Chelsea need a new John Terry to become champions

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Looking at Chelsea's early season form and subsequent results, it's clear that it's going to be a very Mourinho-esque year.

By that I mean that he will, as he's always done, do things his way and without a care in the world for who might become upset or disillusioned as a result.

One of the Special One's greatest abilities, and one that is easily traced through every club he's managed since Porto, is his aptitude to not only ensure his team can win games but that they also become extremely difficult to beat in the process.

During Mourinho's first stint at Stamford Bridge he partnered the then-colossal John Terry with the dynamic and versatile Ricardo Carvalho, and thus created a back-line that drew it's strength from it's core, and was incredibly hard to break down.

Using Terry's heart and strength Mourinho was able to plant him at the centre of Chelsea's drive to success, ensuring that he built a side that had it's foundation firmly concreted in the values of passion, commitment and lion-like defending. He did the same at Inter Milan with Lucio and then to a certain extent at Madrid with Sergio Ramos, though it must be said the latter's penchant for mistakes meant that the results were rather less fruitful.

Fast forward to Mourinho's second bite at the proverbial cherry and he has already affirmed that the 'old guard'- made up of the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Petr Cech- will all play a significant role this year.

Whilst that's all well and good when Frank Lampard is scoring regularly, Cech is playing as well as he ever has and Ashley Cole remains one of the best left-backs in the world, John Terry is not the player he once was and, in his absence, the Blues lack a definite defensive tenacity.

For me Mourinho needs to focus his efforts on bringing a world-class defender to Stamford Bridge, someone who will command from the back, dictate when needed and become a beacon of hope when despair creeps in.

Gary Cahill, though talented, is not the type of character I'm talking about and David Luiz is nowhere near reliable enough to fill Terry's shoes.

Chelsea's defeats at the hands of Everton and Basle respectively exposed a problem that Mourinho did not have to worry about last time around, and that is the need for a solid leader at the back. Terry may still have a vivacious heart, but his knack of being there to save the day has waned with age, and he can't be relied upon to boss the pitch as he used to.

If Chelsea are to win the league, their manager will have to ensure they can deal comfortably with all but the very best attacking forces. At the moment there seems to be a bit of a dilemma in who to partner with Cahill, as Terry is the reliable option for the league but Luiz's ability on the ball makes him effective in European competition.

I'll leave Mourinho and his team of scouts to decide which candidates are suitable for the task of replacing their talismanic skipper, but whether it's in January or the summer, the Special One needs to bring in natural leader who can effectively become Chelsea's next 'John Terry', otherwise the principles that he has based his timely success on so far may well be lost, along with his side's ambitions.

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John Terry
Premier League

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