John Terry may have played-out his final moments in a Chelsea shirt following his sending-off at Sunderland.
Terry received his second red card of the season, taking his total dismissals tally up to six for the Barclays Premier League. Two bookable offences at the Stadium of Light marked a disappointing outing for Chelsea, losing 3-2 to relegation strugglers Sunderland.
Terry’s frustrated foul means the 35-year-old defender will now be banned for the midweek trip to Liverpool and what was supposed to be his big send off, at home to champions Leicester.
“It’s sad, it would have been lovely to have had him in our last game at home… a very nice party game, let’s call it that, and it’s sad that he is not participating in that.”
Terry made his first team debut in October 1998 at 17 years of age, having joined Chelsea at the age of 14, he has made 483 Premier League appearances in the past 18 years. Despite his years of service, Terry’s contract is set to expire unceremoniously in the summer.
The club has insisted that an offer may yet be forthcoming, but the decision ultimately rests with incoming head coach Antonio Conte. But there has been no sign of a new deal so far, with current boss Guus Hiddink uncertain over the former England defender’s future. Teammate Nemanja Matic however, senses that Terry may yet be on his way out:
“All of us in the team wish him all the best for the future and of course this is not a good way to finish in a club but we don’t forget what he won and what he has already done.”
Terry may yet be forced to accept a lucrative offer from China or the Middle East, as no clubs in America’s Major League Soccer have indicated a willingness to sign him on ‘designated player’ status.
The move would spell out a serious wage cut for Terry, who has been paid become accustomed to being paid over £100,000-a-week at Chelsea, but would only stand to earn around £5,000-a-week in America because of the MLS wage cap structure.
Each MLS club is allowed to sign up to three ‘designated players’ who fall outside the strict wage cap, such as Terry’s former teammate Frank Lampard who earns about £4million-a-year at New York City.
It is perfectly fitting that Terry will be banned for the final two games of the season.
Sunday’s meeting with Leicester City was supposed to be a fond farewell from the Chelsea fans, instead he will be forced to watch on from the sidelines.
John Terry will leave Chelsea as simultaneously one of the most admired and despised players of the golden generation.
There’s no doubting Terry’s success as a Chelsea footballer; The Blues have won more during their captain’s 18 year first-team career than in the first 93 years of their history. On an individual level, Terry also excelled: he was named in the FIFAPro World XI for five consecutive years and was also the last defender to be anointed PFA Player of the Year.
But for all Terry’s successes, his accolades pale into insignificance when contrasted with the infamous defender’s scandals and misdemeanors.
John Terry was a disgraceful England captain. As an individual supposed to lead by example and set a precedent to the nations aspiring young players, Terry couldn’t have conducted himself in a more abominable manner.
Perhaps what’s most appalling is that Terry never tried to improve himself or his character. He was villainised time and time again for his behaviour, but seemed all too content to continue remorselessly down the path he had paved for himself.
John Terry lost the England captaincy twice.
Let’s not gloss over the details though, since people are so quick to forget Terry’s track record in favour of promoting his services to Chelsea football club.
Back in 2002, after Terry had secured his spot in the England squad for the World Cup, Terry was proven guilty of assaulting a night club bouncer – Terry had punched the man in the face before hitting him with a bottle.
Somehow this incident was later forgotten and Terry was handed the captain’s armband, only for it to emerge that Terry had been sleeping with his teammate Wayne Bridge’s girlfriend. Classy guy. Understandably, Terry’s international position was stripped from him and the defender faced a public backlash for his actions. Bridge never forgave Terry… but the F.A did.
Take two for Terry’s captaincy, would he be a reformed figure?
October 2011 and Terry is caught on camera racially abusing Anton Ferdinand during Chelsea’s away fixture with QPR in the Premier League. Terry had the cheek to deny the charges, although once found guilty, surprisingly didn’t appeal the sentence.
And so Terry’s final action as a Chelsea player was to toss the captain’s armband to the ground in shame – in many ways a fitting end to the defenders career.
John Terry doesn’t deserve a fanfare of celebration, nor is he entitled to feel admired. If Terry skulks off to the tune a hefty wage cut in the MLS, karma will have finally caught up to him.