John Terry explains why Antonio Conte left him out of team in 2016/17

Chelsea legend John Terry has explained the reason why former manager Antonio Conte pushed him out of the picture in most of the 2016/17 season.

It was an unusual view to see Chelsea’s defence without Terry.

He had been Chelsea’s main man in defence for almost two decades when Conte came to Stamford Bridge. Even in his 30s, Terry made over 60 appearances in two seasons under the previous manager Jose Mourinho.

Speaking an Instagram Live, Terry admitted he could feel when his Chelsea career was closing to an end.

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

He said (as quoted by Metro): “I think there comes a time for us all where it hits you and you realise.

“In that last year under Conte at Chelsea, I was lucky because I had a really good relationship with him.

“I started the season he then changed formation, I got injured, he had a really honest conversation with me and said we were going to play three at the back. He doesn’t think I suit three at the back.”

(Photo by Kieran Galvin/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Terry had predominantly played the left-sided centre-back in a four-man defence.

Interestingly, Gary Cahill who played on the right side under Mourinho was moved to the left. While César Azpilicueta was deployed on the right despite having always played as a fullback.

It worked, though. Chelsea won the Premier League after Conte changed the system. It even led to almost all other Premier League teams copying Conte’s three-at-the-back blueprint.

But Terry’s influence off the pitch also played a part in the title-winning campaign.

After Terry left at the end of the season, Conte told Evening Standard: “John Terry’s role last season was incredible.

“He didn’t play a lot of games but, despite this, his commitment is incredible and he helped me a lot in the changing room.”

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A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.