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United At Their Peak? Is Chelsea’s Terry Really That Thick?

Whatever happens in the future, whether we end up like Leeds or simply can’t hack it at the top once Sir Alex Ferguson leaves, whether Roman Abramovich hires all the best coaches in the World or spends £100s of millions on the greatest players to ensure superiority in England and Europe, John Terry will always be a source of much amusement to Manchester United fans.

As John Terry stepped up to take what should have been Chelsea’s final penalty, I could already see him lifting the European Cup, with the blue and white streamers erupting in the background. Of all the players to win Chelsea the European Cup, did it have to be him? ‘Mr Chelsea’, as Frank Lampard calls him, who turned United down as a lad, and who the press have been in love with, this apparent ‘English lion’, would have left living in this country unbearable if he’d buried the penalty.

Fortunately, he slipped, just as Van der Sar did in the first half of the match, which had allowed Frank Lampard to get the equaliser. The ball came back off the post and Terry sat on the grass, in the pouring rain, knowing he might have just lost his club the European Cup. He certainly hadn’t won it for them anyway!

John Terry has had a pop at United in a week where Chelsea lost another penalty shoot out in Moscow, this time with, who we can happily describe as the biggest flop in Premiership history, Andriy Shevchenko, seeing his attempt saved.

Following Fergie’s claims that Chelsea were too old to get any better, John Terry reckons this United side were at its peak last season, whilst his side still have the ability to improve. Barking? You bet!

“Manchester United had had two good years,” he said. “You have to stand back and take your hat off to them but we know we were good last year and we have another level to go to. I think we saw the very best of Man United last year, we have got improvements to make, but I think Man United are at their peak.”

Now, I know footballers aren’t renowned for being the sharpest tools in the box, but what on earth is Terry talking about here? Obviously, he’s just saying what the supporters want to hear, but he could at least be somewhat honest with his fans, rather than spouting bollocks.

How on earth could that United team of last season be at their very best? If you look at the stats and consider our three highest scorers last season had an average age of less than 23-years-old, whereas Chelsea’s three highest scorers had an average age of over 30-years-old, then what kindof lunacy is it to suggest our side has peaked?

If the age of the goalscorers doesn’t do it for you, then look at who it was providing those goals. At United, the average age of the top four players with the highest assists is again less than 23-years-old. In contrast, the top four at Chelsea carry an average age of 27-years-old.

The typical age for players to peak is said to be mid-to-late 20s. If we look at the winners of the FIFA World Player of the Year, we can see the best player in the World has been 30 or above on just 2 occasions in the past 15 years, and the average age of the winners is 26.6-years-old. It’s not a science, but it gives us a rough idea of when players tend to peak in this modern era of football.

United’s most effective players (in terms of goal scoring and goal providing) have yet to hit their peak, whereas Chelsea’s already have.

Now, this isn’t to say Chelsea won’t give us a good run for our money next season. They pushed it very close in both the league and European Cup, and that was with an incompetent manager at the healm. Scolari, despite his non-existant European domestic experience, should get more out of the players than Avram Grant did.

However, the likes of Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Michael Ballack will be a year further away from their peak, whilst the likes of Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo will be a year closer to theirs.

For Terry to suggest that Chelsea have more room to improve than United do is either entirely ignorant, stupid, or nonsense talk for the fans.

Regardless, Viva John Terry!

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Red Al says:

    Being a Manu Fan for my life still allows me to be honest. Yes Chelsea are older on the whole than the Man U squad but anyone who thinks Chelsea may well not be terrifying next season is well short of realistic. They have good players and a truly brilliant manager, there is a good chance for the next year or two we are going to be sharing out the spoils with them.
    I would agree that Terry is a muppet though

  2. Scott the Red says:

    Al – like I said in the article, I’m not doubting Chelsea’s ability to put on a good show next season. I’m merely questioning Terry’s opinion that we’ve already seen the best of this United side and that Chelsea have more potential for improvement than we do.

  3. OP says:

    I see everyone talking about what a fantastic manager Big Phil will be with Chelsea. Saying he is world class etc, etc. Yet the one parrallel I feel you can draw that hasn’t been made is with Wanderley Luxemburgo, who was another great Brazilian manager, with multiple successes in Brazil and some success with the National team. Real Madrid brought in Luxemburgo and this was hailed as a master stroke. 6 months later he was back in Brazil he couldn’t cut it in Europe, he found the whole thing too much. Now whilst you’ll say Scolari has been with Portugal, he hardly made them world beaters, in fact you could say they regularly flattered to decieve, the only supposed bug nation they beat was England, and we are terrible. However it is no surprise he is a mastermind in the English press as he beat our ‘Golden Generation’.

    So I have to say to Red Al Said, that I for one will wait and see before getting to excited about this Chelsea team with their new mastermind, yes they could be excellent this season, but it could also be very difficult for them and their genius manager. For one playing Ballack, Deco and Lampard in midfield is certainly an odd decision when Ballack and Lampard have only just worked out how to play together.

  4. Craig Mc says:

    Red Al, Scolari may have been a truly brilliant manager with Brazil, there again who couldn’t be brilliant when managing a team like Brazil, but he certainly wasn’t a brilliant manager for Portugal. He couldn’t even beat Greece in the Euro nations championship, and that was in his teams home Capital City. So the jury’s still out on whether he can crack it in England. I do agree with you though, that Chelsea will be massive competitors this coming season.

    Let John Terry keep on believing we have hit our peak and are on the down. Just like he kept on quoting how Chelski were going to do us at the last hurdle for the prem, and then definately saying Chelski were RABID to do us in the CL final. Neither materialised, so lets wait and see whether he has to eat his words again.

    Our strength in depth certainly doesn’t stretch to strikers does it?. With Rooney out AGAIN if news reports are correct, we might be in the knackers yard after the first few games. Unless Fergie knows something we don’t.

  5. Stephen says:

    I have just bumped into Scolari, he was buying a washing line in Robert Dyas, I had a meeting near their training ground!

  6. SINGH says:

    Just when you thought he couldnt be more of a knob he goes and proves you wrong.Fuckin John Terry

  7. Arsene wanker says:

    how can this pussy licker open his mouth again after last year embaressment ?????Terry the wanker said last year that” it’s difficult and almost impossible for MAN UTD to catch us(rent boys)” after their massive five points lead at the start of the season…..
    champions of europe and england

  8. steve says:

    to be honnest ppl I would not get to angered at terry let him think what he wants, its not man utd who have three strikers who are in their 30′s or well into it is well. let them talk and we just do what we always do pick up the trophys and with ferguson in charge united will not loose their hunger. I dont call foster brown ferdinand vidic evra anderson carrick hargreaves maybe ronaldo nani tevez rooney manucho campbell past their peak.

  9. 4 times in Roma says:

    Hollow Hollow Hollow
    Chelsea’s success if fucking hollow
    all the money it took, from big russian cunt
    but you’ll never win three in a row( or a champo league)
    Hollow Hollow Hollow
    Chelsea’s success if fucking hollow
    all the money it took, from big russian cunt
    but you’ll never win three in a row( or a champo league)


  10. Messiah says:

    I think JT was just showing that when he puts his mind to it, he can rival a plank for intelligence, you’ve got to take your hats off to that, he couldn’t be more of an idiot if he put his cock in a blender.


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