Jose Mourinho has given an insight into how John Terry plays in the side's current defensive system.
Jose Mourinho has dispelled a myth about John Terry’s style of play at Chelsea.
Terry’s contract expires this summer and with reports of a new contract doing the rounds, Mourinho has revealed that a lack of pace is not something he’s concerned about when it comes to the central defender.
Chelsea play a high defensive line, which is perceived as dangerous for a side that doesn’t have two quick centre backs but it’s not something Mourinho appears to be at all bothered about.
“The point is, if the attacking players press, the defensive line is more comfortable and the defensive line is not afraid to step up a few metres. If the attacking players don't press and the opponents take the initiative and can have time on the ball, every defensive line's tendency is to protect the space behind. It's a collective idea,” Mourinho is quoted by the Mirror.
That could be a reason Mourinho has demanded so much from his attacking players this season. One of the main reasons Mourinho is thought to have sold Juan Mata is because the Spaniard doesn’t do enough work to press in the attacking third when he doesn’t have possession.
Terry’s lack of pace is evident when he’s caught in a duels with another player, but even when he’s playing in a high defensive line, Chelsea have the players at full-back and in the form of Gary Cahill to be able to compensate for it.
“John knows that if the team presses, it does work. So it's more about the defenders looking at what's in front of them. If you have a passive team in front of you, the tendency is to occupy spaces. When you have players who attack midfielders, reduce spaces, you close the distance between lines and take the defensive line from the edge of the box,” added the Portuguese coach.
Terry has been convinced and forced into changing so that he can still play a big part in the current Chelsea side.
His experience makes him a valuable leader and he’s a player that Mourinho knows he can trust, someone who will only take risks in that high defensive line if his lack of pace can be covered by a teammate should a side catch Chelsea over the top.
The myth is that Terry’s lack of pace will see him overtaken by other defenders at the club (Cahill, David Luiz and eventually Kurt Zouma) but he’s intelligent enough to be able to fit into the system Mourinho wants to use effectively, despite his age.