John Terry sat on the bench last night as Chelsea beat Sparta Prague 1-0 in the away leg of the Europa league tie. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for the captain to get a run out, because Gary Cahill had been booked and seemed to be on his last waring with 30 minutes to go, but Rafa Benitez left Cahill on, and has explained that Terry suffered another setback to his recovery this week.
Terry has hardly got started this season, following the freak injury to his right knee caused by a collision with Luis Suarez in November. Benitez described Terry’s problems as a `vicious circle` because he needs to play competitive games to get his match fitness back but needs to be fit for the manager to play him. Benitez said that he had suffered a little setback during training this week.
I fail to understand, however, why he was on the bench if he was not fit, and if he was fit, why he didn’t come on to replace Cahill. Rafa was full of praise for Ivanovic and Cahill, and they are both good defenders, but Chelsea are lacking a bit of expansiveness in their play from the back, and Terry’s leadership qualities are also a huge loss for the team.
With a tough Premier league run in, Chelsea could really do with Terry being available, but there is no sign of when that will be.