Blues boss puts limited Terry starts down to fitness plan
Rafael Benitez's decision to play John Terry in only seven games since taking over as Chelsea manager is based on his belief that the defender must work through the stages of a recovery plan before he possesses the full intensity of performance required.
Terry has started less intense games in the FA Cup and Europa League, with only one Premier League start, against Newcastle United, in the Benitez era. A detailed recovery schedule has been agreed between the manager and the player (right). Terry damaged his right knee against Liverpool in November, when Roberto Di Matteo was in charge.
Intensity, as well as match fitness, are what Benitez and his staff are now looking for in Terry.
The Spaniard also feels that the nuances of some of his technical defensive decisions have not been universally understood – and that Terry's place on his favoured left side of defence must not be sacrosanct.
"(In one game) the opponents had a player that was very, very fast on the right side and I could play David Luiz, who is a very fast defender," Benitez said. "They also had players working between the lines. David Luiz is tactically a very good defender. So you adapt your tactics and your players."