John Terry far from finished at Chelsea, says Gary Neville
Last Updated: 18/08/15 7:28am
John Terry's substitution at Manchester City does not mean his Chelsea career is under threat, Gary Neville told Monday Night Football.
The Blues captain was taken off by manager Jose Mourinho at half-time as the reigning champions lost 3-0 to Manchester City on Sunday.
Chelsea have made two bids for Everton centre-back John Stones this summer, but Sky Sports expert Neville believes Terry’s early withdrawal merely indicates a slight change to his role at the club, rather than signalling the end of his career.
"John Terry is 34, and this is going to happen," he told Monday Night Football.
"He’ll wake up this morning and the world’s ending, his career’s over – but I saw Jamie Carragher sit on the bench for Liverpool for 18 months, I’ve seen the same with myself when I was substituted three times within 55 minutes in my last year at United.
"I saw it with Steve Bruce at the end of his career at United, when I was playing alongside him, or with Tony Adams for England, or with Laurent Blanc. It happens.
There will be certain games where, as a 34-year-old centre-back, other players will need to start to be phased in.
Neville on Terry's substitution
"There will be certain games where, as a 34-year-old centre-back, other players will need to start to be phased in.
"My genuine belief is that it's not the end of the world for John Terry. It was a big shock to him yesterday, and it's almost like a public embarrassment - we've been there.
"But I don't buy into the fact that his career's over."
Jamie Carragher agrees that Terry is still a vital figure as Chelsea look to defend the title they won last season.
The defender started and finished every Premier League game last season, but Carragher also feels those days are over.
"I don't think Jose thinks if he buys John Stones tomorrow, him and Gary Cahill are his two centre-backs and that brings them back into the title race," he said.
'City's buzz is back'
Gary Neville says Manchester City look energised and are early front-runners for the title.
"I think Chelsea will get back into the title race, and John Terry will be in there. I think it'll be the end for him in terms of playing every minute of every game.
"This isn't just a question of John Terry's pace and that he can't run - he's never been able to run. He's still been one of the best centre-backs we've had in the league.
"The biggest help has been [Nemanja] Matic in front of him and [Cesar] Azpilicueta right next to him. He needs protection.
"If he gets that protection, I still think he looks one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League. Expose him, and he looks an average centre-back."