In what might have been his final game in a Chelsea shirt, Captain, Leader, Legend John Terry scored a goal, gave away a goal, made a classic defensive diving salmon header, and led the celebrations on the pitch as the Blues notched win no.29 on the season with a 4-3 goalfest over Watford and lapped up the applause and post-match cheers of Stamford Bridge. It was Terry’s first start in the league since the fourth game of the season, a 2-2 draw away to Swansea City.
John Terry loves a header wherever the ball is #CFC pic.twitter.com/vTKwOPM3LA— Andrew Steadman (@Steadman19) May 15, 2017
One more home game left for JT to finish his long goodbye, though what may come next is still unknown. It had been looking like he wanted to continue playing and several Premier League teams and managers have even expressed interest, but talking to reporters after Monday’s game, Terry struck a slightly different note.
"I never wanted to be that player, the kind who hangs about, and who people can’t wait to get rid of. I think the transition for myself, being on the bench and seeing it from a different aspect, has served me well and will serve me well if I go into management in the future. I never wanted to hang about and stop the progress of a younger player – that was the basis of my decision."
"I know I said I wanted to play regular football while I can but I’ve still not ruled out Sunday being my last game and retiring from football. It depends if the right offer comes along. I’ll sit down and consider it with my family, whether that [offer is] here or abroad or wherever that may be. Genuinely, I haven’t made any decisions as of yet and I’m just evaluating all my options at the moment."
Reduced to the role of dressing room leader, observer, and cheerleader, Terry has been using some of his time to start studying for his coaching badges and start preparing for his career after retirement. Having been exposed to some of the best managers in the business over his years as a Chelsea player, JT will no doubt have a good starting skill set when he does make that transition.
"I’m concentrating on my [coaching] badges at the moment. Even this year will serve me well in the future. Seeing it from the other side: does the manager speak to players who are not in group? Is the training intense enough to make sure your fitness is right when you do get called upon, like tonight?"
"I’ve learnt an awful lot of things sitting there and watching the group, how things have panned out. That will serve me well, just for me, to take the experience and kind of see how things will happen in the future."
Even if he stays in a non-playing role, the end of this season will bring a 22-year Chelsea career to a close. It’s going to be emotional.
"[Leaving] is going to be tough. It’s tough when you’ve been at a club for so long and had so many great memories and relationships, friends and managers and everything else. Tonight was tough but next week I’m going to be in bits, I know."
-John Terry; source: The Guardian