Chelsea captain, leader, and legend enters his third chapter

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 21: John Terry of Chelsea salutes the crowd after the Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on May 21, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 21: John Terry of Chelsea salutes the crowd after the Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on May 21, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) /

Chelsea is entering into their fifth season without John Terry at the club. It will soon reach a point where the newer and younger fans have never seen John Terry play live. Yet, so important to the lore of the club, he will always be the captain, leader, and legend even if others may occasionally touch one, two, or all three of the titles.

Chelsea was very much Terry’s first chapter where he won everything. But, he wanted to continue playing and Aston Villa offered him a better chance at doing just that. Terry finished his career in Birmingham before joining the coaching staff. He was highly rated behind the scenes and, though it’s hard to prove, he is credited with their solid defense and ability to go again.

John Terry is entering the third chapter of his career after leaving Aston Villa. He wants to manage his own club in a career Chelsea will keep an eye on.

Terry’s immediate plan is to step back and learn. The main reason he is leaving Villa is not because he has a job lined up but because he can’t commit to staying the full season. At some point this year or next summer, Terry will dive into management. His playing career will open up many doors for him, but so will the fantastic work done at Aston Villa.

Should he want a job right away, there are options on the table. Swansea is open right now with Steve Cooper having recently left. Though they have weakened since last year (part of the reason why Cooper left), they are still a team that nearly earned promotion the last few years. It would be very much like Frank Lampard at Derby County trying to finally get the team over the line.

Speaking of Derby County, the last time they had an opening Terry was also linked. Wayne Rooney is there now and the club is an unmitigated disaster since Lampard left, so it might not be the ideal location. Terry was previously linked to West Brom too when they had an opening though that’s been closed.

It seems like the Championship would be the most likely landing spot given Terry’s not managed a team outright before, but don’t rule out something bigger given his pedigree. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a Premier League club sack this season and Terry to be heavily linked. Don’t forget, Terry was highly rated as a Premier League coach and Dean Smith’s word will carry weight.

Chelsea would surely like to bring him into the fold but that seems very difficult, at least directly. They can’t offer him the type of management job he is looking for. If Terry is willing to go outside his comfort zone a bit like Graham Potter did (and frankly like more English managers need to do), the club could see about setting him up at Vitesse who are never long for a manager. There were rumors back when Terry was at the club that he was learning Portuguese so maybe the Blues could help hook him up there too.

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Perhaps a truly outside the box idea would be the England u-21s. It’s not really the full time management job Terry seems to be considering, but it would surely set him up perfectly to follow Gareth Southgate whenever he leaves (which, knowing how international tenures go, could be anywhere between 2022 and 2026 if not longer). That would give Terry a low pressure environment to ply his trade with some of the best players in the country, creating contacts along the way.

Regardless of where Terry goes next, Chelsea would surely like to be in touch. Like Lampard’s Derby County, Chelsea would love to use a Terry club as a premier loan destination. Ideally, the club would like him to come back to Chelsea directly but that would be the next best thing.

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It will be interesting to see where Terry does decide to go in this coming season. He’s built his coaching career the slow way but it may set him up for success in the long run. Chelsea will be keeping an eye on his progress.