Chelsea finally have the end of the season upon them and the promise of a new future - one legendary captain John Terry could be part of - writes Garry Hayes...
The week in five words
Maybe JT’s staying after all
What went well…
We’d heard all week that Chelsea fans were planning to stage a 26-minute walk out to protest against John Terry not being offered a new contract. Well, on Friday it was announced that the club has offered him a one-year extension and that Terry is currently weighing up his options before deciding his future. Protest cancelled.
What we got instead on the 26th minute of Sunday’s game versus Leicester City was a rapturous applause for the Blues captain, who was in stands serving the last game of his two-match suspension.
Fans in the Shed End held up Terry placards and the entire stadium sang his name. It was all rather heart-warming and showed how football fans can behave in a positive way to get their message across.
Perhaps a certain club in north London can heed the example and save us all from the inevitable social media meltdown when crisis hits next season.
What didn’t go so well…
We’ve got a small axe to grind with Guus Hiddink. Chelsea had nothing to play for on Sunday; they were always going to finish mid-table regardless of the result and deciding to chase victories now has come maybe six months too late in the season.
Hiddink’s been dealing with a squad that’s been on it’s knees in recent weeks. Injuries and suspensions have meant Chelsea have been woefully short on defenders and John Obi Mikel has been used as a makeshift centre-back.
So, it’s the last day of the season and all of the above applies. What do we get? Hiddink’s strongest team possible, with some promising young talent left on the bench.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori did eventually get onto the pitch, but surely they would have been better served by playing the full 90 minutes.
What did Chelsea have to lose that they haven’t already this term? How did Hiddink benefit by playing Branislav Ivanovic at centre-back? Did Pedro really want to play another game with a broken nose?
On our man, Guus knows, but he’s no longer around to answer our questions.
Quote of the week
During Chelsea’s traditional lap of honour for their final home game of the season, Terry took to the microphone to address the Chelsea fans and congratulate Leicester on winning the Premier League.
He said: “For me, I’m delighted Leicetser have won it and I’m just glad Tottenham haven’t!”
Cue the applause from every fan inside Stamford Bridge.
The need-to-know facts
- Cesc Fabregas has scored once and assisted twice in four Premier League games v Leicester City in the Premier League.
- Fabregas has scored all five of his Premier League goals under Hiddink this campaign (in 20 games). He had no goals in 16 Premier League games under Mourinho.
- Hiddink recorded just one home league win in his second spell at the club (D8 L1). He won five of six the first time at Stamford Bridge (D1).
- Chelsea managed to go the whole Premier League campaign without conceding in the opening 15 minutes, the only side to do so.
- The Blues have now gone 12 Premier League games at Stamford Bridge without keeping a clean sheet.
Video of the week
Claudio Ranieri returned to Stamford Bridge for the first time since he was sacked as manager in 2004. Back then he was given a guard of honour by the Chelsea players who suspected it would be his last game in charge. Well, he got another one on Sunday, yet this time it wasn’t as a dead man walking, but as champions of England.
— Vaishali Bhardwaj (@VaiBhardwaj) May 15, 2016
Winner of the week
You’ve probably noticed that Terry has been big news this week. Well, it’s meant his name dominating this weekly review!
Anyhow, from the lows of the Stadium of Light to the highs of Stamford Bridge, what a difference seven days has made for him. This time last week the concern was that his last contribution in a Chelsea shirt would have been him seeing red against Sunderland, but now he has a new contract on the table and, if he truly wants it, a future in west London.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel for him. Chelsea fans want him to stay, clearly the club does and according to Terry, he feels the same. So sign the contract. Now.
Loser of the week
Remember when Ricardo Quaresma played for Chelsea? No, we hardly do, either.
The Blues signed the Portuguese midfielder on loan from Inter in January 2009 and he went on to play just five times. His last appearance came in March that year, which meant we didn’t see him for the remaining two months of the season. It was a massive failure.
Well, fast forward to 2016 and Alexandre Pato has emulated Quaresma’s, err, impact.
The Brazilian was an unused substitute against Leicester, with the youngsters being preferred in his place when the time for replacements came.
Pato has played just twice for Chelsea since his temporary transfer from Corinthians in January and it’s difficult to fathom the Blues having any desire to make his move a permanent one.
Pato’s return to European football has been a complete disaster.