Going back to the start of the season, MOMS was indifferent to the signing of John Terry. “It won’t be pivotal to suddenly turning Villa into a promotion-bound team,” I wrote in a John Terry feature discussing the reality of him joining Villa, beyond the hype.
In short, wasn’t Terry’s hefty wage spend perhaps better served establishing a Villa centre-back for the long-term? Although, if Terry did captain Villa to promotion, then it would all be worth it in the short-term and it would be a great way for the player himself to end his time playing in English football.
A Decent Season
The signing did provide a catalyst and reset the minds of supporters, after a poor season to the potential of promotion once again. Terry could install a winner’s mentality and confidence to a team that was desperately searching for an identity. As well as a potentially positive influence in the dressing room, there would be commercial benefits in terms of marketing and shirt sales.
The main skepticism was getting any real dividend on the pitch out of him. After all, the doubts over his fitness and age were understandable.
While there was always a chance he may pick up an injury, as he did, with 35 appearances, Terry managed well over the ’25-30 games’ that MOMS first earmarked as an acceptable contribution. In terms of minutes on the pitch in the season, he ranked 7th amongst the Villa squad.
Going into the play-off final Villa had recorded seven clean sheets in their previous 10 games, which shows that Terry’s partnership and understanding with James Chester was first rate.
Once Villa found their feet in the first half of the season, Terry was very impressive and introduced a confidence in Villa’s defence, before his injury. The shaky last five minute spells of games had become a thing of the past.
Terry added to the gravitas of Villa within the division, yet Steve Bruce failed to use this and to attack teams more with the resources he had to hand. Instead, with his conservative and negative-minded tactics, Villa’s fear factor was neutralised and teams were encouraged to have a foothold in games.
Villa’s failure to get promoted ultimately wasn’t Terry’s fault, but laid in the part of the field he didn’t have much sway over.
The Villa captain deserves credit for his contribution to the season and it’s a shame for our sakes and his, that he wasn’t rewarded with the prize of promotion, as he said goodbye.
Like Steven Gerard before him, his last Wembley appearance as a player ended with a loss, and it was down to the Villa.
Club Statement on Terry
Aston Villa can confirm the club will part company with John Terry.
We would like to place on record our most sincere thanks for the effort and professionalism he showed with us last season.
John is a true leader and was everything and more that we hoped. Hugely popular and influential in the dressing room, he played a real captain’s role in creating the incredible bond the players shared with our supporters, and vice-versa.
We hope he looks back on his time with Villa fondly and we wish him the very best as his career moves forward.
John Terry’s Farewell Message
Today, I part ways with Aston Villa Football Club. I’m very proud to have had the opportunity to play and captain this great and huge club.
I have given my everything this year both on and off the pitch and I’m still hurting today that we never managed to get back to the Premier League, where this club 100% belongs.
I would like to thank Steve Bruce who was instrumental in me joining Villa, I have learnt so much from him as a manger this season that will stay with me forever. Also, I’d like to thank all the staff and players and our owner Dr Tony, who it was a real pleasure and honour to work with everyday. 💜⚽
Finally, a special thank you to the Villa supporters who have supported us both home and away in their thousands, up and down the country and have been amazing to me on a personal level.
Villa will always have a place in my heart and I will look back on my time here and think about how close we were to reaching our goal. But now going forward, I would like to wish the management, staff, players and supporters good luck for the future.