Even the finest players reach a point where they can no longer perform at the top-level, how long it takes for them to accept this unfortunate reality can often dictate the extent to which their reputation is tarnished.
John Terry has established himself as one of the greatest players in Premier League history during his 17-year tenure at Chelsea. His undeniable passion and heroism for the Blues has seen him idolised by supporters for season after season.
However, amidst his beloved club’s cataclysmic collapse this season, Terry has found himself one of the major suspects behind the relentless chain of losses.
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Whilst Liverpool fans may have wished Steven Gerrard stayed at the club into 2015-16, the Kop legend proved ingenious in the timing of his Anfield departure. The swashbuckling midfielder went out on a high and as a result, his name will remain held in astronomically high esteem.
Although no number of disastrous performances from Terry would warrant the removal of his legendary status, in staying at the club he is dragging his own reputation through the mud.
Robbie Savage brandished the centre back ‘awful once again’ after his calamitous showing against Leicester City. Granted, Savage’s opinions can often prove baffling, but the ex-Wales international’s analysis was spot-on this week.
Even if you ignore all the other errors that thronged his game, Terry’s despicable marking of Jamie Vardy for Leicester’s opener was simply unforgivable.
Time is up for Terry at Chelsea and the supporters seem reluctant to concede that their captain can no longer cope in the Premier League.
Lost his legs
The most prominent criticism of Terry this season has been his absent athleticism. However, there can be little doubting that the 35-year-old never possessed great pace in the first place.
This doesn’t mean, however, that his pace can’t decline and this campaign it certainly has. With Vardy’s famous explosive sprinting, the ex-Fleetwood striker finding the net versus Chelsea was nothing short of inevitable.
With pacey forwards such as Odion Ighalo, Romelu Lukaku and Vardy taking the league by storm this year, it’s clear that speed is a vital attribute. Terry has been ripped limb from limb amidst a plethora of strikers exploiting his criminal lack of agility.
Chelsea fans are calling for an exodus in January and next summer; something needs to change with the club struggling so much in the league.
If John Terry is offered the exit then the captain should take it because sooner rather than later he needs to realise that the Premier League is becoming too tough for him.
The careers of footballers are infamously short and only last year Terry was dominating all before him, but playing every single second of 2014-15 has taken its toll.
The relentless demands of last season have reduced him to a spectator and sapped out all the fitness he had left to muster.
It’s cruel and Terry should forever be considered a legend of the Premier League, that’s not up for debate. However, with his performances this season proving nothing short of disastrous, the centre back should flee the sinking ship or face becoming a farcical sponge of criticism.