Football

John Terry is the last of a dying breed of defender

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Chelsea's recent bid for Everton's John Stones - one of Europe's most promising defenders - got me thinking,: is John Terry the last world-class advocate of the traditional, powerful and above all aggressive English defender?

The globalised era of the Premier League has seen many of England's traditional footballing practices replaced with a more fluid European style, for the most part this has improved the standard and pace of the game in England.

However what I can't seem to get my head around is why we are losing one of our most successful traits which has been in place for generations, the classic no-nonsense English defender.

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Just remind yourself of the classic Arsenal English back five of the 1990's, a defence which was notoriously feared and was the central theme of the famous song '1-0 to the Arsenal'.

It was a defence which wasn't pretty to watch technically but got the job done in a typical no-nonsense fashion - they also liked to appeal for offside a lot.

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So why has this style of defending changed?

This has all changed and now the emphasis is for all defenders to be able to play 'football', Terry's partner at Chelsea Gary Cahill is seen as a ball playing centre half - the same can be said about John Stones.

In the age of 'tiki-taka' and various other eye-pleasing football ideologies the concept of the passionate, inspirational and at times warrior-like English defender has slowly but surely slipped away.

Defenders are now viewed far differently, it almost seems a necessity for them to possess the necessary technical skills to be able to keep up with the intricate passing systems in place - with less focus on some sides of the defensive game.

There could also be the argument that the game has become a less aggressive entity over the years as referees have grown stricter and the diving culture has become a vomit-inducing part of our beautiful game.

The current footballing environment seems like it no longer has a place for Terry-like defenders and he could very well be the last of his generation as the modern game continues to evolve.

While the likes of Vincent Kompany and Martin Skrtel operate in a slightly similar way to Terry his unique English passion is something which cannot be replicated and it is something we may never see to the same degree again.

This trend is not good

But why are we abandoning a generation which has provided such success over the years, after all last season was arguably Terry's finest for Chelsea and his style has not changed one bit.

Chelsea's impressive season was heavily built on their no-nonsense style of defending which descends from Terry himself and has clearly had a huge influence on the other members of the team - the perfect example being Nemanja Matic in my opinon.

Terry is the kind of player who rescues the team when times are tough, just take a look at Chelsea's 0-0 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates - arguably one of Terry's finest defensive displays - which silenced one of England's most diverse and dangerous attacks.

This 0-0 draw which was hailed as a masterclass of defending by Terry pretty much sealed the title for Chelsea - talk about importance eh.

It seems baffling that teams are neglecting this style of play because it is one which can win you those vital games and despite it not be aesthetically pleasing it is brutally efficient.

It seems no coincidence to me that since Terry's shall we say controversial departure from the national team we have struggled even more so defensively as a nation, so why are we not reverting back to nurturing our defenders more traditionally? Seems baffling to me.

Terry seems like he may have a few more years left in him as captain of Chelsea - where he has been the most successful in the clubs history - but once he announces his retirement it is unlikely we will see a player of his nature again, pity really.

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Topics:
Chelsea
John Terry
Football

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