Terry: Trust the key to Blues' power
Chelsea 2 Wolves 0
At a time when hundreds of thousands of people are unemployed, the thought of Wayne Rooney earning several hundred thousand pounds by the time he next plays would probably leave even a staunch Manchester United fan feeling a little nauseous.
Many have used the word 'obscene' to describe Rooney's new weekly salary of an estimated £160,000, although certainly not John Terry.
"Whatever he gets, he deserves every single penny," Terry said. As someone whose own contract talks followed a strikingly similar pattern, Terry's free-market ethos is hardly surprising.
The Chelsea captain was also conveniently courted by Manchester City at a time when his negotiations were ongoing.
Like Rooney, he also hesitated before eventually securing a bumper pay rise that took his weekly salary to around £150,000.
Terry at least had the good sense not to start publicly questioning his club's ambition and, given Rooney's statement last Wednesday, there was a genuine feeling at Chelsea that he might just end up at Stamford Bridge.
That hope has since been replaced by the expectation that Manchester United's season will be galvanised.
"I think it will be a boost for them and will make it harder for us," Terry said. "On the back of what's happened they'll probably go and spend again in January and at the end of the season.
"The fact that some clubs haven't been doing that, with what's happened financially in the world, has maybe helped us a bit in the last few years. It's massive for Manchester United.
"It's unfortunate for everybody else because Wayne is probably the best young player in the world. No doubt he'll get his form back and this will all be forgotten."
For an example of someone who is successfully emerging from several months of both personal and professional turmoil, Rooney need perhaps look no further than Terry.
"I feel I'm playing very well, I'm delighted with my condition and I'm very fortunate because I'm playing alongside the best left-back in the world, two of the best centre-halves and the best 'keeper," Terry said.
His concern at the threat of United can also be tempered by Chelsea's extraordinary form, particularly at Stamford Bridge.
Saturday's 2-0 win against Wolves, secured by goals from Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou, was every bit as routine as the result suggests. It stretches their perfect home record since March to 10 games, in which they have now scored 39 goals and conceded just one.
"We know and trust each other -- and the key to us not conceding goals is having lads willing to run back 50 or 60 yards to help their team-mates," Terry said.
"We had suffered a little bit from the tiredness of the Moscow game. In the warm-up a couple of us found it hard to get going but we did what we had to do and that was to win the game, win it ugly."
It is early days, but this season already has a similar feel to 2004-'05, when Chelsea dominated from start to finish and ended with a Premier League record of 95 points.
They were further boosted on Saturday by Jose Bosingwa starting his first match for more than a year. With his ability to get forward, manager Carlo Ancelotti said that Bosingwa would provide yet another new dimension to the team.
"They are equally as dominant as they were under Mourinho," said Mick McCarthy, the Wolves manager. "Are they better? It depends how many championships or trophies they win, and if they win the Champions League. But they're the best team in the league right now."
McCarthy has backed his side to give the other top-four teams a real test in the coming weeks.
He was full of praise for his side's performance against Chelsea but knows they have to be more clinical in front of goal.
Wolves face Manchester United twice at Old Trafford, once in the Carling Cup, and also tackle Manchester City and Arsenal in their next four games.
McCarthy is full of optimism despite being second from bottom without a win since the opening day.
"I was pleased with the performance but I get tired of saying it and I'm sure people get tired of hearing me say it when we come away with nothing," he said.
"But we played well, kept the ball well and created enough chances to at least have had a goal.
"Despite the games we've got coming up, if we play like that against everybody we'll be okay.
"We'll approach the next few games in just the same way we approached Chelsea." (© Daily Telegraph, London)