2012: it was the best of times; it was the worst of times for John Terry. With his international career in tatters, many have claimed the former England captain’s club career could now be in jeopardy. A series of unfortunate events have caused Terry’s influence to wane at the club where he was once revered for having blue blood running through his veins.
Absent for Chelsea’s biggest game in their history after foolishly lashing out at Barcelona’s Alexis Sánchez in the semis, Terry watched his side turn in a magnificent victory in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, only to be ridiculed for donning his kit in order to lift the trophy in style. However as we all know the final is not the only match in a tournament, Terry’s performance in the entire tournament is what led to their immense final win. He had just as much right to lift that trophy as any man on the pitch, perhaps changing into kit was a bit much though.
Nevertheless, Chelsea’s performance against Liverpool on Sunday was a blatant example of a game of two halves, illustrating why John Terry remains, and will remain for some time, the only player to warrant the title of ‘Mr Chelsea’. Before suffering a knee injury in the 39th minute, the stabilising effect of Terry’s presence in Chelsea’s backline was evident for all to see. Liverpool continually failed to create any clear-cut chances, while Chelsea’s attackers flourished as they exploited weaknesses in the Reds ‘ 3-5-2 formation. When Terry escaped Daniel Agger to head home in the 20th minute his goal was cheered jubilantly by Blues fans, relieved at an opportunity to celebrate the footballing talents of their most successful captain ever, having spent a year defending his actions both on and off the field. In the second half Chelsea fell to pieces without their captain.
Cahill and Ivanovic appeared lost without Terry’s guidance and Liverpool were able to capitalise through Suarez’s goal, when Chelsea’s defenders left him all on his own to head in from a position virtually on the goal line. Fortunately for the blues their captain’s injury was not as serious as first thought, with the central defender’s injury estimated to keep him out for weeks rather than months. With Terry in the line-up this season, Chelsea have conceded an average of 1.09 goals a game, however, while he has been absent this figure has risen to two goals a game. In spite of the allegations that continually dog Terry’s career he is still the natural choice to captain Chelsea, given the chance he is the best choice to captain England. This must show the immense amount of talent that he has in getting the best out of his players.
We cannot pretend that in the small window of media that we hear about Terry that we have gotten to know the person through and through. It is important that Terry is not just a captain but a talented player and represents more experience than some entire teams can offer. He has so many more moments of sheer talent left in his career. It is essential that Terry retains his place in Chelsea’s first 11 otherwise they will never be able to progress in any of the competitions they are in this season. His problems off the field must be put to one side for the sake of his prowess on the field. Chelsea must accept that when it comes to John Terry, you have no choice but to take the good with the bad.
Author: Joanna Pendleton