Chelsea star Eden Hazard deservedly picked up the Player of the Year trophy at the PFA awards on Sunday night after a terrific campaign with league leaders.
The Belgian has been in superb form all season with 13 goals and eight assists to his name to ensure the Blues are just one win away from the title.
And although he has become indispensible for the club, his teammate John Terry has once again shown this week why he is just as important for the champions in-wait, and even at 34-years-of-age is someone that can make all the difference.
With just four games remaining Chelsea’s lead at the top is now 13 points with just four games remaining, and a win at home to Crystal Palace this weekend will finish the job.
While they have been impressive in attack; as shown by their 3-1 victory over Leicester in midweek, it’s at the other end where they have built the foundation for this season’s success thanks to some outstanding defensive displays.
Their goalless draw at Arsenal on Sunday epitomised their solidity and strength to shut out their opponents, and although people have labelled them boring in the aftermath, this is doing a disservice to the team.
At the heart of their defence is John Terry who even towards the end of his career is still turning out world class performances that means he remains the best centre-back in the league and a vital part of the Chelsea team.
He’s never been blessed with the most pace, but his positional sense and ability to read the game mean this is rarely exposed. Great in the air, strong in the tackle and one that’s willing to put his body on the line, he is still proving to be a fantastic asset to Jose Mourinho and the way he commands the back four with his leadership skills go along way to ensuring the Blues are a formidable force at the back.
And he’s also pretty effective in the other penalty box too. Terry’s goal against Leicester on Wednesday meant he became the joint highest scoring defender in Premier League history, equalling the retired David Unsworth’s tally of 38.
The former Everton man was a regular on both penalties and free-kicks which makes the Chelsea defenders accomplishment all the more impressive. Terry’s now netted seven goals in all competitions, a fantastic return for a centre half and considerably more than some of the divison’s top strikers including Radamel Falcao and Mario Balotelli.
Chelsea are by no means short of talented defenders, and the likes of Gary Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta would be welcome in any side. But Terry is the glue that sticks it all together and ensures they all work together so effectively.
While Hazard was a worthy winner of the award for his sparkling attacking performances, Terry’s contribution to the season hasn’t gone unnoticed and has been equally important. He could consider himself unfortunate not to make the nominees for the main award after the season he has had, but regardless of that he is set to finish the season celebrating when he lifts up another league title.