Martin Samuel: “Chelsea’s best 11 still includes Terry”

Martin Samuel: “Chelsea’s best 11 still includes Terry”

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After 21 years at the club, Chelsea have decided not to renew John Terry’s contract. Right now, Terry still makes the Chelsea first team and that proves that the decision is a little rash.

Martin Samuel reports for the Daily Mail and had a lot to say about the situation.

“Leaving aside that Terry remains, even now, the best defender at the club, exemplary against Arsenal, still the first pick in any match that Chelsea have to win, how can he be considered to have nothing to offer in the way of example, or inspiration?

“Would latest signing Matt Miazga, a 20-year-old from New York Bulls, not have benefited from a few games with Terry by his side? Is Kurt Zouma the finished product yet? Hell, even Gary Cahill rarely looks the same player unless Terry is in the vicinity.”

He goes on to talk about Chelsea‘s struggles at the start of the season coinciding with the form of John Terry.

“When he struggled at the start of the season, so did Chelsea. When he began to regain his form, he carried the team, too. Now he is rediscovering the excellence that drove last season’s title win, Chelsea are recapturing that momentum, too.

“Chelsea’s best starting XI still includes Terry at centre back — and for that reason alone the decision to jettison him makes little sense.”

Samuel then questions Chelsea‘s timing on the decision.

“Why the haste, and why now? Just as Chelsea were regaining a sense of shared purpose, the home match with Manchester United on Sunday will now be overwhelmed by the emotion surrounding Terry’s announcement.”

Chelsea would have to be in the market for a replacement of Terry.

“Chelsea will no doubt enter the market for an expensive replacement but he is unlikely to be in Terry’s class, not straight away.”

Terry is up there with the all time greats says Samuel.

“So where does he stand in the pantheon of English defenders? At the very top, one feels, beside Bobby Moore. Terry has the defensive qualities of Tony Adams, but, as contemporaries such as Jamie Carragher have pointed out, he is technically far closer to Rio Ferdinand than is imagined.

“He has a range of passing, courage that is unsurpassed, and as a succession of coaches for club and country have acknowledged, his leadership qualities are the most exceptional of his generation.”

“‘The captain of captains,’ said Carlo Ancelotti. This is what Chelsea have decided they can do without. They must have a masterful plan of campaign from here, for there will be no harder act to follow.”