Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Chelsea Miss Rock Terry as They Crumble Late on; Football Correspondent

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Chelsea Miss Rock Terry as They Crumble Late on; Football Correspondent

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson

west brom 1 chelsea 1 IF CHELSEA are to win the title this season, then they must hope John Terry does not sustain any more minor knocks. This was the kind of occasion where the captain would normally excel -- a tough midweek away game against battling opponents, where the heavens welcomed them with an intense blizzard beforehand.

But he was ruled out because of the injury sustained in training last week and Chelsea missed his leadership.

There are many factors that contribute to a championship-winning team. Chelsea have a quality manager in Jose Mourinho, exciting flair in Eden Hazard and a number of in-form players such as Gary Cahill and Willian.

As has been mentioned before, Chelsea's forward department is still a weakness but the side look much more fragile mentally and physically without Terry to help them.

The 33-year-old Terry had started every League game this season until the 3-0 win against Newcastle on Saturday and while it did not make much of a difference in that comfortable stroll at home, his absence was felt more at The Hawthorns.

It is highly likely that he would not have let substitute Victor Anichebe run in front of him to head West Brom level like David Luiz did in the 87th minute.

More significantly, Terry would not have allowed Chelsea to lose their composure to the degree they did in the final 20 minutes, which made the equaliser almost inevitable.

The visitors were in complete control, albeit not in impressive fashion, because of Branislav Ivanovic's first-half strike. Yet they dropped deeper and deeper as West Brom began to exert pressure and kept needlessly giving the ball away.

In such circumstances, Terry's voice can always be heard, drilling instructions and encouragement to his teammates. It was Petr Cech who had the armband this time and the goalkeeper failed to have the same influence.

With another veteran from Chelsea's three Premier League crowns, Frank Lampard, left on the bench, Mourinho's side lacked assuredness when they needed it the most. Mourinho admitted: "I always miss John Terry, always. If John is not here, it is not because we don't want him. …

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