There has been a dark cloud over Chelsea as late as their fans try to get to grips with the departure of the special One for the second time, Jose Mourinho. Today that could became a little darker when they awoke to hear the news that beloved captain John Terry would be leaving the club as well. The club has revealed that discussions with Terry about his long-term future have been ongoing for some time but they were always reluctant to offer him a new contract. At 35, it would go against their club policy to offer him a new deal preferring to let him leave much like Lampard did two years ago. Terry would have preferred to stay but it was never on the cards so will end his 21 year association with the club at the end of the current season. The news has been greeted with mixed reviews with some devastated and others simply glad he is going.
There are various reasons for why people haven’t exactly warmed to John Terry. His off field antics for one which have seen him bed countless women behind his wife’s back including teammate Wayne Bridge’s girlfriend and mother of his child, Vanessa Perroncel. Then there are his on field antics with Terry accused of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand, an act so vile that he was stripped of the England captaincy, charged by the police and banned by the FA. A messy court case followed with Terry eventually acquitted due to the inability of a professional lip reader to identify what was caught on tape. The fact that an eight year old could make out clearly what was mouthed by Terry to Ferdinand made the whole process laughable and led to Anton’s cousin Rio Ferdinand publicly slamming the Chelsea captain.
Away from all the drama, Terry has become over the years the poster child centre back and a tip of the hat to defenders of the past – a commanding figure marshaling his defence, stern in the challenge and not willing to give up until he game is won. He is a born winner, blooded by Claudio Ranieri but crafted by Jose Mourinho into one of England’s best defenders. Since 2000, Terry has been a permanent fixture in the heart of the Chelsea defence so his appointment as captain four years later made perfect sense. It would prove to be an inspired move by new boss Mourinho with Terry going on to become the most successful skipper in the club’s rich history winning four Premier League titles. Four FA cups, three league Cups and eventually the champions League. Personal honours also followed with Terry named as UEFA Club defender of the year three times (2005,2008,2009) and in UEFA’s team of the year on four occasions. He would also represent England 72 times (34 of which as captain) and played at two World Cups and two European Championships before retiring from international football in September 2012.
His departure from Chelsea may have come as a surprise to some but at 35 and with little left in the tank; the decision to call time on Terry’s spell at the club is hardly unexpected. Once he was one of the first names on the team sheet, Terry has become the question mark with even Jose Mourinho doubting his ability and dropping him to the bench shortly before he was axed. Retirement from the game may be an option but for Terry it isn’t on the cards as he looks for one final swan song before hanging up his boots. Despite Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew already jumping the gun in stating his desire to sign Terry, the man himself has no desire to stay in the Premier League and play for another club beside Chelsea. A move to one of the various lucrative leagues like China, Qatar or the US could be on offer whilst it’s not out of the realms of possibility that he could go to Italy or Spain as well although his lack of pace could curtail that as an option.