in-chief, David Luiz. This is where John's history might just give him the edge...
He was probably our most integral player in Jose's debut season (2004/05) when we conceded a record low 15 goals, picking up the Players' Player of the Year award (the only defender to do so in the past 20 seasons) along the way. He's no longer a sprightly 24-year old, but Mourinho brought the best out of Terry once and if anyone can do it again it's bound to be the Portuguese.
JT's broken down relationship with Jose still an issue?
It has been claimed that one of the reasons behind Mourinho's departure in 2007 was a rift he had with Terry. As a result, upon The Special One's return, speculation that Terry would be shipped off to Monaco or continue to be treated in a despicable Rafa-esque manner has ensued. To this, I say bollocks.
"We keep in touch by text, wishing each other luck ... the fans have shown clearly that he is a man they love, above all for what he won, and for pushing the club in a direction it had never gone before. He is still the Special One."
That's Terry speaking to the Daily Mail on May 7th. And this is Terry embracing The Special One and The Best Chelsea Player Ever One, both of whom he'll be working with next season:
And this is them (who together with Drogba and Cech make up the pentagon of Chelsea modern era super heroes) lifting the clubs premier Premier League trophy:
I realize this is just me reveling in past glories, but Terry (and the prodigal Mourinho) being so central to those glories, I don't feel I need an excuse. Or to further explain that the relationship between these two fellers will be dandy, to say the least.
A look at Terry's 2012/13 season
Terry partook in only 14 league games last season - his lowest total since becoming a first team regular at Chelsea in 2000. He injured his knee in a match against Liverpool on November 11th (in which he scored his 50th goal for the club, surpassing alumni favourites such as Gianluca Vialli and Tore Andre Flo) and didn't start a league match again until February 2nd, missing out on 12 league matches in the process.
Simple maths (38-14-12=12) thus tell us that Cahill, Ivanovic and Luiz were preferred over our captain in the remaining 12 matches because of, well, something other than fitness. Could this have hurt his pride? Probably, yes. Is this Rafa's fault? Absolutely, yes. Was he not up to standard? That's a trickier question. I know many of you don't necessarily believe in statistics as a tool for argumentation, but here goes (courtesy of squawka & whoscored):
- 10 wins, 2 draws, 2 defeats
- 7 clean sheets
- 8 goals conceded
- 70% of aerial duels won
- 83% of tackles successful
- 89% passing accuracy
- 1 yellow card, 0 red cards
- 6 fouls committed, 4 fouls suffered
- 2 man of the match
- 4 goals (averaging 0.29 goals per match - compare with Torres' 8 goals in 36 matches, averaging 0.22 goals per match)
Not too shabby, eh.
Here's what Juan Mata had to say to anyone indulging in incessant Terry-pestering:
"If you need help with anything, John is always there. And even he has made mistakes, does he have to be reminded of that all his life"
There was a lot of talk about Terry's latest fancy-dress intrusion in Amsterdam, the quick-change emergence from the stands in pristine matchday kit that was, in truth, entirely harmless and even quite sweet, like the kind of boy who insists on wearing his Spider-Man suit to a wedding [...]
There is still an extraordinary internal momentum to the Chelsea project. It just keeps on driving forward: 11 trophies and counting in the years since The Event. Led by a stick-on manager, surrounded by departures and uncertainties, Chelsea just looked incredibly happy in Amsterdam.
And Terry, of course, is a significant constant in all this. This is his quality: not speed, athleticism or technical skills. During Fabio Capello's spell as England manager one of his assistants was asked why Capello seemed so stuck on Chelsea's captain. The answer was simple. Every other England player seemed diminished just by putting on the England shirt.
All except for Terry, who really is the kind of person who, while everyone else is vomiting next door, or staring at their laces, strides about japing and cajoling and generally looking absolutely delighted to be there. He isn't the brains or the heart or the spine of his team. He is instead the bowels, the buried colonic centre. He ensures that Chelsea still smell like a football team.
A lot of back-handed compliments in there. He's certainly been the heart and spine of the team, even if he isn't anymore. But I do like the idea, albeit nauseating in tandem with the 'bowels' comment, that John makes Chelsea smell like a football team.
A love story
"As long as Chelsea fans are there, I need nothing else. Their support and love are enough for me".
A sight for sore eyes
The King (princess?) of Chelsea rejoices upon hearing of Jose's return and the consequent assurance of MOAWR trophies.
Terry's 15 years at the club has seen him reach 5th place in Chelsea's all-time appearance list and become the club's longest serving player. Tommy Law (1925-39) and Ken Shellito (1957-69) are Chelsea's only other one-club players in history, and John's been at the club longer than any of them already.
Some might argue that Ryan Bertrand makes that list, but at age 23, with 6 loan spells and just about 50 Chelsea appearances to his name -– he doesn't make the cut quite yet. Let's hope he follows suit though, and like John, becomes a true one-club man.
(via Ben Sutherland)
- Will a new starting center-half be bought, automatically displacing Terry?
- Might Terry be sold despite the Mourinho connection?
- Was last season's long-term injury a sign of things to come for Terry? Is he physically spent?
- Will he play in at least 19 matches, and climb to fourth (behind Lampard) in the all-time appearances list?
- Can he score a Premier League goal for the 14th consecutive season?
- Is he signing one-year contracts from now on, or finding a new club next summer?
My own watered-down answers: no, no, no, yes, yes, one-year contracts.
PRE SEASON UPDATE: first 45 minutes vs Singha All-Stars
One strong headed clearance from a dangerous free kick situation. Very vocal as usual, clearly instructing team-mates and shepherding Kalas, his center-back partner for the match. Safe passes, no mistakes whatsoever. But not really put under any considerable pressure. Could have won a penalty, bundled over when going for a ball ricocheting off the crossbar. Rating: 6/10.
Ladies and geezers, this is your captain speaking. On behalf of Chelsea Football Club, let me welcome you to the 2013/14 season. We touch down May 11th in Cardiff. On arrival, please proceed to reclaim our Premier League trophy. Enjoy the trip.
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