Can John Terry Mind the Gaps?

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Can John Terry Mind the Gaps?
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

With the new English Premier League due to kick off this weekend, other than the customary top four, battle for Europa League slots and the fight to avoid the drop, all generally predicable there is one subplot that has become interesting as of today.

With Ricardo Carvalho's departure to Real Madrid, what lies in store for John Terry?

Chelsea followers aside, most people rate John Terry as a goodish player who can excel at times, but on reflection JT's football career could be summed up as a good player who's had an excellent career.

John Terry's merits as a leader and steady footballer are unquestionable, but a question mark over his positional sense has always been fairly raised.

Terry has no doubt made a series of last ditch heroic tackles, but how many of those are as a consequence of him not reading the game so seamless and finding himself being caught in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Lately, Terry's powers of recovery have been less effective, most notably against Germany in South Africa. The reasons for this are open to debate: ageing, temporary loss of form, or a result of the pressures brought about by negative publicity.

Whatever the reasons it has highlighted a fact in Terry's play that has always been there, his positional awareness is his most outstanding defect.

Terry's excellent club and country career has been aided by playing alongside two players who understand and read the game at a level beyond Terry's comprehension, Ferdinand with England and Ricardo Carvalho at Chelsea.

Granted, in the past season Carvalho's appearances have reduced and Terry was part of a successful double-winning team last season, so there's arguably little evidence to suggest Terry will suffer without a wise partner along side him to rely upon.

But there are doubters, now more than ever and this season John Terry may not get away with the gaps in his game that have previously been brushed under the carpet, and if he doesn't how will he cope?

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