John Terry: Adored and Abhorred

Love him or loathe him, they can’t ignore him and the critics will have him around for a while yet because this week, John Terry has signed another 12 month contract at Chelsea.
The fact that the Chelsea captain has earned an 18th professional season is an absolute credit to him as a player and as a professional. Naturally, that statement in itself will be met with raised eyebrows and maybe the odd snort from anyone outside of the club but from everyone with a Chelsea connection, his value will never be under-estimated.
Whilst our opponents scour Europe waving their readies in the direction of any half-decent centre-back they might entice, Chelsea have already had their most consistent defender ever for 661 games and the Chelsea manager insists “This new contract is not to say: ‘Thank you very much’, it is because John continues to perform. He is a top defender. I am happy that he completely deserves this new contract after a season where he has already played 40 matches.”
At 34, John Terry is the best central defender in the Premier League this season and whilst that might be due, in part, to Jose Mourinho’s management, for the most part it is down to strength of character. His 2012-13 season was blighted by injuries and his resilience lower than ever under an interim who showed an appalling lack of respect for the Chelsea captain. With Mourinho’s return however, his head is up, his resilience is strong and he’s back to the former ever-present status he enjoyed under The Special One’s previous tutelage.
Undoubtedly his decision to walk away from the England set-up has played a major part in his return to form, not just because he can focus on keeping fit for his club and get the rest a 34 year old professional needs but probably more importantly, he leaves behind the media circus and venomous supporters who just can’t separate club and country.
Yes, he’s cocked up at times, who doesn’t? – his testosterone levels off the pitch have all too often matched his passion on it – yet with everything he’s had thrown at him as a result, John Terry has somehow come through it a stronger player. From the player whose desire to take some control in Mourinho’s absence, affected his game and his attitude, JT’s focus is firmly back on doing what he does best – with an impressive tally of just the one booking so far this campaign, just nine fouls conceded with 38 tackles won.
Rather than assume his ever-present position and leadership warrants his place at the club though, John Terry has risen to the challenge of earning another 12 months, saying “I’m delighted to have signed an extension to my contract with Chelsea. After adding another major trophy to my collection this month I hope myself, the players and manager can continue to bring success to our club. Playing for this great club makes me so proud. And as always I would like to thank the fans who have continually supported me.”
Fully deserved.


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