Arsene Wenger has hailed John Terry’s ability to command the Chelsea backline, comparing his influence to that once enjoyed by Tony Adams at Arsenal, while also lamenting the lack of leaders in his current defence.
Arsenal have, once again, endured a troubled campaign at the back with injury decimating Wenger’s options while, even when fully fit, his first choice back four have failed to provide adequate protection to Wojciech Szczesny.
Recent defeats to Stoke and Southampton highlighted the frailties and lack of organisation among the Arsenal defenders, and Wenger concedes there are few players in the modern game capable of directing a defence as expertly as Terry.
“Terry is a coach on the pitch. He’s a Tony Adams, basically,” Wenger said of the Chelsea captain.
“He organises the team, because he has a huge experience now and because he reads the game well.
“Maybe Gary Cahill will be the same in five, six, seven years as well.
“Terry is the right age and you do not find many any more. You had more before than you do today.”
How Wenger would love to have a player with Terry’s authority at the heart of his Arsenal defence, which continues to be the most problematic area for the Frenchman, and one he is likely to reinforce in January.
Arsenal have been linked with a number of potential acquisitions with West Ham defender Winston Reid, who will be out of contract in the summer, one of the leading contenders to move to the Emirates Stadium.