Holding back the years - Terry's still best in Premier League

Chelsea legend continues to defy the ageing process to remain the stand-out defender in England.

He could never say it, not now, but Roy Hodgson must wish he could call on John Terry later this month when England next meet-up.

Controversies aside, Terry continues to be the best central defender in the country, and his barn-storming performance during the League Cup final on Sunday - which Hodgson attended - was a reminder of that fact.

Few can argue with the rationale behind the FA's decision to block Terry from international duty, but Hodgson could be forgiven for wondering 'what if'.

Much has been made of his lack of pace, but it didn't take much for a man who was never blistering at full-tilt to adapt his game.

Partnered with the similarly 'immobile' Gary Cahill, Terry has been afforded a deeper defensive line, to limit being exploited by speed.

Speculation over his future briefly flared up recently, with Frank Lampard's departure last season held up for comparison, but Terry's position has never been in doubt, having missed just three league games so far this season.

If Kurt Zouma was brought in as a replacement for the Chelsea captain, the Frenchman's path has been blocked - the 20-year-old making just six league appearances, and deployed in midfield on Sunday.

Terry's rise is only exacerbated by the demise of Vincent Kompany at Manchester City.

While England were ravaged in Brazil, Terry must have watched on wistfully, knowing he could've helped prevent some of the damage.

The first goal conceded in Brazil was a result of sloppy organisation and a lack of concentration from an Italy corner, something Terry wouldn't have allowed.

The Italian winner, from Mario Balotelli, was a simple close-range header from a cross. You'd fancy Balo's chances less with Terry flinging himself in the way.

Similarly, Luis Suarez's first goal was a header from a cross - Phil Jagielka, Terry's replacement, mistiming his header. The Chelsea man wouldn't have made the same mistake. Likewise, the Everton defender was caught out of position when Suarez latched onto a flick-on to smash home his second.

That might be hypothesising and speculation but the fact remains that - whether you loathe him or hate him as a bloke - we could do with someone like John Terry in the England squad.

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