Terry has opportunity to seal Chelsea legacy
"JOHN TERRY" (CC BY 2.0) by JULIAN MASON After looking like coming to a disappoint...
|"JOHN TERRY" (CC BY 2.0) by JULIAN MASON|
After looking like coming to a disappointing end, John Terry has given himself the opportunity for one last hurrah at Chelsea in the 2016/17 season.
The 35-year-old penned a new one-year deal to keep his career at Stamford Bridge alive just as it appeared his 18 years with the Blues had come to an end.
Terry now has the chance to finish his time at the club on a high note by adding further trophies to his numerous titles clinched throughout his illustrious career.
When this article was produced, Chelsea are at 5/1 odds in the early football betting for next season to win their fifth top-flight crown in Terry’s time at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues had a tumultuous past campaign which saw the end of Jose Mourinho’s second tenure, just seven months removed from their Premier League triumph.
Terry had an outstanding season for the Blues during their run to the top-flight crown, although his brilliance at the back was overshadowed by Eden Hazard in the final third.
Mourinho’s men boasted the best defence in the division as they secured their fourth Premier League title with relative ease, finishing 11 points clear of second-placed Manchester City.
City were one of the favourites to retain their crown, but a horrendous start to the campaign saw the Portuguese leave the club in December after losing nine out of their 16 fixtures.
Terry’s strong form of the past campaign had deserted him and, along with his team-mates, he struggled for consistency at the back as they kept just four clean sheets in the first half of the term.
The arrival of Guus Hiddink reversed the fortunes of the team courtesy of a 15-match unbeaten run in the Premier League, but it was not enough to put them into contention for a Champions League place, leaving them out of the competition for the first time since the 2002/03 season.
Chelsea are now in rebuild mode following the announcement of Antonio Conte’s impending move to the dugout, leaving Terry in line to play under his 11th full-time manager at the Bridge.
Terry will be required to continue to lead from the front next term, but will have a more important role in order to bring in the next era at the club.
Kurt Zouma emerged as the contender to replace Terry at the heart of the Chelsea defence for the long term before his injury, while Nathan Ake and Michael Hector are rising stars who are returning from loan spells and aiming to break into the first team.
The Blues skipper remains one of the best defenders in the top division, and will be an essential part of Conte’s team to bounce back from their underwhelming campaign in an attempt to regain their crown.
However, more importantly the knowledge he can pass on to the next generation of defenders, whether on-the-pitch or on the training ground, will be crucial to the future success of the club.
Should he end the season by lifting the Premier League trophy aloft once again, it will be a fitting end for the Chelsea legend, who deserves go out on a high note rather than the low-key affair it could well have been.