John Terry – From playing to coaching. Wembley, where John Terry lifted six of his 15 major trophies, seemed the best place to ask. That question, reserved for those who are embarking on a coaching career after huge success on the pitch. We’re looking out on the pitch an hour before Chelsea face Manchester City in a League Cup final, the sort of occasion Terry ate up. This is a warrior defender who would fight through pain to play. Full-kit John Terry. This is 759 club appearances, 78 England caps John Terry. Ninety-nine out of 100 say they miss it. This is a banker. “Do you know what? I haven’t. Missing the Monday to Friday, I get that, but the pressures of games…
“It’s funny because you watch games like the League Cup final
“It’s funny because you watch games like the League Cup final, you want to still be playing, but the pressures that surround it, and the pressures I put myself under later on in my career, I probably didn’t enjoy, and that’s why I’m enjoying retirement.” He laughs when he says “retirement”. That’s because he’s just spent 10 minutes describing the last five months as a very, very long school class. A coach with Dean Smith at Aston Villa since October, Terry does not give the impression he is in the job merely to prolong his involvement in dressing rooms, to get the same buzz as a player, or even to keep busy.
The 38-year-old is serious about learning new skills
The 38-year-old is serious about learning new skills, and has been since his playing days. He would even take notes on what he liked about his managers’ sessions, and what he didn’t like. Jose Mourinho, Claudio Ranieri, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink, Carlo Ancelotti, Rafael Benitez, Antonio Conte, Fabio Capello. Not a bad – and extremely varied – list of names to scribble notes on. “I always took an interest in what was going on; with certain managers there were things I liked, and a lot of things I didn’t like, and why I would do it, why I wouldn’t, and what I think the players want and need. “I had a lot of notes from sessions I’d seen previously from really good managers, and some sessions from managers that didn’t work and the players didn’t enjoy.”