4 Reasons John Terry is the Premier League's Greatest Defender Ever
As a football fan, I think it’s very important to recognise, respect and herald the achievements of your rivals. An Arsenal man through and through, my personal distaste for both Chelsea and John Terry will never completely be shirked, but never for one second will I belittle or doubt the achievements of either party.
A much-maligned figure for countless years, it’s easy to criticise John Terry on a personal level, but equally one must appreciate the excellence he has exhibited on a professional one. In this piece, I hope to outline the four key reasons as to why I consider John Terry to be the greatest defender of the Premier League era.
After all, it’s time to put bias aside for one article and pay homage to a true footballing legend, for both club and country. It’s time football fans united in the commending of one of England’s most domineering and polarising figures.
1. Extraordinary trophy haul
Like it or not, John Terry has accumulated a trophy collection that matches up against the greatest players of all time. Three Premier League crowns (going on for a fourth), a Champions League win in Munich and a Europa League win in Amsterdam are honours that many only dream of, and that’s ignoring the five FA Cup and three Capital One Cup triumps to his name also.
Such accomplishments are a testament both to Terry’s quality and consistency in that Chelsea back four, as well as his own longevity at football’s highest level. Working under Mourinho seemingly invigorated his career last season, and JT has gone on to prove that he can not only hang with the big boys, but excel amongst them.
Another sparkling statistic amongst his individual honours over the years is the fact that John Terry has been winning silverware on a steady basis since 2000. Fifteen years of success and dominance is a poignant and pointed message to the many critics he is yet to win over.
2. Ability to answer adversity on the pitch
Martin Luther King once said; “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort or convenience, but during times of challenge and controversy”.
Such a statement rings true here, and if there is one thing I respect more than anything else about John Terry, it’s his ability to let his football do the talking. Marred by controversy for years, ranging from violence to racism to adultery, Terry has always expertly separated his private life from his professional life, much to the delight of the Stamford Bridge faithful.
Through hard times and harder times, Terry has displayed leadership like no other to maintain focus on winning trophies and accumulating points at club and international level. Despite what you think of the man personally, it’s hard to ignore the mental strength of one of Britain’s biggest media scapegoats.
3. Incredible consistency...and not to mention his talent
Over the years, John Terry has solidified his reputation for being a no-nonsense defender with a sharp tackle and an exceptional reading of the game. His defensive positioning and quality both with a clearance and with a header are second to none, and I’m certainly hard-pressed to find a centre half with a better scoring record than Chelsea’s number 26.
Six goals for his country, compounded by thirty seven for the blues highlights his amazing consistency across all levels of football. No defender in Chelsea’s history has scored more goals than Terry, and no defender in Chelsea’s history has earned more clean sheets either. This is a remarkable set of statistics by any means, and I believe it is important that football fans acknowledge his contribution to the English game.
4. Chelsea’s hero...and irreplaceable
Chelsea replaced Didier Drogba, they replaced Petr Cech and they replaced Ashley Cole with ease. The trio, whilst world-class in their own right, showed notable signs of aging towards the latter stages of their Chelsea careers, and Mourinho was forced to look elsewhere in order to build for a brighter future.
Something else that strikes me about Terry has been his unwavering loyalty to the club that made him. At times, greener pastures seemed to loom upon his horizon, but John always made a commitment to the club he loves, and to the team that he has served so proudly since 1998. In an era where money talks, I dare even the biggest Terry-haters to demean his loyalty, a trait often lost in modern football.
It therefore comes as no surprise to see Chelsea fans laud and praise him in the way that they do. You can replace a match-winner, you can replace a goalkeeper and hell, you can ever replace a manager. But I truly believe that Chelsea’s next big challenge is finding an adequate replacement for a man that is, quite simply, the greatest defender to grace the Premier League.
John Terry, I don’t like you, but I respect you.
Let me know what you thought of this piece by leaving a comment below or tweeting me @OliverNorgrove.