Steven Gerrard really did manage to stir the pot quite well on Wednesday, his speculation about a rift between Mourinho and Terry taken as gospel in many corners of the media. Because obviously he of all people, with his spying eye all the way in Los Angeles, will know exactly what's going on behind the scenes at Cobham. But, it probably wouldn't have hurt in any case for Mourinho to say a few words about the Chelsea captain, considering that Terry has been one of the biggest under-performers of the season so far. A half-time substitution, a red card, a suspension, and a start on the bench were hardly how we envisioned the start of the season for the player who was arguably the best center back in the Premier League last season.
"I don't think John deserves somebody to say he has a problem with me. I'm not even speaking about myself, I don't care about myself. But I think a top professional like he is and the way he always behaves in this club with me, I don't think he deserves any kind of doubt about what he is as a professional and as a captain in this club."
-Jose Mourinho; source: Sky
Considering that Terry has been on rolling one-year contracts since 2013, he's been well aware that slowly but surely his time as an everyday player is slowly coming to an end. Despite playing every single Premier League minute last season, Terry has spoken repeatedly about being ready and able to handle a reduced role whenever that eventuality arrives, while fighting for his place as long as he can of course.
"Last season he played every minute but two seasons ago he didn't and three seasons ago even less. So what's the problem? He's a player of my total confidence. I trust him as always and he's one of my men. Because he's on the bench one game or because I take him off at half-time, nothing changes."
"For John the situation with me hasn't changed since 2004 (when Mourinho first became Chelsea boss). It is exactly the same. I play the player I think is the best for that game, for that moment and John has known that since 2004. I don't care what you say, media, pundits. I don't think about the consequences."
-Jose Mourinho; source: Sky
"I play the player I think is the best for that game for that moment and John has known that since 2004. During John’s time with me he has had so many examples of big players staying out. I did that all the time in Real Madrid, Inter, Chelsea, Porto. I did that all the time. When I do I don’t look at the passport or the age. I am just looking for a performance level. And John knows that very, very well."
-Jose Mourinho; source: Independent
Terry will turn 35 in a few months. Whether he's "the best" for a given game could very well start being the case less and less often. But whether these early season struggles are indicative of just such a trend or are just a small blip on the radar for the veteran remains to be seen.