Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Terry Needs to Learn and Take a Step Back This Time; Chief Football Correspondent

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Terry Needs to Learn and Take a Step Back This Time; Chief Football Correspondent

Article excerpt

Byline: James Olley

THE most unpalatable aspect of Chelsea's Champions League success last May was John Terry's desperation to make himself the centre of attention by lifting the trophy.

Here was the ultimate triumph of collective willpower sullied by a moment of selfishness.

This was a man who had not played any of the preceding 120 minutes basking in the glory of his team-mates. A player who had threatened their very participation in that final with a moment of petulance that left his 10 remaining colleagues to repel Barcelona for 53 minutes in the Nou Camp following his red card in the semi-final for kneeing Alexis Sanchez.

The sight of him celebrating in Munich wearing his full kit was widely condemned.

And yet, we are led to believe that should Chelsea win tonight's Europa League Final, Terry will once again accept the silverware regardless of his involvement on the night.

Now, Terry's contribution to Chelsea must at this point be noted. Whatever your opinion of the 32-year-old -- and there are few outside Stamford Bridge with one suitable for print here -- it is unfortunate that a player with such dedicated service to one club should face the prospect of missing successive European finals.

For half his life, he has worn Chelsea blue. He has put his body on the line time and again to help Chelsea foster the winning mentality that has served them so well since Roman Abramovich took charge nearly a decade ago.

At his peak, he was one of the finest defenders in the world and remains an iconic leader, capable of organising and galvanising those around him.

'Captain, Leader, Legend' reads the banner hung from the Matthew Harding Stand by devoted supporters of Terry through all the controversy. And, my, what controversy there has been. So much, in fact, that opposing supporters could display their own sign that reads 'Vain, Trouble-maker, Racist' and no legal department would have an issue (Note to editor: please check this with the legal department).

Terry's love for Chelsea is unquestion-ably genuine but, as with most modern professionals, it is an affection tinged with self-interest. His dalliance with Manchester City in 2009 was designed to extract a better contract from Abramovich, revealing a willingness to gamble that adoration for financial gain. …

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