JOHN TERRY - PART TWO
Yesterday the captain began his reflection on the seasons that took him to the 500-appearances mark for Chelsea. Here the questioning concludes…
You've played 50 games or more in five of the last seven seasons. How do you feel at the end of each one?
I feel alright actually. Last year was difficult because I had two and a half weeks off. This year we are hoping to get four weeks off so it will be a full recovery for us and I am looking forward to that. Pre-season is different now, you can't go away for two or three weeks and do nothing and then come back and expect to be ready. For players in this day and age, if you get a month off you might have two weeks completely off and the rest of it you are training and getting ready for pre-season so you don't pick up those little niggles and little knocks. You are coming back fairly ready and fairly fit and that is what I intend to do.
Best advice received over the course of those 500 games?
Just to train and work hard every day and give everything.
What must you achieve?
Win the Champions League, win a competition with England whether it be the Euros or the World Cup, and just keep winning trophies. There is going to be a time when I move on and I retire from the game and it is important the mentality remains, that people realise how special Chelsea Football Club is. I must make sure as the captain and as the player who has been here the longest that when people come to this football club they know what it is all about and how much it means to the fans. I must make sure we keep that drive and mentality of winning for not just the next five years but for the next 10 or 15 years, keep the guys aiming to win trophies.
Over the 500 games, the results away from home compare favourably with the home ones, which is unusual in football. What is behind that?
It is difficult to keep winning away games. If you look teams going to Blackpool this year, when teams come up from the Championship with the small stadiums, different atmospheres, or there are night games, early kick-offs - it can all have an effect. I am not too sure why we have always done so well on the road the last few years. The managers obviously deserve credit for it and also the determination of the lads and we always get a great following as well away from home. When you play in other team's stadiums you can feel everyone is against you and sometimes that gets you up and gets you at it from the word go and helps you to start games well.
Have there been periods when as a team you have been absolutely flying, knowing you were going into a game and could not lose?
Yeah, quite a lot. Those first couple of years we won the league definitely and probably every season at some stage I have that feeling and sensation that we can't lose a game. When you are feeling like that it is important to remind yourself not to get complacent and not to let other people around you get complacent. You realise that when you talk to other players away at England games. You realise how much they want to beat the best clubs and prove themselves playing against the best players. When you hear that it makes you realise that when you go away to grounds like Blackpool and West Brom and Aston Villa, it is very tough and the players are certainly really up for it.
Best thing you've seen one of your Chelsea team mates do?
I have seen some great goals over my time. Eidur's overhead kick versus Leeds, Frank's goal against Bayern Munich which was a great ball from Maka and a great chest and left-foot volley from Lamps, Michael Essien's against Barcelona. There have been some great nights and some great occasions and I want to say one of the Champions League ones so I will probably give it to Lamps. We were on a good run and beating Bayern Munich who were quite physical and a good side was tough - and Frank pulled off a bit of magic.
Who is going to end up with the most appearances - you or Frank?
Just on age I will have to say me but he has certainly got a few years left in him. We joke about it but we both want to catch Chopper's total. Who knows if that is possible but that is our target and we will keep making sure we give ourselves the best opportunity to go on and play as many games as possible.
Who has felt the biggest rival over the 500 games - Arsenal, Man United, Liverpool or Barcelona?
Actually for me, I am going say it has to be Spurs domestically. European it obviously has to be Barcelona.
Your best goal?
Against Barcelona when we won 4-2 at home. We went 3-0 up early and they pulled it back but then Damien Duff took a corner and I remember signalling. I made my run to the near post and just glanced it in and it was a great night to beat them because they had some unbelievable players at the peak of their games. The result was perfect and my goal was the icing on the cake, and it was just a great night.
You've passed a lot of milestones but does the 500-game one seem special?
Yeah, hugely. It does feel a great achievement when you look and see that it is only players like Peter Bonetti , Chopper Harris, John Hollins and Lamps above me and think about what those guys have done. I've been an awful long time at this football club and I'm proud of the loyalty factor because you don't get that a lot in this day and age. I'm also proud of the fact that Chelsea is such a big club and I've played regularly at the top and kept myself fit and healthy enough to play that amount of games. I am only 30 and I hope I still have a lot of games in me and many more years ahead of me. As you said, I have played at least 50 games in five out of seven seasons and if I can keep that going then it puts me up there with the greats of the football club.
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