What does being substituted mean for John Terry?

Much has been made of the Premier League champions below-par start to the season and their 3-0 drubbing by Manchester City at the weekend has only intensified problems.

The substitution of Chelsea captain John Terry at half-time in the game at the Etihad has been talked about by pundits and fans alike. But has too much been made of the situation? Lewis Addley explores…

Sky Sports pundit, Niall Quinn, went as far to say that the substitution could mark the beginning of the end for Terry and that the former England captain faces a tough task to regain his place in the side.

“I think it could be the start of the end for John Terry,” Quinn told Sky Sports.

“I think he’s got a hell of a battle on now to get back in the team. To be taken off at half-time in a big game, he would be gutted.”

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It was the first time the Blues captain has been subbed by Mourinho in the Premier League, the only other occasion he didn’t complete the full 90 minutes was due to a sending off.

Premier League starts under Mourinho 177
Played full 90 minutes 175
Times substituted 1

Graeme Souness was quick to deflect Quinn’s comments regarding Terry, claiming it is a ploy from Mourinho to show club owner, Roman Abramovich, that he needs to sign more players.

“I don’t think it was anything to do with Terry’s performance,” Souness said to Sky Sports.

The club have been heavily linked with a move for Everton’s John Stones, who is seen by many as a long-term replacement for Terry, and Souness believes Mourinho was signalling that interest to Abramovich.

“John Terry is still the best centre-back out there. I think he’s trying to force the owner’s hand to go and buy John Stones.

“I think it’s a manager making a statement to the owner, saying ‘I need more players’.”

Statiscally, Chelsea are far better off when their captain plays, winning 11.7% more of their games.

With   Without
309 Games played 71
203 Wins 39
234 Goals against 69
0.8 Average goals against 1
65.7% Win % 54%

The Blues have also conceded 0.2 goals less per game on average when Terry is in the side.

Speaking on Sky Sports Monday Night Football, Gary Neville believes that the manager’s decision was viable and that at 34 these changes will happen for Terry.

“There will be certain games where, as a 34-year-old centre-back, other players will need to start to be phased in.

“My genuine belief is that it’s not the end of the world for John Terry. It was a big shock to him yesterday, and it’s almost like a public embarrassment – we’ve been there.

“But I don’t buy into the fact that his career’s over.”

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Former Liverpool captain, Jamie Carragher, echoed Neville’s opinion and believes Terry will be an integral part of the champions’ defence of their title.

“I think Chelsea will get back into the title race, and John Terry will be in there. I think it’ll be the end for him in terms of playing every minute of every game.

“This isn’t just a question of John Terry’s pace and that he can’t run – he’s never been able to run. He’s still been one of the best centre-backs we’ve had in the league.”

The Chelsea boss claimed his decision to sub his skipper was tactical and nothing more and although Terry will begin to be used a little more sparingly the comments from experts in the game speak volumes.

Chelsea’s next fixture is a tough away game against West Bromwich Albion, where they were crushed 3-0 at the back-end of last season. The spotlight will no doubt be on whether or not the Blues skipper will be selected.

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Sky Sports pundits see funny side of Fabregas’ red card against West Brom

Chelsea may have won the league but they weren’t willing to take their game at West Brom on Monday night easy.

The Blues were fired up from the word go, with the returning Diego Costa adding some bite back into the team, but Jose Mourinho’s side went down to ten men early on as Cesc Fabregas saw red in the first-half for a bizarre incident.

The Spanish midfielder fired a ball at Chris Brunt’s head from distance while the referee was trying to calm the players down after an incident involving Diego Costa in the box, with the Blues already down 1-0.

Fabregas was sent off for the shot, and Chelsea were left to play the rest of their final away game of the season with ten men.

But Sky Sports pundits Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville couldn’t help but see the funny side of the incident, with Neville labelling Fabregas’ hit as “a hell of a strike”.

“I’m not sure why Eden Hazard throws the ball to Fabregas. There’s definitely intent to want the ball [from Fabregas]. I have to say, it’s a hell of a strike. I think it’s a red, because it’s stupid,” he said laughing during the halftime analysis.

“The referee never really has control of the situation. It’s a bizarre one but it’s a red card because it’s dangerous. The ball could have hit the referee and broken someone’s nose.”

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Carragher also agreed the incident deserved a red card but feels that the whole situation could have been avoided if the defenders ignored Costa’s antics beforehand.

“I’d have loved to have played against him [Diego Costa]. If I was against him I’d say ‘stop there, get on with the game’. That would have stopped all that followed.

“I think it’s probably a red card but not my favourite of the season.”

United and Liverpool legends reveal what Arsenal need to win title

Manchester United legend Gary Neville revealed Arsenal need a goalkeeper to stand any chance of winning the Premier League title next season, while speaking on Sky Sports.

Neville’s views were shared by fellow Sky Sports pundit and Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher. The pair blamed Arsenal keeper, David Ospina, for their 1-0 defeat to Swansea on Monday night and feel it is an area the club need to look at.

Carragher has urged Arsene Wenger to sign a world-class goalkeeper in the summer as he doesn’t think Ospina isn’t good enough.

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“I think Arsenal need to go out in the summer and just buy a proper number one,” Carragher said.

“His record is good because the team are playing well and are defending well so they’re not having that much to do, but he was bought as a number two.

“Very rarely do you see a number two goalkeeper become a number one. If he was that good, why was he bought as a number two? Why wasn’t he coming and being the number one?”

Arsenal have been linked with Chelsea’s Petr Cech as he has struggled for first team action this season, playing second fiddle to Thibaut Courtois. But Neville doesn’t see Chelsea selling Cech to their rivals.

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“If I was Jose Mourinho, with Arsenal potentially being one of my biggest rivals next season, I would not sell them Cech at all.

“It’s a struggle to win a title without a great goalkeeper, a massive struggle. Ospina is obviously a good goalkeeper and he has done well, but he is not a No 1 and they need a top goalkeeper.

“They need someone who is going to make saves and save his team points.”

Arsenal have continually been regarded as being ‘one or two’ top signings away from finally regaining the Premier League title and signing a world-class goalkeeper this summer could certainly be a step in the right direction.

Wojciech Szczesny is expected to depart the club after falling behind Ospina in the pecking order, and so Wenger may be in the market for a new man between the sticks.

Do Arsenal need a new goalkeeper or is David Ospina good enough to play as the number one?