John Terry marked his 400th Premier League appearance for Chelsea by scoring a crucial goal that helped earn his side all three points against Southampton at Stamford Bridge.
The 32-year-old has been rejuvenated under Jose Mourinho and in my opinion Terry has been the Blues’ best and most consistent performer of the campaign so far.
Terry is confident that Chelsea stand a good chance of finishing the season at the top of the table but admits that it won’t be easy as it is the most open title race in years.
He told Chelsea TV:
“The Premier League is more open than I’ve ever seen it.
“We saw that with Hull beating Liverpool. It was important (to beat Southampton) with Man U and Liverpool dropping points. It was a chance to push on and pull away from them.
“I’m delighted that the team are playing well, my form’s very good. I can chip in with a couple of goals.
“Ideally I’d like to be sitting top of the league. I feel as though it will come and we’ll get better and better.”
The skipper also praised Chelsea’s reaction after an early blow in the match against Southampton.
“The whole game plan completely went out of the window. A mis-kick by Mike, Pete came and went back and all of a sudden we’re 1-0 down.
“After that they dominated and had a couple more chances. First half we were like at Basle, non-existent. Second half we showed some real character.”
Last season I was concerned about Terry’s form and the amount of injuries that he was getting. I must admit that I feared that it spell the beginning of the end for the captain – especially as he was entering the final year of his deal and off the field matters were still having an effect – but I’m delighted that this hasn’t been the case and Terry has turned himself around.
He now looks in better shape and form that he has done in the last two years which is a testament to his character as well as Mourinho’s impact. Terry is once again the best English defender in the Premier League and there’s a debate going on over whether or not he should be recalled to Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions squad, but the rest he’s been getting during international breaks has been paying dividends.
Terry’s goal at the weekend was the 57th for Chelsea and is currently the top scoring defender in Premier League history. He turns 33 this month and I believe he has already done enough to earn an extension on his contract.
He hopes to continue on with the club for as long as possible:
“The stats don’t lie and my career doesn’t lie.
“The fans have been patient with me throughout my whole career. Hopefully I’ve got a lot more to give for them and the football club. Hopefully these milestones keep coming.”