So according to Tony Xia John Terry has signed for Aston Villa. One would assume Xia would know!
And with that in mind, I’ve asked our Vital Chelsea legendary editor Merlin his opinions on JT
1) So, John Terry has signed for Aston Villa. Thoughts? You surprised he didn`t take a big money China or USA move?
The grapevine has been alive with the suggestion that JT was set for a move to Villa, rumours suggest he was willing to drop into the Championship because he didn`t want to have to play against Chelsea in the Premier League. The US might have been an experience, but I`m guessing Steve Bruce sold Villa to him whilst they played golf with each other in Portugal. I don`t think China was ever an option, I don`t think JT wanted to uproot his relatively young family. I reckon Villa are an excellent fit, a challenge JT fancies of getting the club back into the Premier League.
2) At 36 do you think he can still cut it? The Championship is a tough and physical league, how regularly do you think he`ll be able to play?
There`s no denying that JT isn`t the player he once was, age has, as you`d expect, had an effect. But his knowledge of the game, the reading of situations and his willingness to do well will see him succeed. Plus, he is a fantastic man-manager with great motivational skills, he leads from the front better than anyone I`ve ever seen.
JT might not be able to play week-in and week-out, but when he`s not playing he`ll still be very much on the scene, sat in the dug-out urging the side on and doing his best in the dressing room to gee the players up.
3) He only played 9 league games last season for Chelsea, was this through injury or manager choice? Although I think I`m right he played approaching 20 odd games in total?
JT was unfortunate last season, after we`d lost consecutive games Liverpool (h) and Arsenal (a), Antonio Conte settled on a back-three of Cesar Azpilicueta, Gary Cahill and David Luiz, ditching the traditional back-four favoured by so many. Chelsea were very fortunate with injuries and suspensions and with no European football Conte was able to leave things undisturbed at the heart of the defence. But if you watched any coverage of last season, you`ll have noticed JT, both home and away, sat in the dug-out, urging his team-mates on even if he wasn`t amongst the seven substitutes named.
4) What do you think he`ll bring to Aston Villa?
Leadership and motivation. JT is a natural born-leader, he`s a winner and he`s not one for letting standards drop. Although JT is recognised as an excellent leader on the pitch, you`ll soon come to recognise the amount of work he puts in behind the scenes, harvesting the kind of spirit a successful club needs.
5) He has a mixed reputation via the tabloids but you`ve indicated he`s a good guy. Care to expand?!
Okay, so JT`s had a few problems with the press, I`ll not deny that, but JT`s work with the youngsters at Chelsea is legendary, but perhaps the best way I can show the side many don`t see is summed up in the following tale.
Some of you may be aware that down at Stamford Bridge, a popular fanzine is sold, it goes by the name of cfcuk. Since its inception, years ago, it`s been sold for a pound. Any Villa supporters walking past Fulham Town Hall and down the Fulham Road may have heard the cry ‘Only a £1, hurry up` filling the air. However, transporting boxes containing the latest issue was problematic for those who ran the fanzine, especially without a car and with the obstacles London Transport can throw up.
JT heard about their plight and offered his services. Our captain, leader and legend personally collected the boxes from where they were located, stuck them in his car boot and dropped them off at the stall on the Fulham Road, a feat that I believe was carried on by other players in the squad.
There are other instances that highlight JT`s willingness to help, but I`ll let you all form your own opinion of the man when you get to know him better.
— Aston Villa FC (@AVFCOfficial) July 3, 2017