In today’s flashy and New Age footballing culture, finding a player who is committed to a single team their entire career is a rarity.
More often than not, you see a person chase after trophies, money and glory, and lose sight of integrity and grassroots.
While his career has been marred by scandal of late, there is no denying the fact he will be remembered as one the greatest captains to walk through Stamford Bridge.
A product of the legendary West Ham youth system, JT was a catalyst to the mid-decade success of the club and captained the Blues in back-to-back title-winning campaigns. During his tenure the defense has been stellar, and at one point Chelsea’s home ground was considered a fortress not just domestically but in Europe as well.
Terry’s issues off the field have been well-documented, and for many, including CFC fans, this knocks the brooding center back down the respectability pecking order. I truly understand why he may have lost fans and admirers during his lengthy career.
But he never appears fazed when he takes the pitch, and having the willpower and mental stability to perform during times of duress is very admirable.
He surpassed 500 appearances for the club last April against Tottenham and by doing so joined a very exclusive club. There aren’t too many names in the Premiership that can stake a claim to that, and also have the accolades to back it up.
Never one to shy away from a tackle—or from banter for that matter—JT personifies English grit and truly is all about the team. Besides a few careless acts that lost him the trust of certain people, he is well-respected and liked in the locker room and will provide a great influence for the youngsters coming up the ranks.
As Chelsea’s most successful captain, he has won the league three times, the FA Cup four times, the League Cup twice and the Community Shield twice. The only honor missing from JT’s resume is that elusive Champions League trophy, which he famously spurned his opportunity to lift it.
Individual awards are just as abundant, as he has picked up reputable gongs domestically and for his country. Three PFA Team of the Year awards, a PFA Player of the Year award,five FIFA Pro World XI selections and two Chelsea Player of the Year awards solidify how dominating he has been.
And to think of him only as a one-dimensional player would be absurd, considering how many important goals he has popped up with. He is notorious for elevating his game for the biggest occasions, which is a testament to his durability and consistency.
Capable with the ball at his feet, his game is well-rounded for a center back. He can win headers, spray passes out of the back and organize just about anyone in front of him.
He controls a game deftly and has shut down some of the biggest strikers in the world. Many shy away from going up against Terry because he will likely not only win his 50/50 challenges, but if he doesn’t he is definitely taking a piece of you with him.
Yet a lot of people refuse to accept these achievements because of all the negative headlines he receives. While I am not the biggest fan of how John Terry's handles himself off the pitch, it is important for the public to try their hardest to separate the professional and personal lives of these players.
He has done immense things for his club, and before he led the team, Chelsea was experiencing a footballing crossroad. Many will argue that the main reason CFC dramatically shot to prominence was the arrival of Roman Abramovich and Jose Mourinho, but appointing Terry as their captain is a decision they obviously have no regrets making.
As his career hits its final phase and he looks to continue his legacy, JT has brought about fresh controversy recently and is trying to sidestep these new claims. If we can gather anything from previous circumstances though, he will come out unscathed and continue to leave everything out on the pitch.
I feel John Terry is in the same stratosphere as players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez and a few select others: their talents are questioned less than their antics off the field. With so many different opinions, the aged cliché of “love ‘em or hate ‘em” is pretty poignant when discussing someone like Terry.
Terry is going to need the support of his younger colleagues as he approaches his professional twilight, and CFC fans can rest assured that JT has influenced the future Chelsea defenders in a very positive way. He will always be looked at as a legend as long as fans are discussing the greats in CFC’s history.
And as Chelsea look toward the new year and the latter part of the Champions League, perhaps Terry can finally get the Moscow duck off his back.
How sweet would that be? The club’s most triumphant skipper comes full circle in his career by putting to bed demons he so desperately needs to squash.
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