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Great Interview with 'Mr Bionic'


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Bionic Man rises again to lead Moscow mission

Dominic Fifield The Guardian, Tuesday May 20 2008

The call that Chelsea's physiotherapist had been dreading came last Monday afternoon. John Terry's number flashed up on the mobile to set the alarm bells ringing, the memory still raw of the sickening clash with Petr Cech which had popped the captain's left elbow out of its socket just minutes into the league finale against Bolton barely 24 hours earlier. A summons on the team's day off did not bode well. The physio should have known better.

Terry had departed Stamford Bridge the previous day with his arm in a sling and his participation in the European Cup final in some doubt. "I couldn't really play with my kids because of the injury and it was really frustrating me," said Terry. "So I called the physio and the masseur, got them round and they flushed the injury a bit. It was fine after that." So what was the game he was playing with his twins only nine days before the final? "I shouldn't really be telling you this, but I was in the garden on the trampoline. It was a lovely day, though."

Welcome to the wonderful world of John Terry, Bionic Man. To consider how Chelsea would have fared in Moscow without their captain is to confront the unthinkable. The centre-half remains this team's inspiration. His commitment and conviction set the tone as much as his suffocating defending.

The Londoners have had to do without him too often this term, and could justifiably point to his three prolonged absences as decisive in their narrow failure to claim the Premier League title. There have been injuries aplenty, but finishing second hurt Terry most of all. A partial dislocation of the elbow was never going to keep him away from the Luzhniki Stadium.

He has become accustomed to playing patched up. This season he has endured back spasms, knee ligament damage and three broken bones in his foot. The latter came courtesy of Arsenal's Emmanuel Eboué in December's league game at the Emirates. Last season's Carling Cup final meeting with Arsène Wenger's side left Terry concussed after being kicked in the chin by Abou Diaby. Not that contests with Arsenal alone induce painful memories. Back in April 2006, Wayne Rooney's lunge left his England team-mate bleeding through his sock for 83 minutes as Chelsea, already confirmed league champions, beat Manchester United.

The wound required 10 stitches in the dressing room after the game. "Even lifting the trophy I didn't feel hurt but as soon as I got into the dressing room and the adrenaline went, I was in agony," he recalled. "I couldn't do anything. You won't find a picture of me with the trophy after the game. But it's amazing what you can get through if you just get on with it.

"It does feel a bit like I've been rebuilt over the years. It's about not letting things get the better of you. I hate losing or not being involved, even if it is something trivial or stupid. This season maybe I haven't been 100% fit but, when I've gone out there, it's usually been because I've had to. We haven't had enough fit defenders. But, mentally, you want to get out there with the rest of the lads. You push yourself.

"Thankfully, the elbow wasn't too bad. My first thought when it happened was that I'd broken my arm and I was going to miss the final. I've said to Petr Cech all season to come out and, if you have to go through me and the striker to get the ball, just do it. That's what he did, so I can't complain. As long as the ball got cleared. The morning after, it was quite sore and achy but, to be honest, any player would shrug it off for a game like this."

Chelsea will need his brawn. Tomorrow is the biggest game in the club's history. There have been times this season when, unsettled by the departure of Jose Mourinho in September, Chelsea have gasped in the challenge of catch-up. The domestic Cup defeats to Barnsley and Tottenham Hotspur threatened reputations and not just that of the manager. Victory in Russia would render all that irrelevant.

Terry will be charged with issuing the final rallying cry before battle commences and it will not be the first stirring speech he has had to muster this term. "It was a day or so after the Carling Cup final when we sat down and flushed everything out between ourselves," said Terry when asked if this squad had ever had to confront the possibility of a wasted season. "There were a few home truths told and we spoke our minds. We might have upset a few people, we might have upset each other, and what was said in that room will stay there and go no further, but we worked out how to improve things.

"The manager and [the assistant] Steve Clarke spoke their minds, too, but things had to be said because the performance at Wembley was really disappointing. We got it out of the way and that is what you have to do as grown men. We are together day in, day out and sometimes it can be a bit niggly. That happens at football clubs but we sorted it and since then the only way we have gone is forwards."

The rewards for that endeavour may await in Moscow. "I look at the squad of players we have got, I've seen the changes over the years and I don't think people realise how important this final is for Chelsea," added the centre-half. "It means the world to me to be in the final but I really want to get my hands on the trophy. I'm desperate to do it. We all know that people say we cannot be a big club until we've won the European Cup. This is our chance to go out and do it."

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nice read that, and confirms just what a legend jt is. this bit was interesting ""The manager and [the assistant] Steve Clarke spoke their minds, too," especially with the rumours the management had been ignored inthat meeting.

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"There were a few home truths told and we spoke our minds. We might have upset a few people, we might have upset each other"

Ballack: I take freekicks

Drogba: No no no no I take freekicks

Ballack: No


Ballack:.. No

Drogba: JT, Michael is not listening, I am freekick taker

JT: Lamps, do you want the freekicks?

Lamps: Yeah

JT: Sorted

Drogba: NO! No no no no no

Ballack: Crapenschifen.

I can imagine all the little digs they had icon_lol.gif

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