Former Chelsea assistant manager Steve Clarke says that new manager Antonio Conte will receive the best possible support if John Terry stays at the club next season.
It looks almost certain that Terry will leave Chelsea at the end of the campaign. His contract runs out in a few months and the club has reportedly told the player that it will not be renewed. Terry, though, is still hopeful about signing the deal if it arrives on his table. Conte has had a hugely successful career as a manager, but he has not experienced life outside Italy yet.
He has managed only Italian clubs and is now with the Italian national team. This situation is largely similar to that of Carlo Ancelotti when he arrived from AC Milan in the summer of 2009. Back then, Ancelotti was assisted by a strong spine of the team. The likes of Frank Lampard, John Terry, and Didier Drogba knew the club from the bottom up and it was easy for Ancelotti to settle. The current Chelsea team does not have such figures aside from Terry. Further, Conte is yet to start learning English and language problems could be a major hurdle.
Clarke, who has served as an assistant manager to several blues managers over the years, says that Terry’s presence could be vital. “I’m surprised and I have been quite vocal in my support of John Terry staying at Chelsea next season. John has been there so long. He understands the club and knows it inside out. He understands the passion of the supporters and it is just my personal opinion, but I think he would be a big help for the incoming manager. It’s Conte’s first season in the Premier League and he would have John’s experience to call on when needed,” said Clarke.