Why John Terry Should Bite His Lip

Just because the new Chelsea boss has decided he’s not going to play verbal ping-pong with the opposition it certainly doesn’t mean an unusual peace is about to break out in the Premier League – not as far as John Terry’s concerned anyway.

Following on from Alex Ferguson’s comments on the ‘experience’ in the Chelsea side, which may well have been a little provocative although not exactly insulting, the Chelsea captain has countered with the suggestion that it’s actually Manchester United who are past their sell-by date.

After recalling last season’s tight finish Terry says “I don’t think United have another level to go to. They had a lot of players in their team who have been at the peak of their form for the last two years. Rio Ferdinand has been awesome for the last two years and Cristiano Ronaldo was unbelievable – I don’t think you’ll see that again. Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez, Ryan Giggs – they have all been fantastic. With the injuries we’ve had, as players we can all raise the bar a little bit. With it being that close in the Premier League and Champions League they know we’ll give them a big run for their money. I think we can close the gap because Man Utd were at the very top of their game last season.”

Ok, so JT’s confident and maybe he’s trying to instil that in the rest of the squad, but isn’t there another way to go about it? I mean, whilst I can see he’s reacting to the claims that this particular group of Chelsea players (which let’s face it, are still more or less Mourinho’s back-to-back title winners) may have already achieved as much as they can without a more substantial overhaul, it would serve him well to remember he also predicted United would struggle to overturn a five point deficit during the early part of last season – only to see them win both the Premier League and Champions League at our expense.

And just like that prediction so early last season proved to be both inaccurate and ultimately unwise, the suggestion that a pretty talented and relatively young double winning side can’t match the current Chelsea side is neither realistic nor logical.

For a start, at least three of United’s most influential players have got years ahead of them in which to improve. Or is JT seriously trying to suggest United have already seen the best they’ll ever get from Cristiano Ronaldo (23), Carlos Tevez (23) and Wayne Rooney (22)? And what about players like Nani and Anderson who look to be improving all the time and who’s increased exposure to the first team can only benefit them?

Far be it for me to big up the opposition, but let’s just take a reality check here, if JT’s seriously suggesting these sort of young players are past their best, then what exactly does that say about the current Chelsea side? And whilst I take his point about our injuries and the hapless Avram Grant to an extent, firstly, we weren’t the only side to face injuries last season and secondly, is he suggesting that’s a problem we won’t have to face in the coming season?

I do agree with him that it’s unlikely (although not impossible) that Ronaldo will bag quite as many goals as he did last season, largely as a result of his absence at the start of the new Premier League campaign but with players like Rooney, Tevez and Nani in the side I just can’t see there’ll be a shortage of goals in his absence. Besides, if you consider the gulf in goal difference last season and the fact that we’re facing the start of the season without Drogba ourselves, maybe it’s us that should be worrying where the goals will come from?

Terry does concede that in order to really mount a challenge for this year’s title however, Chelsea need to kick the season off with a bang, suggesting “We need to start well and get off to a flyer, just keep winning. Man United have a few tough games early on. Liverpool have made some good signings and will be stronger this year. We need to focus. We have a good home record and if we can continue that and get off to a good start we’ll be all right.” But even here, he seems to be forgetting United didn’t exactly get off to the best of starts last season, and yet were still there when it mattered most.

So basically, as much as I’d like nothing more than to back the Chelsea captain every step of the way, on this one, I’m just going to have to hope his battles on the pitch are more convincing that those he’s choosing to conduct through the press.

 

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One Response

  1. […] the blues don’t have much more room for improvement with their current squad, whilst John ludicrously claimed United have already […]

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