I am not a priority, admits Chelsea’s John Terry

Published: 19th February 2015 09:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 19th February 2015 09:13 AM   |  A+A-

John Terry-AP

LONDON: The departures of Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole last summer signalled a changing of the guard at Chelsea, but the past seven days have provided a reminder that the club's priorities have significantly altered.

Eden Hazard's new 5 1/2-year contract produced the sort of celebrations among Chelsea supporters that greeted captain John Terry's last long-term deal in 2009.

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Terry signed a one-year extension last summer and he knows negotiations over another 12-month deal have not been anywhere near the top of Chelsea's to-do list.

Likewise, Petr Cech was reminded that he is no longer a member of Chelsea's untouchables as not even an inspired performance against Everton was enough for the goalkeeper to keep his place for the Champions League trip to Paris St-Germain.

Thibaut Courtois replaced Cech at Parc des Princes and produced a wonderful display that was hailed by both sets of players and managers.

Terry and Cech are having to accept that times have changed at Chelsea, and it is now the likes of Hazard and Courtois who come first.

"The club know my position [on a contract]," Terry, 34, said. "Hopefully, I know theirs and it will get done. No talks have happened yet between myself and the club, but we both respect the position.

"There are more important players. Hazard's one. For me, that was the most important for the club. I knew that was the first priority for them. Hopefully, they'll be knocking on the door soon.
"The first year I was maybe a bit nervous and edgy and hoping and knocking on the door myself. But we had a good chat. I know their position and they know mine.

"I want to stay and, hopefully, my performances are showing that and they want to keep me. I'll be happy with one more year and then we'll see how we go year-by-year. I've not got much choice."

Terry knows that it could soon be his place, rather than just the prospect of a new contract, he is left sweating on if Kurt Zouma maintains his rapid progress.

Zouma has recently been preferred at times to Gary Cahill, but Terry is under no illusions that his starting place will automatically remain guaranteed.

"It's difficult when you see young boys come in like Kurt," said Terry. "He's been a revelation since he came in. He's young, fit, strong and hungry and it makes it even more difficult.
"I don't want a rest because there's a lot pressure. I'm coming to the end of my career, so it's important I stay fit and play as much as I can."

While Terry is happy to accept his new status, he admits he has no idea how manager Jose Mourinho has prevented Cech from "throwing the toys out of the pram".

Cech has proved that his ability has in no way diminished in his 13 appearances this season, but Courtois has also underlined his status as one of the best goalkeepers in the world and, having signed a five-year contract last September, the 22-year-old Belgian represents the future.

Asked about Courtois, Terry said: "He's different class. It's unlucky for big Pete because he made two unbelievable saves from [Romelu] Lukaku against Everton last week, but he has been unbelievably professional around the club this season. I've seen a lot of players in my time throw their toys out of the pram.

"Credit to Pete, he's not rumbled the dressing room or sent shock waves through the dressing room. He's been really professional."

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