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John Terry: Chelsea’s Weakest Link?

Having had his red card against Man City rescinded, many would say that John Terry is a lucky man to be featuring in today’s game against Manchester United. However, there are some who might suggest Chelsea might’ve been better off without JT in the side for today’s game. Why? Because after being regarded as the man responsible for Chelsea’s strength in the past, he is now considered our ‘weakness’ in some quarters.

John Terry skipper’s the side in our first meeting since Moscow and he’ll need every ounce of his famous ‘strength of character’ to keep his head for this one. Whilst in previous clashes, and previous seasons, Terry might have been revered as our inimitable leader, Moscow appears to have changed all that. In one fell slip it seems his reputation as a leader has been called into question along with his tactical ability.

On his leadership, particularly after the Champions League, I remember defending this perspective from

“Terry is far too emotional, and it is that emotion that cost Chelsea the European Cup. Whilst it is admirable to have passion and love for your club, particularly in a day and age when players are such mercenaries, there needs to be some control of these emotions, whether they are anger or tears.

We have seen John Terry crying after losing European Cup semi-finals against Liverpool, after being knocked out of the World Cup quarter-finals and most recently, the European Cup final. What effect does that have on a team, to see their captain in bits after losing any important match?”

And now, with his red card the topic of the moment, it seems it’s not just the question of whether or not Halsey got it right that’s being debated, with the reasons behind the foul being used as an example of the Chelsea captain’s ‘defensive frailties’. The suggestion seems to be that rather than let Jo show him up, Terry sold himself (expecting a yellow to follow), so that his lack of pace (which we’re all pretty aware of anyway) wasn’t paid too much attention.

I mean clearly, the Chelsea defence is nowhere near as impregnable as it was when Mourinho was around, and for me, Ricardo Carvalho has been a consistently better defender than JT for some time, but do Ricky’s outstanding performances cover weaknesses in JT’s game we haven’t yet picked up on? For sure, with Ashley Cole now given the nod to play a lot further forward than before, Terry has a much greater area to cover than he’s been used to, but is this highlighting a problem we’ve not had to face in the past?

I guess with players like Ronaldo, Tevez, Rooney, and maybe even Berbatov running at him today, the way John Terry chooses to deal with them could answer the question of whether or not he’s become our weakest link.



Blue is the colour is an honest insight to the World of Chelsea FC. Not always pretty, sometimes rather cynical, but always realistic.


September 2008
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