Why This Defensive Partnership Is Still Chelsea’s Best Center-back Line-up

John Terry, 34, who is considered as one of the best defenders of his generation and the skipper of reigning Premier League champions started every single game in the League for the blues last season, but has seen his role greatly reduced due to the lack-lustre performances of the defending champions this season.

Terry was withdrawn mid-way into the game against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season and has since been in and out of the Chelsea first XI.

The struggling champions have deployed different centre-back pairing involving Zouma-Cahill, Terry-Zouma, and Terry-Cahill of which none has produced the required performance the blues boss and fans are looking for.

Terry and Cahill pairing was regarded as the best centre back pairing in England last season as they were the back bone of the team that became League champions with three games left and won the Capital One cup at Wembley in January.

Individually, Cahill who is the vice captain of England’s national team is arguably the best defender in the Three Lion’s squad while Terry who retired from international duties in 2013 regained the form that saw people consider him as one of the best English defender in the EPL.

In terms of Quality, the duo is the best Chelsea can afford as Kurt Zouma who has impressed when called upon by the manager is still very raw. His last ditch tackles might be very good but his poor positioning and decision making puts him behind the English duo.

Also John Terry and Gary Cahill are both experienced footballers. They’ve won almost every domestic and European title between them and have played several big games for the club.

In Chelsea’s current situation, an experienced centre back pairing will be of great help as the team looks to overturn their fortunes in a bid to save their season, Zouma who is a lot inexperienced when compared to the other lads may be vulnerable when faced with quality opponents like those Chelsea will face if they eventually qualify for the UEFA Champions League knockout stages.

When the going is bad and the situation is tough, it takes leaders to turn things around; John Terry who has been captain of the Chelsea side since 2004 and the Leader of this Chelsea squad alongside Garry Cahill who is one of the oldest players in the Chelsea squad are key players in the dressing room.

With the poor form of virtually every single Chelsea star from Diego Costa to Eden Hazard to Cesc Fabregas, the presence of John Terry and Garry Cahill as leaders of the team on the pitch will do the squad a lot of good as they look to kick start their season.

Finally, many might argue that Kurt Zouma in the first XI enables Chelsea to play with the defensive line higher up the pitch as it enables the team to get a grip of the game from the onset, but this is against the Manager’s philosophy who has built majority of his successful team as an efficient counter attacking side.

Mourinho’s teams are known to be able soak up pressure from the opponent and end up winning the games and eventually titles, the Portuguese’ teams are usually resilient, solid in defence and efficient in attack which implies that keeping a low block which plays to the strength of John Terry and Garry Cahill is important and this also requires lot of experience, top quality, superb positioning and players who lead from the back.

These of which none can be attributed to Kurt Zouma, Nevertheless the young French centre back is one with so much potential but at this stage it will do him a lot of good learning from the experienced English duo while Mourinho and Chelsea goes back to the drawing board as they look to kick start their season against Aston Villa after the international break.

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