With the passage of time, new eras arrive while others meet their end. Sir Alex Ferguson lowered the curtain on an era completely of his own in 2013 when he retired from managing Man United – a position he had held for some 27 years.
On the other hand, Arsene Wenger’s era as manager of Arsenal is to continue for a little while longer, much to the chagrin of some sections of supporters and the delight of others.
When John Terry announced that he would be leaving Chelsea at the end of the 2016-17 season, there was certainly a sense that another Premier League era was drawing to a close. Having made his debut for the Blues way back in 1998, he remains one of the few players in England to have played in both the 20th and 21st centuries.
More impressive still – he has made all 717 professional appearances to date wearing just one club’s shirt – the famous blue kit of Chelsea. Well, all except for six appearances for Nottingham Forest at the turn of the millenium of course.
But what is next for the former England captain? Could he have a go at the top flight with another club, or could he do the previously unthinkable and drop down to a league at a lower level? Perhaps the psiren calls from across the seas could tempt the dominant defender to foreign climes?
Most importantly, of course, it all boils down to one question – will he be selectable for our fantasy managers in next season’s Euro Fantasy League competition?
OK, perhaps that isn’t the most important question of all, but the point still stands that we could very realistically be facing a football campaign without the 36-year-old as an option. When he first announced that he would be leaving Chelsea, there were several logical places he could move to whereby he wouldn’t find himself in direct conflict with Chelsea or their supporters but could continue to ply his trade in the top flight.
Stoke could have fit the bill fairly well, though they never publically acknowledged any interest. Perhaps Southampton could have been a good choice, too. West Brom at one stage looked the perfect destination for the not-oft-travelled star, but there appears to have been little in the way of developments in that regard.
The latest reports, however, seem to suggest that Terry will indeed be heading to the midlands, but not to sign for Tony Pulis’ Baggies. Instead, Championship sides Aston Villa and Birmingham look to be the front runners to capture not only the 6”1 frame of Terry, but also his wealth of experience. That could be valuable for any club of course, but especially a team with aspirations of getting themselves back into the Premier League.
Aston Villa, it could be argued, would be a wonderful option. Other than the fact it would mean playing outside of the top flight (which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing for him either, given his age) he would have a chance to really help a team get themselves back to where they feel they rightly belong. It is a busier schedule in the second tier of course, but without European duties to attend to the vast majority of the work would be pretty local compared to what he is used to.
So, the advice here would be to keep an eye on Terry making the move to Villa Park rather than St. Andrews or the Hawthorns, or perhaps Forest may come in with a mega late bid to try and snatch him back.
Either way, he looks set to continue his footballing journey for a while longer before making his move towards the dugout, and a lifetime in a suit (or tracksuit, though it is perhaps easier to imagine Terry dressing up for the occasion).