It is perhaps a sign of how good a job Rafa Benitez actually did in the Chelsea dressing room, but there hasn’t been the kind of media outrage at John Terry’s exclusion from the Chelsea first team that we might have expected in recent years. Terry has struggled all season with injuries, and while he is still capable of big performances, he is in no way guaranteed to be first choice come the end of the summer. Terry fell behind David Luiz, Branislav Ivanovic and Gary Cahill this season, and all 3 are far from falling into decline. It seems incredible that Terry can no longer get in to the team, but the question now becomes what will Terry’s role be at the club?
Ideally, Terry will be able to accept his new role as no longer being the top dog. There is still so much he has to offer this club, and not just on the pitch. In recent years, there have been suggestions of certain players having too much power in the dressing room. While this can be disruptive, if harnessed and used correctly, Terry can become a real leader to this team. He might play less regularly, but if Terry can accept this and refocus on helping the team, he could be of immeasurable benefit to the squad.
Having the kind of experience that Terry and Lampard have brings something to the team that players like Oscar, Hazard, Mata and co simply don’t have – they know how to win a Premier League. Unfortunately, it will be extremely difficult for Terry to accept this role. More than anything, Terry loves playing football, and he might not be able to come to terms with sitting on the bench for the majority of the season. Terry has served this club well, and if he did choose to see out his career somewhere warmer he would leave with everyone’s blessing. However, if John is willing, he could see out his contract and give us one more year. Even if he can’t win back his place in the team, the experience and guidance that he can give the squad could make the difference when it really matters. For this reason, I sincerely hope he stays with us.