Sport Soccer

Thursday 21 November 2019

Terry ranks points over perfomance

John Terry says winning football is all that matters as Chelsea close in on the Premier League title
John Terry says winning football is all that matters as Chelsea close in on the Premier League title

John Terry recognises Chelsea's performances in the second half of the season have been forgettable, but says it matters not a jot as Jose Mourinho's men close in on the Premier League title.

Arsenal supporters sang "boring, boring Chelsea" during Sunday's goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium, leaving the Blues needing six more points to be confirmed as champions for the first time in five years.

Mourinho responded by pointing to Arsenal's Premier League drought - "boring is 10 years without a title", he said - and questioned why Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was not more positive with his changes in the second half.

Terry followed suit and insisted winning football was what mattered, while pointing to Chelsea's free-flowing style earlier in the season.

The Blues captain said: "We are definitely not boring and if we do go on to win it, nobody's going to remember those performances when perhaps it's not been that exciting.

"We've dug deep and other teams haven't done and that is why they are so far behind us.

"Possession and tippy-tappy football's great - we could see that from the Manchester United game last week (when Chelsea won 1-0, despite United having the majority of the ball) - but if you are not winning games, you're not going to win the league.

"Let's not forget the first half of the season, up until Christmas, we were the best side by far.

"The football we played with (Cesc) Fabregas and his assists, the goal at Burnley (Andre Schurrle's strike on the opening day) and goals after that. The play was different class."

Capital One Cup winners Chelsea have lost just twice in the Premier League all season, at Newcastle in December and Tottenham on New Year's Day.

Mourinho last Friday said the "more strategic, less artistic" approach was imposed on Chelsea due to injuries and suspensions to key personnel.

Terry added: "Things then went us against us and the manager being him, came up with the way to get us through games and that's where he's at his best.

"Let's not forget we were the best side up until Christmas, for sure, and we have actually beaten the teams who have made things difficult for us."

Wenger described defending as "easy" ahead of the Chelsea match, but Terry's performance was singled out by Mourinho for being outstanding.

"(Defending) is an art," Terry added.

"Listen I totally respect him (Wenger), he is a great manager, but from our point I am just delighted.

"They are a really good side, especially going forward, so we needed to be on it defensively, which we were.

"I got on the end of a lot of crosses and cleared a few. You can feel when things are going well.

"But to hear that from the likes of the manager (Mourinho), who stands there and assesses you day-in, day-out, is really nice.

"I just have to keep on and keep going, because it can go the other way."

Terry says the title is close for Chelsea, but still they need to win it and face a troublesome trip to Leicester on Wednesday, who have won four in a row to climb out of the relegation zone.

"We are a step from where we wanted to be," he said. " Leicester are flying, you can see they have got a bit of wind in their sails.

"It is going to be a really tough game but it is in our hands and not anybody else's.

"We are grinding out results, we have got the quality in the squad, so hopefully we can get over the line because we are very close."

Terry appeared to be coming to the end of his time at Stamford Bridge under Mourinho's predecessors Andre Villas-Boas, Roberto di Matteo and Rafael Benitez, who two years ago used the former England captain sparingly.

The 34-year-old, who has signed a one-year contract extension until the end of next season, continues to enjoy Mourinho's confidence, though.

"That's true. The two seasons previous to my arrival he was not an important player for Chelsea managers any more," Mourinho said.

"He was not playing, he was on the bench, he was playing sometimes, you are anticipating his departure.

"Last season was good for him and this season is, in my opinion, better than last season.

"Maybe it's his diet, he is eating some green stuff or special drink.

"I'm happy with all he's doing and when I said yesterday that his performance (against Arsenal) was probably the best, maybe it's too much, but for sure it was one of his best performances for Chelsea."

PA Media

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