By Tim Harrison
John Terry, who has captained Chelsea for 12 years, is weighing up his future.
Oscar’s £60million move to Shanghai, to earn £400,000 a week playing for ex-Blues manager Andre Villas-Boas, has made him think.
But the defender, recovered from a muscle injury that has side-lined him for a month, dreams of staying until May, captaining the Blues on the last day against Sunderland, lifting the trophy then declaring his Chelsea career ended.
Meantime, his value is as a dressing room coach, darting from player to player at half-time to issue tailored instructions based on astute observations.
Chelsea set a club record of 12 victories on the trot with the 3-0 Boxing Day win against Bournemouth, though it took a couple of Thibaut Courtois saves to keep the clean sheet.
It was a game of possession and neat passing, illuminated by Pedro’s sublime chip over stranded keeper Artur Boruc, a calm Eden Hazard penalty – his 50th Chelsea league goal – and a late breakaway when Pedro’s shot was deflected in.
Tony Conte’s SW6 revolution continues, disarmingly quiet off the pitch, disquietly noisy on it.
Confidence is high, with Chelsea’s next challenge to equal Arsenal’s 14 Premier League wins on the trot. To achieve that, Stoke must be beaten at the Bridge, then Spurs at the Lane. Both tough calls.
The only player currently nursing disappointment is Michy Batshuayi, who had every hope of filling Diego Costa’s boots for the one game the striker was suspended.
Conte thought about using him against Bournemouth, but decided Michy was not the same type of target man, and went with a trio of swapping forwards in Hazard, Pedro and Willian.
Batshuayi was readied as a stoppage-time sub, but only came on for 10 seconds and no touches; an end-of-game farce.
He plays in the FA Cup on February 8 against Peterborough.
“In the future I trust in him,” reassured Conte.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.