When our players gets praises from our rivals that is one of the most pleasing feeling. And when someone from a team like Liverpool takes out his time to praise our captain, well, I need not explain much do I? The article below originally has been published over here. We at CFC360 are not used to copy pasting articles from other websites, but this, this is truely a masterclass by Jamie Carragher. The respect I had for him in my heart has increased tenfold all of the sudden. Go on, have a read. I bet you’ll love it too.
Rivals or Team-mates, the respect is always there.
Jamie Carragher to DailyMail, “When the final whistle sounded and Liverpool’s place in the 2005 final of the Champions League was secure, there was only one thing I wanted to do.
It wasn’t to join the rest of my delirious team-mates, who were dancing in front of the Kop. I didn’t even want to run to the part of Anfield where I knew my family and friends would be, even though this was one of the biggest moments of my career.
No. The celebrating could wait. My initial thought after that energy-sapping and emotionally draining collision with Chelsea was over was to go and shake hands with John Terry, who – like me – had given every last ounce to try to get his team to Istanbul.
Liverpool and Chelsea had gone toe to toe over two legs and the hallmark of each semi-final was brilliant defending – only one controversial goal separated us at the death.
John, of course, was distraught to get so close but I just wanted to tell him how good he had been.
We played the game the same way and that night in May 2005 we were like two boxers at the final bell.
As Liverpool and Chelsea’s rivalry escalated, I remember Rafa Benitez saying to me ‘how lucky’ Mourinho was to have a player such as Terry. I quickly told him he was lucky to have me and Rafa replied, pulling his hand away from his nose to mimic Pinocchio: ‘Yes, yes! You’re as good as Terry!’ Not to be beaten, I replied with the same gesture: ‘Yes, yes! You’re as good as Mourinho!’
But I could understand what Rafa meant. Terry had this ability to draw the ball to him like a magnet, always getting his head or his foot in the way just when it mattered. John was a better version of me and his form was one of the main reasons I retired from England.
Those games took place almost nine years ago but the passing of time has not impacted on the quality of performance Terry is still producing. If you asked me to select an all-time Premier League XI, he would be the first pick at the heart of my defence.
Some outstanding central defenders have graced the Premier League, such as Rio Ferdinand, Ricardo Carvalho, Jaap Stam, Tony Adams, Sol Campbell and Vincent Kompany – players with the medals to match their talent. Terry, however, is the pick of the bunch. He is the only defender since Paul McGrath in 1993 to be named PFA Player of the Year and I don’t believe it has ever been appreciated what a consistently outstanding operator he has been.
I accept it might be controversial to praise him, given some of the off-field controversies he has been embroiled in. They have been dissected at length on these pages. I just feel that the way he is viewed obscures his playing qualities.
Just consider this: he was a fixture in the FIFPro Team of the Year at one stage, selected by his fellow professionals every season from 2005 to 2009. When you consider the talent that was around during that period, his consistency was remarkable.
Equally remarkable was Chelsea’s ‘goals against’ column in their first title-winning season of 2004-05. They conceded only 15 in 38 games, a record I do not expect to be broken.
Terry, with his durability and his quality, was instrumental in driving Mourinho’s men forward. Such attributes continue to serve him well – he is one of only five outfield players to appear in every minute of the 23 Barclays Premier League games this season.
But on Monday night he will be aware that his biggest match of the campaign awaits. Walking out at the Etihad Stadium as a defender must feel like you are heading into the Alamo. Sergio Aguero will be missing, but when he’s not causing problems, Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko are, so it will be intriguing to see how Chelsea and Terry try to contain Manchester City.
At this moment, a trip to the Etihad is the most daunting challenge for a defender in European football. Arsenal went there with a fine record yet conceded six. Tottenham’s goal difference was decimated the day they also got hit for six, while Manchester United were thrashed by four.
I still hear John being criticised for a lack of pace but very few centre backs are quick; Terry’s reading of the game is outstanding and keeps him out of danger, while his ability on the ball never gets spoken about; how many defenders in world football can switch the play with their weaker foot?
Critics have been quick to write him off, particularly last season when he started only 14 times in the Premier League, but some of what has been said about him is nonsense; as soon as he has a bad game, it gets mentioned that he is over 30 and isn’t the same as he was. That’s rubbish.
Nemanja Vidic and Ferdinand, for instance, have suffered the same injury and form issues yet never get the same level of criticism. Terry gets such scrutiny because outside Stamford Bridge, he doesn’t enjoy any popularity.
He remains England’s best in his position but I don’t believe for a minute Roy Hodgson should think about enticing him back to be part of his World Cup squad – there is too much history there. Nor do I think John would be well served ending his international retirement. Clearly he is benefitting from a lesser workload and that will help prolong his career.
Chelsea are looking to the future, as their signing of Kurt Zouma shows, but they should offer Terry a new deal, given how he has served them. And, more importantly, what he can continue to give them.”
As a Chelsea fan I’d just say, ‘Thank You Jamie, this is truly appreciated, and you sure did show your class here! ‘
Please leave your thoughts and views on this below. I’d love to hear from you! 🙂
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