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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Liverpool legend urges Arsenal to strengthen this summer

Liverpool legend Graeme Souness has urged Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger to strengthen his squad this summer.

The comments come as Arsenal drew 1-1 against Manchester United on Sunday, and Souness suggested that to win the title, Arsenal would need to strengthen over the summer.

“Forget spine, forget any names, if you’re a big football club and you’re not strengthening, you’re standing still as all the other big clubs will be strengthening.” Souness said on Sky Sports.

Arsenal’s title drought has stretched another year and it’s now eleven years without winning the league for the Gunners.

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A topic that has sparked debate is Arsene Wenger’s transfer policy recently. Arsenal have made a marquee signing in each of the last two summer transfer windows, adding Mesut Ozil in 2013 and Alexis Sanchez in 2014.

Both players have been brilliant recently and Souness has suggested that Arsenal should once again look to spend big in the market.

Should Arsenal look to strengthen again it would be interesting to see who they target, as it seems that they will be competing with rivals: Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea for the biggest names available.

Do Arsenal need to strengthen this summer, and which players should they be looking at?

Liverpool legend reveals club are making HUGE mistake with midfielder

Liverpool legend Graeme Souness has told Sky Sports that his former club are making a huge mistake allowing Steven Gerrard leave for MLS with LA Galaxy this summer.

Gerrard rescued another share of the spoils for Liverpool in this weekend’s 1-1 draw against Chelsea and Souness thinks he still has so much to offer the club.

“I think there’s life left in Steven Gerrard and I think the Americans are lucky to get him at this time. At Liverpool, they will regret getting rid of him,” he said.

Gerrard is now Liverpool’s top scorer this season with 12 goals, and although he will certainly be a great addition for the Galaxy, Souness thinks he is worth keeping at Liverpool.

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“Certainly have him on the bench. I think to bring him on he can certainly swing games. He’s shown that today, he got them back into the game,” he added.

Gerrard will come into the LA Galaxy squad come the end of the Premier League season and he could be the anchor in their midfield they need after a slow start to the season.

The Galaxy lost 2-1 to FC Dallas this weekend and are sitting fifth in the Western Conference but Gerrard’s move should help to lift the camp and provide service to the forward-line as well as adding stability to the midfield and defence.

Is Graeme Souness right about Steven Gerrard – Do Liverpool still need him?