Seems like just yesterday, Chelsea won the UEFA Champions league in Germany, and captain John Terry lifted the trophy to celebrate in excitement — it was just 4 years and a few months ago. How times change, and things take a different turn. I look at our team now, and it’s like a whole new one. No Captain ‘fantastic’ to lead and motivate the team anymore; his services are no longer that important. This is the same man who held the success of Chelsea in his hands and leadership. There was a time when his absence from even the smallest game was noticed, and we suffered for it, but that is not the case anymore. This is a whole new Chelsea, pioneered by a whole new man, Antonio Conte.
Before Conte’s arrival at Chelsea, Terry started enough games, although in Mourinho’s second season in charge, his game time was reduced due to a bad spell. But that notwithstanding, Terry was still the man, our captain ‘fantastic’. Even when he was up for a possible cut from the wage list, Conte ensured he was retained at Chelsea, showing how important his presence around the Bridge is. However, a few matches into the current campaign, and he’s relegated to the bench. An injury from early this season may have been the open culprit for Terry’s present situation at Chelsea, but I think everyone knows it pretty much was waiting to happen. Terry is old, and while he still has a good eye for sniffing out danger, his pace fails him these days. So I think Conte only needed an excuse to replace him, and his early season injury gave him one.
Gary Cahill is the new man that has been charged with leading Chelsea, and while you can say the man is nothing like Captain fantastic, you would agree that he’s done a brilliant job. Under his leadership, we have seen one of the best Chelsea sides in recent times. His centre-back pairing with David Luiz has conceded about the fewest times in the league this season, and with each day, you wonder what this says about the future of John Terry at Stamford Bridge— his immediate future of course. We all know that sooner or later, the man would be honored with a role in the management cadre at our club, but what about now that he’s still into playing? Well, I only see two ways to the captain’s current dilemma; leave Chelsea for more game time elsewhere or continue to stay and feature less. He’s old, but I know he’s still interested in playing, so I honestly wouldn’t have a problem with him leaving, after all, others have toed the same path. He can go finish his career elsewhere and return to Chelsea much later after retirement. We would all understand, but if his desire is to stay on, and finish his illustrious career at the Bridge, despite the odds, then, it’s still fine; he’d only be reaffirming his unconditional love for Chelsea.
It pains me to see the legend reduced to a bench warmer today, but then again, knowing that he has achieved and helped us in even bigger ways than anyone could ever imagine makes seeing him around even the more interesting. It is said that legends are born once in a generation, and John Terry is definitely a confirmation of that statement.