When anyone asks me who I think the best centre back in the world is, without hesitation I say John Terry.
Love him or hate him, there is no doubt in my mind he remains the best around. In 2004, he captained Chelsea to the Premier League title, and it was no surprise he was able to repeat this last season 10 years later.
Not only did he play an integral part, but he was the only player to play every single minute of every game, and in doing so became only the second ever outfield player since Gary Pallister in 1992/93 to play every minute of a championship winning Premier League season.
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Something I have always heard said about John Terry is his lack of pace, but what he lacks in pace he certainly makes up for significantly with his positional awareness.
He has this ability to get himself into the right defensive positions every time. I love watching attacking football and seeing great goals scored, but I get just as much satisfaction in watching top class defensive performances, and with John Terry this is a regular occurrence.
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It is amazing to think throughout the years, I don't remember seeing a bad John Terry performance.
Looking at the Premier League in terms of its speed and intensity, it has never seemed to have affected him or his game and if anything he has only gotten better.
You never see him caught one on one with an attacking player in the final third of the pitch, which I have no doubt is based around the fact he is aware of his pace and knows how to manage his game in a way that he never leaves himself exposed to being left isolated at the back.
Of course, you can't deny he has played with top class centre back partners over the years such as Ricardo Carvalho, William Gallas and more recently Gary Cahill, who I am sure John Terry would attribute a great deal in terms of his consistency and development during his career.
Something that always goes unnoticed with John Terry is the fact he is actually a very good footballer. A common criticism of footballers nowadays is their inability to use both feet, but whenever you watch him you can see he is comfortable using either foot, which I am sure is down to hours of practice on the training ground.
Also, he never gives the ball away. Of course, he is not in that position on the pitch where he is looking to play that killer ball, but one thing he does which I think a lot of other defenders could learn from is that he always plays the simple ball.
TERRY IS VITAL
People talk about if Chelsea are going to win the league this season, they will need to keep the likes of Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas fit. But for me, John Terry has to stay fit for them to challenge.
Of course, they have the likes of Kurt Zouma who looks like he will become a top centre back, who can come in and perform if need be. But John Terry remains the main man, and at the age of 34 still remains as good as ever.
One thing is for sure, if and when he decides to hang up his boots and call time on his career, Chelsea must have someone ready to come in and fill that void.
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