Chelsea’s fans in Portugal in midweek sang “We Want Our Captain Back” and Jose Mourinho acquiesced, restoring John Terry to the starting XI for his first league appearance since the 3-1 loss at Everton in early September. But it didn’t go the way that Terry or the Chelsea fans hoped, as the Blues captain looked extremely uncomfortable against the pace of the Saints.
Terry played well in the first half as Chelsea dominated possession and Southampton were playing a lot of high balls towards Graziano Pelle, something that Terry can handle in his sleep.
The problems started in the second half, when the game got stretched and Southampton were able to counter-attacked with speed at will.
Terry looked ill at ease and was left helpless on the floor after his failed interception allowed Sadio Mane to put the visitors in front.
He was then left exposed for the third goal as Chelsea lost the ball with left-back Cesar Azpilicueta upfield. Terry didn’t have the pace to stop the attack, and Pelle was free to score.
According to the stats from 4-4-2, the Chelsea captain managed 3 interceptions, made 3 blocks and 2 clearances, winning 2 out of 3 aerial duels, but didn’t attempt a single tackle all match. How you can play center-half for a side that concedes three goals and not attempt a single tackle is beyond me.
The Blues have now conceded 13 goals in the five Premier League matches Terry has started this season, and only four in the three he didn’t start. Mourinho knows that Chelsea are stronger defensively when Kurt Zouma plays alongside Gary Cahill rather than Terry. Saturday’s performance should have made that clear to Chelsea fans also
These are not the sort of stats or performances that get a soon to be 35-year-old defender a new contract, and it looks like we are entering the final six months of John Terry’s Chelsea career.