Sometime very soon, in just six games exactly, in fact, Captain, Leader, Legend John Terry will hit 700 matches played for Chelsea Football Club. He will be just the third player ever to hit that landmark, joining all-time appearance leader Chopper Harris and The Cat himself, Peter Bonetti. While Terry's place in the pantheon of Chelsea legends is indisputable, his immediate future is slightly less certain.
Fortunately, even though Jose Mourinho, the man who helped resurrect JT's career when it looked all but dead in 2013, has gone, both new man in charge Hiddink and Terry himself are pushing for a new contract extension.
"If I'm asked I will give my honest opinion about his contract. If I say what I'm saying now, spontaneously out of my heart, then you can imagine what I think. But I fully agree on his importance, not just with Saturday's equalising goal but with his attitude and the actions he did defensively and offensively."
"His commitment in capitals - in capitals - is huge for this team and this club. He's also progressing Kurt. I saw him [Zouma] from a distance previously and sometimes he was a little bit out of position but he's progressed very fast in the last year alongside Terry."
"We need those kind of players but John is also doing his job defensively very well. With his age and experience, John is much more of a leader. Kurt is a very young player and not the type of leader John is yet."
"For me there's not much difference between John in 2009 and now. You would have to underline that with data. You have to make tests that show he has lost some speed but with the eye I cannot see that. He's fit, he trains well and takes care of himself, which you have to do at that age. I cannot see that he is slowing down at all. He needs six more games to have played 700 for Chelsea and I think he will make that."
-Guus Hiddink; source: Guardian
Terry had previously said that as long as he thinks he can perform at the top level, he would want to stay at Chelsea. And while he's had his fair share of struggles earlier in the season, he's been much more solid much more often lately, starting 18 of the last 21 matches, most of those alongside young Kurt Zouma, who's our big hope for the future.
"For me, I think when you get to a certain age, a lot of people out there start saying: ‘He's 35, almost 36, maybe his legs have gone. But I've never had ‘legs'. It's as simple as that."
"I've never been quick, all my career. Everyone gets it in their heads that it's a problem but it's lazy to suggest that. Physically, for me, I'm probably feeling as good as I've ever felt in the last two or three years. I'm still in the right state of mind, I'm still hungry, I want to be here, I want to finish my career here."
"But I'm not even thinking of that right now. Last year it was a couple of months from now before things got sorted out, so the most important thing is getting us out of this [situation] and up that league table. But hopefully that will come. I just have to keep plugging away."
-John Terry; source: Guardian
Presumably it's only a matter of time before the deal gets done. Regardless of who our next manager may be, John Terry will be needed both on the pitch, on the training ground, and in the dressing room.