John Terry odds-on to remain Chelsea captain next season
John Terry sat out Chelsea’s 4-2 victory over Tottenham at White Hart Lane as his four-match ban for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand came into effect.
Concerns remain at Stamford Bridge over the future of the Blues captain, although retaining the armband in light of the F.A.’s ban puts Terry odds-on at 2/5 to remain skipper on the first day of next season.
However, the Barking-born defender is an intriguing 5/2 bet to be removed from his role before the end of this season, which could prove good value if things start to turn against Terry.
Despite having yet to make a formal decision of the future of Chelsea’s captaincy, manager Roberto Di Matteo sent out mixed messages over the Terry issue.
The Italian initially continued his policy of defending his skipper, saying: “He realises his language wasn’t appropriate. He knows he let the club down and the supporters and he has been punished for it.”
But there are certain quotes from Di Matteo that indicate stripping Terry of the armband is not out of the question.
“Certainly the image of the club has suffered from this issue. There’s no denying that,” continued Di Matteo.
It is hard to decipher from what the Chelsea manager has said publicly about his captain and what has been discussed in private, but it seems evident that Terry is no longer in a secure position at the West London club.
Figures on the Stamford Bridge board are said to be less than impressed by the latest controversy caused by Terry, and suggestions that his current contract which expires in 2014 will not be extended appear well-founded.
31-year-old Terry is already losing his pace, ironically at a fast speed, and fitness clouds are circling over Chelsea’s number 26.
Whilst these issues may not prove severe enough to cause Terry to be stripped of the captaincy before the end of this season, there remains enough doubts for the odds offered by Ladbrokes to tempt punters into betting.
Upon returning from his English football ban, first the centre-back must win his place back in Chelsea’s team, no easy feat following Gary Cahill’s impressive opening volley against Spurs and as David Luiz continues to adapt to the Premier League.
Regaining the armband from Petr Cech may be more of a straightforward task if Terry returns with ease to the starting line-up, and a lack of prime candidates for the job may be a key factor in deciding the outcome.
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