Chelsea FC: John Terry's 8 Worst Moments
The 2011/2012 Premier League title may very well come down to being awarded to the team that hasn't suffered an embarrassing implosion at some point in the season.
Arsenal got us started before Manchester City served their neighbours a healthy slice of humble pie. This weekend it was Chelsea's turn to take one on the chin, as repelling Arsenal's attacks simply was a BRIDGE TOO FAR (that's right) for the Blues' defenders.
OK, let's be honest: all eyes are pretty much on John Terry, aren't they? Maybe he just can't get enough of the spotlight and pulls these stunts on purpose. Regardless, nobody is looking forward to putting October 2011 behind them (except perhaps Owen Coyle) more than Mr. Chelsea himself.
Now in the interest of full disclosure, seeing as I'm a Liverpool fan I'm sort of honor-bound to be in Terry's corner at times this season. Simply put, the enemy of my enemy is my friend and therefore I semi-support all 28 other clubs that don't have a red devil on their club crest.
But there really are few things more enjoyable than revelling in the arrogance, mishaps and general shenanigans that Chelsea's captain has been involved in since he broke into the Chelsea first team.
With this week's laughable defending still in mind, I'd like to take a quick peek back at previous joy John Terry has brought me in the past.
John Terry's day goes from bad to catastrophic against Arsenal
I have to admit I got a little teary-eyed upon seeing Arsene Wenger so happy after this weekend's most entertaining match on Saturday. Gotta feel for the guy, he's had a rough 2011 so far. But after digesting eight goals, scintillating football and public humiliation for Chelsea's captain, you really couldn't ask for more in 90 minutes.
With the match at 3-3, both teams had traded leads and gave it a real good go; it certainly looked like the points were to be shared. It was around the 85th minute that Chelsea substitute Florent Malouda played what looked initially like a routine back pass to his center-back, John Terry. The defender's feet went out from under him in an ungainly sprawl and in-form Robin van Persie gleefully pounced on the opportunity before rounding Petr Cech and notching the second of his three goals.
Terry had earlier scored a tidy header to give his team a 2-1 lead, but would have been quite disappointed with himself had the match finished at 3-3. Fortunately for me it didn't, and already Andre Villas-Boas has been forced to field questions regarding his captain's "mental state."
The one thing I can say for Terry is there is probably nobody more mentally "tough" in the Premier League, simply because he has more experience screwing up, embarrassing his family and disgracing his club that any other player I can think of.
John Terry Chokes When Presented the Champions League on a Silver Platter
OK, sure this headline might be a little strong but seriously, when has anything like this happened since that chilly night in Moscow? The stage was set for what surely would have been the single greatest moment in John Terry's life. The Special One had just departed under acrimonious circumstances, and the English media's disdain for Avram Grant left Terry front and center as the club's leader.
Manchester United awaited in the 2007/2008 Champions League final and at long last after being thwarted by the likes of Barcelona and Liverpool, the London club had their chance. After Cristiano Ronaldo and Frank Lampard exchanged goals, Didier Drogba was sent off as the game went into extra time.
In Simon Kuper's excellent Soccernomics, the ensuing penalty kick was a perfect example of zero-sum gain game theory. Chelsea had been handed a document on United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, detailing his tendency to dive in a certain direction. Unfortunately for Nicolas Anelka, the Dutchman called out the Blues on their tactic of hitting to his left, and pointed in that direction. The Frenchman lost his nerve and United won the cup.
Before this happened however England's brave and loyal John Terry had the chance to bring the Champions League trophy to Stamford Bridge for the first time in the club's history. He slipped, he missed, he cried, and unfortunately Manchester United won a third European cup.
Better luck next time John!
John Terry Sort-of-Maybe-I-Dunno Racially Abuses Anton Ferdinand
Let it be said right off the bat that nothing has been proven here, and Terry has zero priors in this area and should be commended for his strong anti-racism stance in the game. A few weeks earlier Liverpool's Luis Suarez was accused by Patrice Evra of racial abuse, a matter than was handed off to the FA for arbitration in the same manner as this case.
Now I'll repeat myself: nothing has been proven, but this is honestly just a little ridiculous.
For those of you that don't know what went down, here's a brief summary. To put it in context, Chelsea were beaten 1-0 by QPR thanks to an early penalty and two red cards to Jose Bosingwa and Didier Drogba.
1) No official compliant is made during the game
2) Reports emerged that someone in the crowd somehow lip-read what John Terry was saying
3) This video circulates on YouTube "clearly" showing Terry drop an offensive tirade.
4) It is revealed that Anton Ferdinand was the target, the same Ferdinand who has made zero mention of this fiasco to this date and was apparently unaware anything happened.
5) John Terry claims that what he was ACTUALLY saying was "(Oi Anton) I didn't call you a ______________", the first part which was conveniently blocked by Ashley Cole obscuring the camera's line of sight.
OK, hold up: this doesn't make sense. If Ferdinand had no idea that John Terry had racially abused him in the first place, then why exactly did the Chelsea captain feel the need to yell across the field that he didn't say what he is alleged to have said?
Regardless Terry's name has once again been dragged through the mud, *ahem* keeping the spotlight off Chelsea's second loss in a row.
John Terry's Wages Clearly Aren't Enough as a Side-Business Is Revealed
London is a city that attracts many a visitor from around the world. Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London or Trafalgar Square are must-sees on any walking plan or open bus tour. You can even attempt to mess with the legendary face muscle control of the Beefeater guards. Have an extra £10,000 handy? Add a tour of Chelsea's training complex to that list.
In a hilarious attempted sting back in 2009, undercover News of the World reporters taped a meeting that shows money handed over to a middleman with John Terry in attendance, in exchange for a private tour of the club's training complex. It gets even better as this meeting took place in the cafeteria with then-manager Carlo Ancelotti eating at a nearby table.
Cue media explosion, with Terry attempting to paper over the cracks by claiming he never accepted the money. Now I haven't seen this footage and this was likely something that just ended up being buried in sand by the club.
Was he being genuine? Maybe. But the Terry family has a well-documented history of financial shortfall, so who knows.
John Terry Misses England's Humiliating Capitulation Against Croatia in 2007
YouTube is absolutely full of epic failures in a variety of sports, but few matches have produced as many visual gems as this crucial 2008 European Championship qualifier between England and Croatia.
The hapless Scott Carson was drafted in to replace England's first-choice goalkeeper Paul Robinson, and the 22-year-old took little time to succumb to the malaise that seems to affect England netminders in crucial games. Tottenham's Niko Kranjcar hoofed a speculative shot that somehow managed to beat Carson early in the match and deal a savage blow to English moral.
The match went back and forth until Croatia eventually ran out winners and the inventors of soccer were forced to click "Not Attending" for the tournament in the following summer. In one of the most iconic images in recent times, manager Steve McClaren stood forlorn in the downpour, umbrella in hand and helpless despair written across his face.
What exactly does this have to do with John Terry? Not a lot really, save the fact that he could have taken pain injections to possibly play through injury and take to the field that night. John Terry being John Terry, the humiliation of not qualifying had him under voluntary house arrest, unable to face the people of England.
John Terry vs Wayne Bridge Part I: The Discovery
Oh boy, here comes the good stuff.
When Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs were outed as cheating rascals, public condemnation was swift and merciless, particularly so because both players (the Welshman especially) held such respected status as footballers. The scandals were juicy but gentlemen, perhaps try a little harder next time because what you did doesn't hold a candle to the situation John Terry managed to get himself in.
Cheating on your wife is without a doubt a yellow card, especially considering that there are children in the picture. When the object of your infidelity is romantically involved with a friend and ex-teammate, you'd have to reach straight for the red card. Add to this the fact that you failed at covering it up, are captain of club and country and have d-bag priors as well? We're approaching a suspension/fine on the Carlos Tevez scale.
So John, I really have to ask. Was she worth it?
To say that British tabloids had a field day would be an understatement on par with calling Muammar Gaddafi a cheeky twerp*. Mrs Terry whisked the kids off to Dubai, Chelsea teammates closed their eyes, slowly shook their heads and muttered under their breathe "For the love of God John did you have to..." while Ashley Cole enjoyed being out of the cheating spotlight while he could.
*The author of this piece is in no way attempting to claim that John Terry is a evil, murdering tyrant but was attempting to use a topical reference in a weak ploy to back up this article's claim to be a serious piece of amateur journalism while simultaneously pursuing the author's personal vendetta against said Chelsea scumba- er, captain.
John Terry vs Wayne Bridge Part II: The Armband
John Terry calls up Wayne Bridge in the aftermath of the Chelsea man no longer being captain of both club and chronically under-performing country.
"Wayne mate, listen. I've lost the armband/ I'm gutted, but guess we're even. No hard feelings then?"
Wayne, understandably outraged at the former England captain's impunity retorts:
"You havin' a laugh John? Cut off one of your *REDACTED* and then we'll talk."
A brief silence is follow by Terry tentatively speaking up:
"Yeah um... Will get back to you on that. But the armband mate, I've lost it and the gaffer needs it back to hand off to Rio. Mind checking under your bed?"
... Shortly after the scandal broke the universe ground to a screeching halt to wait with bated breath for a response from England manager Fabio Capello. How would he handle this situation? Could he ignore Terry's actions and let his football do the talking? Or should he drop the defender, as being a national team captain implies the responsibilities of a role model and well, its pretty obvious that's down the toilet at this point.
The Italian dropped Terry, and somehow managed to promote Rio Ferdinand over Steven Gerrard, the same Rio Ferdinand responsible for this sorry excuse for a DVD. Role model indeed.
John Terry vs Wayne Bridge Part III: The Handshake
On February 27th 2010 Premier League calendars were marked as the day John Terry would come face-to-face with Wayne Bridge, as that was back when Bridge actually played soccer for Manchester City. The left-back had previously made himself unavailable to sit on England's bench and watch Ashley Cole in South Africa, due to the wholly understandable fact that he didn't want to be in the same squad as Terry.
Both players were named in their respective club's starting XI and soon enough it was showtime. The players lined up to face the crowed then turned, preparing for the customary hand shake with the opposite team. Terry led Chelsea as was his responsibility as captain and Bridge lingered near the back of City's line.
The teams slowly approached each other. What would Bridge do? Would he take the moral high ground, shake the snake's hand then go about his business? Would he snap, wrap both hands around Terry's neck and pound his head into the grass? On a side note, would anyone besides Frank Lampard have intervened?
What actually happened? Epic letdown. Bridge dodged eye-contact, swung his hand under Terry's and ignored him completely. Pretty weak considering the build-up but there wasn't to be any sort of showdown and neither player really came into close proximity during the match either.
Two thumbs down from an entertainment point of view, you'd have to say there.
Bonus Round! Did I Miss Anything Else?
Aside from England's shambolic display on the pitch at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, entertainment was still to be had when John Terry turned mutinous rebel. After another boring, lifeless draw (this time against Algeria) Terry claimed the players were colluding to confront Capello about tactics, as well as the fact the Italian had them locked up in a 5-star resort in the middle of nowhere. When the news broke Terry's "support" evaporated and a no-nonsense Capello confronted the media, closed down the situation and that was pretty much it.
Unfortunately this pales in significance to Chelsea teammate Nicolas Anelka telling former France coach Raymond Domenech to and perform an intimate act upon himself.
In the immediate aftermath of September 11, it was revealed that Terry alongside other Chelsea teammates took it one step too far, drunkenly mocking Americans at Heathrow Airport. Maybe they figured that making fun of Americans couldn't be traced back to them as they wouldn't be recognized by your average UK citizen. You'd be hard pressed to imagine former England captain and all round squeaky-clean eraser David Beckham pulling a stunt like that.
Back when he was rampaging with England's U-21 team Terry was accused then cleared of attacking a night club doorman with a bottle. Terry's partner in crime during those early formative years was Jody Morris, a fellow Chelsea academy product whose career has brought him to St. Johnstone in the Scottish Premier League.