With nothing but Champions League qualification left to play for, the Premier League surprisingly delivered an exciting final day of the 2016/17 season.
Bringing down the curtain on a campaign that marked John Terry’s final one in a Chelsea shirt, and more than likely, the final one in the top flight all together.
A loyal servant and dominant force at the back for almost two decades, JT, for all the mocking, has rightly deserved, for purely footballing reasons, the: “Captain. Leader. Legend” tag afforded to him by the Blues faithful.
19 PL seasons for Chelsea.
492 PL games for Chelsea.
41 PL goals for Chelsea.
5 PL titles for Chelsea.
Captain, Leader, Legend. 👏🏼 pic.twitter.com/aQ9ijKK00p
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 21, 2017
Sadly for Terry and Chelsea, a moment of ill-advised, contrived and cringeworthy pandering to a man who has now void any right he may have had at going down as the Premier League’s finest ever centre-back, overshadowed an emotional ending.
From Sunderland’s mere allowing of the charade of making sure the ball was to go out of play in the 26th minute, so Terry, who dons the shirt number 26, could leave the field of play, to a guard of honour and a standing ovation; to Terry being the one to suggest the idea; to the very fact JT officially left the pitch in the 28th minute; it was a disgrace.
Antonio Conte’s role in pandering to Terry’s, you’d imagine, suggestive demands, highlights the Italian’s first real mistake since Arsenal embarrassed his Blues 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium. Thankfully for the former Juventus manager, Terry’s exit means the old guard of Jose Mourinho is finally out of the door, a few years too late, nonetheless.
John Terry has left the building; a player so determined to enhance his status he ended up diminishing it.