?Some slightly bizarre John Terry comments raised a few eyebrows this week, with the former Chelsea captain seemingly claiming that current Premier League superstars Mohamed Salah and Kevin de Bruyne couldn’t cut it at Stamford Bridge because of the goalscoring presences of Damien Duff and Arjen Robben.
Yeah, there’s a lot to unpack there.
Speaking to Dubai Eye radio station, and as shared on ?Twitter, Terry was discussing newly appointed Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho, when he segued onto the topic of De Bruyne and Salah, who famously left ?Chelsea without making much of an impact before later achieving superstardom at ?Man City and ?Liverpool, respectively.
Terry said: “In my generation now, I see people like Salah and Kevin de Bruyne come through and not being able to match his [Mourinho’s] standards at the time.
“Now they were very talented but very young individuals as well but Mourinho didn’t have time to put them in the team or take out a Duff or Robben because we was winning every single week and his job is on the line.
“So, like I said before if you come in and you are 10 or 20 per cent below the standard of Duff and Robben who were scoring 20 goals a season each. You are not gonna make that team, no chance.
“Fair play to them they’ve gone away elsewhere and proved they’re good enough but at that present time they wasn’t good enough for Chelsea.”
Now, if you read those statements and had a few issues, then you are not alone.
Some quick fact-checking (not affiliated with the Conservative party) shows that De Bruyne joined Chelsea from Genk in the summer of 2012, while Salah arrived in January 2014 – a solid six and seven-and-a-half years after Duff left for Newcastle in 2006.
Robben, meanwhile, traded west London for Real Madrid in 2007 – when De Bruyne and Salah were both still youth academy stars in Belgium and Egypt.
To give Terry the benefit of the doubt, it’s possible what he was trying to get across was that standards at Chelsea had been set by players like Duff and Robben that were still used as the yardstick several years later.
However, those standards Terry spoke of are not entirely accurate either. Rather than 20 goals a season, Duff and Robben – while undoubtedly excellent players in their time – only managed 19 each in all competitions across their entire three-year stints at Chelsea.
Either way, City and Liverpool fans can be eternally grateful for the long shadows of Duff and Robben (or whatever the more likely reason) which led to De Bruyne and Salah leaving Chelsea for opportunities elsewhere.