Chelsea: John Terry's Goal Is What Title Wins Are Made Of
The old guard. Andre Villas Boas and Rafa Benitez hated them, Roberto Di Matteo and Carlo Ancelotti loved them - and Jose Mourinho created them.
They were vital to his success the first time around, so it is little wonder the Special One has given what he regards as part of his footballing family a chance to redeem themselves since his return to Stamford Bridge.
That being said, Mourinho takes no prisoners.
When Ashley Cole failed to live up to his standards and young Spaniard Cesar Azpilicueta took his chance with both hands, feet and his head.
Cole was subsequently dropped and now spends a great deal of his time warming the bench. Sat in close proximity to the beautiful Ava, which given Cole’s reputation, he probably enjoys.
Frank Lampard meanwhile has spent more time on the bench than he may have liked – but plays and when he does, knows he has the full confidence of the manager.
Lampard is a Chelsea legend, and as much stick as Blues fans get for being glory hunters and a whole heap more rubbish to boot, they know the value of Lamps and like Mourinho, were astonished in the delay last season when it came to a new deal.
It was Mourinho who spoke to the midfielder, told him to be patient and not sign a pre contract agreement with an MLS side, and what dividends it has brought, both for Chelsea and Mourinho – who at the point of that conversation had one foot back in the managerial office at the Bridge.
John Terry meanwhile was utterly marginalised under the Fat Spanish Waiter, yet since the return of Mourinho, has rolled back the years. Terry has been ever present and sensational.
He brings leadership, a never say die attitude, defends like his life is on the line and makes Gary Cahill a better player to boot.
Mourinho made the point that Chelsea missed Terry during his injury spell in the last couple of games, and dropped points against West Brom could not have highlighted this any better.
Say what you like about the man, but Terry is Mr Chelsea. He sees himself as Captain, Leader, Legend and it is little wonder.
Back in the day, Chelsea fans would look to Didier Drogba to dig them out of a hole – and ironically, the Ivorian had a habit of doing so against Everton – but come the early kick off on Saturday, the Munich hero was preparing to score against Chelsea, not for them.
The Blues looked like they were on their way to dropping another couple of points against Everton – at home, and the failure to score yet again would have been the reason why.
Step up the old guard. A Frank Lampard free kick into the box as injury time was ebbing away was met by the slightest of touches from who else but John Terry and was bundled into the back of the net.
Tim Howard could easily have been credited with an own goal, and was initially, but the presence of Terry alone shows the worth of the defender in situations like that. The goal, on closer inspection, was given to JT and rightly so.
As the Champions League approaches once again for Chelsea, let us cast our minds back to the second leg against Barcelona in 2004/05 – and the goal that sent Chelsea through? Scored by a certain number 26.
Captain, Leader, Legend, and his number two isn’t much worse either!