Chelsea captain John Terry has hailed the professionalism of goalkeeper Petr Cech after falling behind Thibaut Courtois in the pecking order at the start of this season.
Speaking after Chelsea’s 1-1 draw against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday, Terry hinted that Cech’s positive attitude has been important for the overall harmony of the squad.
Cech was dropped back to the bench for the PSG clash - despite impressing against Everton in the Blues’ previous fixture - and watched on as Courtois produced a Man of the Match display at the Parc des Princes.
Terry hails Cech's professionalism
“It’s unlucky for Petr because he made two unbelievable saves against Everton,” Terry was quoted as saying by the London Evening Standard. “I have seen a lot of players throw their toys out of the pram but Petr has been different class for the team, which has been important for the squad.
“Credit to him, he’s not even rumbled or sent shockwaves through the dressing room. The manager stresses the importance of the team coming first and he’s done that, Thibaut too. They’re both there for the whole squad. They have both been excellent.”
Terry: Courtois and Cech are world's best keepers
Terry believes Courtois and Cech are currently the best goalkeepers in the world and is amazed that Mourinho manages to keep the latter happy, despite the fact he has only made five Premier League appearances this season.
“We have the two best keepers in the world in my opinion both fighting for one place — it’s difficult,” Terry conceded. “You can’t keep them both happy. The manager manages to do it, I don’t know how.
“They want to play all the time but the two of them are at the top of their game. So rotating them at certain times and picking them is tough.”
Terry: Cech could play for any club in the world
Terry also feels that Cech could play for any team in the world, despite the goalkeeper’s advancing years. The 32-year-old has 18 months left to run on his current contract and may demand a move away from Stamford Bridge at the end of the season in order to play regular first-team football elsewhere.
“Yes, he is good enough to play for anyone,” Terry continued. “He’s been worth 10-12 points to us every season.
“I have not spoken to him about it [what he’ll do in the summer]. He knows he’s been a top goalkeeper and still is.
“He still has a lot to give and is fighting for his place, which is great. He’s not just given up and said, ‘The place is yours, Thibaut’. When he’s come in he’s been brilliant and given the manager food for thought.”
Mourinho's Capital One Cup final dilemma
Terry is currently taking his coaching badges with a view to becoming a manager after his playing career comes to an end, but he does not envy Mourinho when he forced to choose between Courtois and Cech for next month’s Capital One Cup final against Tottenham.
“It’s going to be tough,” the Chelsea skipper added. “Pete has played most of the games but Thibaut played in the last round. But the manager has always stressed that the team comes first.”
Mourinho took risk after Real Madrid problems
That Mourinho decided to keep Cech at Stamford Bridge last summer was a surprise because of the problems he encountered during his final season at Real Madrid.
Mourinho dropped Real Madrid favourite Iker Casillas in favour of Diego Lopez - a move which probably contributed towards his eventual downfall at the Bernabeu.
Earlier this season, however, Mourinho could ill-afford not to select the world-class Courtois as his first-choice ‘keeper, fearing the Belgian would opt to leave Stamford Bridge when his contract expired.
It proved a smart move. Not only did Courtois sign a new five-year deal with the Blues, but his performances have been excellent.
Subsequently if Cech wants regular first-team football his only option is to leave Chelsea at the end of the season.
Should Cech leave Chelsea this summer? If so, which club should he join? Give us your thoughts in the comments below.