The saga is finally at an end. After months of speculation as regards John Terry’s future at Chelsea, the conclusion has been reached with a new one-year deal agreed this week.
It sees the 35-year-old embark on what looks likely to prove his last season at Stamford Bridge after 18 years with the club. On paper, it looks a decision that can only be beneficial for the Blues; after all, they’ve retained their captain.
However, after such a jaded campaign this year, Terry may be putting his reputation at risk in embarking on what could prove a season too many.
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In playing every minute of Chelsea’s race to the Premier League title in 2014-15, the footballing world was reminded that Terry remained a superb centre-half. Nonetheless, such a long run of games seemed to take its toll in 2015-16.
That superb season now appears an exercise of Jose Mourinho getting as much out of Terry that he had left to give. In fact, its only taken one season for the English defender’s form to take a dramatic nose-dive.
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Up against swift forwards such as Jamie Vardy and Anthony Martial, the 35-year-old has struggled spectacularly. In addition, one third of Terry’s Premier League red cards have come this season- a sign of his stagnation.
To counter his lack of athleticism, the Englishman is finding himself stretching for challenges and tumbling out of position. His fantastic aerial ability still persists, but such a trait can only take you so far amidst the pace of English football.
Consequently, there can be little doubting that Terry is taking a huge risk in signing on for another year in west London.
It appears that the main motive for staying on proves his reluctance to turn his back on the club. In Chelsea offering him a contract, the ball was in Terry’s court and he simply couldn’t refuse.
However, with his form on the wane, his career at the club could sorrily peter out.
With the Blues being linked to an array of centre-backs such as Kostas Manolas and Leonardo Bonucci, the 35-year-old’s place in the side looks in jeopardy. Would Terry really want to bow out of Chelsea after a season of cameos from the bench?
There needs to come a point where the centre-back must admit defeat. Although the player believes he has another year at the top in him, such a level may remain far from that of the club’s younger centre-backs.
Terry is a club legend at Chelsea, there can be no denying it and it would simply prove sad if he were to leave after a year littered with mistakes and spells on the sideline.
In not being able to say no to his beloved club, the skipper may have bitten off more than he can chew ahead of 2016-17. After all, his reputation and legacy is on the line.
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