There’s no doubt about it – throughout the course of the 2014/15 campaign, Chelsea’s John Terry ultimately proved one of the most reliable standout performers across the entire Premier League spectrum.
The 34-year-old Blues skipper not only maintain his own usually high standard of performance on a week-to-week basis last term, but he has proved willing and able to organise every defender in the Chelsea back-line, subsequently serving Jose Mourinho will the strongest defence operating in the English top flight in 2014/15.
However, even though much of Chelsea’s success last season depended on their resolute defending and determined organisation at the back, John Terry’s future in the first team plans at Stamford Bridge ultimately remains unconfirmed at this stage in the game…
Much has been made of Mourinho’s recent decision to substitute the long-term Blues captain midway through his side’s defeat to Manchester City last weekend.
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So then, does the former England skipper still deserve his seemingly guaranteed spot within Jose Mourinho’s starting XI this term, or is this now the beginning of the end for John Terry?
Despite previously helping his side lift numerous domestic titles throughout the years, managing to stay fit and healthy at the not so peak age of 34-years-old, and simply proving a vital asset for Chelsea since Roman Abramovich took the club to the next level with his masses of post-communist fall-out wealth – yes, John Terry should arguably be dropped in the near future at Stamford Bridge.
No stint within the ever competitive Premier League can last for ever after all. No matter how successful certain players have proved since first emerging amongst the English top-flight, their time ultimately comes and goes just like everybody else. The real question is, can the Premier League’s ageing stars bow out with a bit of dignity, or does every culmination of life at the top seemingly end in somewhat jaded circumstances?
Steven Gerrard’s final swansong at Anfield last season proves a perfect case in point. Although the recently established LA Galaxy midfielder simply won’t be forgotten by Reds fans any time soon for his achievements in a Liverpool shirt, Brendan Rodgers arguably would have been better served last term by dropping the former England international much earlier on in the league proceedings.
In failing to do so, though, the Reds ultimately witnessed a Steven Gerrard who looked well off the boil and far from his former self throughout the course of the 2014/15 season.
Chelsea must therefore learn from such a scenario in their dealings with John Terry this campaign. Yes, his well-documented substitution against Manchester City last weekend has been blown out of proportion somewhat recently – but it will nevertheless likely act as a firm reminder of things to come at Stamford Bridge.
However, whilst John Terry can arguably no longer be counted upon throughout the duration of the upcoming campaign, sourcing an adequate replacement for the Chelsea skipper may prove slightly trickier than most would have initially expected. The likes of Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic and Kurt Zouma simply don’t offer enough strength in depth at the back without the presence of their reliable captain in place.
Dipping into the ever problematic summer transfer window for a promising centre-back may also test the club’s resolve this season. Whilst someone likes John Stones could potentially fill in at the back for Chelsea this term, his rumoured £40million price tag would surely put the Blues off with all things considered. Stones is a good player no doubt, but he’ll simply never be that good at the end of the day.
Ultimately then, whilst Chelsea’s back-line somewhat won the title for their team across the duration of last season, such a difficult task just won’t prove so easy this time around it seems. John Terry can certainly still do a positive job for Jose Mourinho this term of course – but at the grand old age of 34-years-old – the long-term Chelsea captain’s days at the top are rapidly becoming numbered in the modern era.