Last season, Terry was an ever-present for Jose Mourinho’s side, and the 34-year-old rolled back the years to guide the Pensioners to a Premier League title.
This year, however, the centre-back has struggled to impress, and weaknesses—notably his mobility—have begun to emerge in his game. The defender was found wanting in the Blues’ opener—the 2-2 draw with Swansea City—and was hauled off at half time in the 3-0 mauling of Manchester City.
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Against West Bromwich Albion, he was sent off after 54 minutes, before struggling again in the 3-1 loss to Everton.
For the weekend’s clash against Arsenal, Mourinho opted to drop his captain altogether—a previously unthinkable move for the Portuguese coach.
Saturday’s 2-0 triumph over the Gunners was built upon a bedrock of Gary Cahill and Kurt Zouma, who replaced Terry and opened the scoring with a 53rd-minute effort.
Despite his teammate’s struggles, Zouma—who appears to be the chief candidate to succeed the Blues great—has high praise for Terry.
“John is a legend and is an example to me, he is a really good teacher for me. He is still there, he is a leader,” Zouma began, as per the Express.”We have good defenders, I can play, John can play and Gary Cahill as well. Now we just have to recover our defensive organisation of last season.
“It doesn’t matter who plays, we have to keep going and keep clean sheets. I am very happy because I have had a chance to play some games and to show what I can do.
“But I have to keep going because I’m still young and have to learn a lot from John and Gary. I’m happy to play with them and learn from them.”