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Chelsea legend John Terry was a leader and perfect man for battle

Bynewsmagzines

Apr 14, 2023
Chelsea legend John Terry was a leader and perfect man for battle

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John Terry is widely regarded as one of football’s greatest ever centre-backs for his efforts at Chelsea.

The former Blues and England defender enjoyed a highly decorated career, and talkSPORT’s Gabby Agbonlahor knows first hand how impressive he was as a captain.

Agbonlahor were once opponents on the pitch

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Agbonlahor were once opponents on the pitch

They became teammates at Villa in the summer of 2017

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They became teammates at Villa in the summer of 2017

Terry spent 19 years at Chelsea, winning five Premier Leagues, five FA Cups and the Champions League.

His final season as a player was at Aston Villa with Agbonlahor in the 2017/18 campaign, and when asked to describe his former captain in one word, talkSPORT pundit said: “Leader.

“Just everything about him, from playing against him, hearing how much he spoke on the pitch being at England with him, being at Villa with him. He led by example.

“He was just passionate and that’s what you want from a leader, you want that passion, you want that will to win. I remember even at Villa he wanted me to be involved in the year that we lost in the play-off final.

“He wanted me involved more, he was like ‘We need people that have been there and done it’. Just a top, top leader. You don’t be Chelsea captain for that many years winning the trophies you have, I think he’s one of the most decorated centre-halves in history, isn’t he?”

Agbonlahor also revealed how different Terry was when on and off the pitch, adding: “JT off the pitch is different to JT on the pitch. On the pitch he’s that serious leader, off the pitch he loves the banter.”

Terry spent just one season at the club before retiring from his illustrious career

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Terry spent just one season at the club before retiring from his illustrious career


Such banter was apparent at Chelsea, with the superstitious and influential Terry even leading the way when it came to using the loo.

“In the Chelsea dressing room we have three urinals and me and Lamps [Frank Lampard] started weeing in one,” he explained. “We won the game and that was it.

“The next week there was a queue of me, Frank and [Ashley Cole]. The next week there were four of us and the week after there were five. Even now, up until today, you have Cesar Azpilicueta and Cesc Fabregas, we are all there in one big queue.

“A few months ago the club secretary said to me: ‘we have had a few calls from the FA complaining because we have been going out late’ and I didn’t have the heart to tell him it was because we were all waiting to go for a wee.”

Agbonlahor’s England debut came in a friendly against Germany in 2018, and such a huge moment in his career, was made even better by Terry’s captain material.

Terry started in defence when Agbonlahor played for the Three Lions for the first time

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Terry started in defence when Agbonlahor played for the Three Lions for the first time

“He went and got my shirt signed for me by the whole team. It’s up at my Dad’s house now so it’s little things like that, that’s what captains do, look after the young lads.

“I was like 21 or 22. Just that sort of guy he was you know, big leader and he’s the sort of captain you want to go into battle with.”

Terry’s leadership clear to see throughout his career, and his vocal qualities particularly impressed Agbonlahor: “If there’s one person giving out orders on the pitch it has to be the captain.

“Off the pitch, what he’s like going to the manager and looking after the players, making sure the players have got the right things. That’s the sort of things you look for in a captain and also, when you lose a game, ‘I’ll go in and speak to the press, I’m the captain.

Terry is one of the reason’s why Chelsea have been so incredibly successful

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Terry is one of the reason’s why Chelsea have been so incredibly successful

Agbonlahor has spoken incredibly highly of the former centre-back

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Agbonlahor has spoken incredibly highly of the former centre-back

“‘We got beat today, a bad defeat, I’ll go in. I’ll have the media question me’. Just everything about him was a perfect captain for me and there’s a reason why he was England captain and Chelsea captain.”

Agbonlahor only made seven appearances with Terry for club and country, but the defender is still one of the best he’s had the pleasure of playing with.

“100 per cent, technically yes. A top, top player, we talk about [Virgil] Van Dijk being the best defender ever, he can’t be.

“You’ve got to look at longevity, and the likes of Terry, [Vincent] Kompany and Rio Ferdinand are the top three.”

He remains full involved in football, and has now joined Leicester’s coaching staff

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He remains full involved in football, and has now joined Leicester’s coaching staff

Terry retired as a player at Villa in 2018 but joined the club’s coaching staff as an assistant.

He is now in the same role at Leicester City, joining the recently appointed Dean Smith who is attempting to keep the Foxes in the Premier League.

Agbonlahor believes the 42-year-old could become a manager himself one day: “I think he’d probably choose the right job for him. There’s a lot of ex-players that are out looking for work as coaches, but if someone told me JT was a manager, I would say 100 per cent.

“Everything he done as a player and showed to me shows that he would be a great manager.”

And what a first test Smith and Terry face when they take Leicester to in form Manchester City on Saturday evening.

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