Despite leaving Chelsea with five Premier League titles and a Champions League medal to his name, many felt that John Terry would struggle to perform in the second tier of English football.

The 37-year-old made the surprise decision to join Steve Bruce at Aston Villa where the highly-experienced manager was given the tough task of guiding the club back to the Premier League.

During the 2016/17 season, Terry was playing an outside role in helping Antonio Conte lift the gloom at Stamford Bridge by winning the Premier League title. On the other hand, Villa were struggling to cope with their relegation to the Championship, with both Roberto Di Matteo and Bruce playing a part in their mid-table finish.

There were a number of occasions during the season when Bruce pointed out that his players were struggling to cope with the expectations at Villa Park despite the club’s hierarchy spending over £50million on players.

However, it was the decision to sign Terry on a free last summer which has helped the club make a serious push for promotion this time around. At this moment in time, Villa sit in a play-off place, seven points adrift of second-placed Cardiff. Many Villa supporters would point towards Terry’s presence in defence as a key factor in their change of form and mentality.

Before a ball was kicked, many felt that Terry’s body would not be able to cope with the grueling nature of the Championship where a high number of midweek games are played. But, the former England man is proving his doubters wrong.

Terry’s ability to read the game has shone through in bucket loads, not forgetting his calming nature both on the pitch and off the field which has helped a number of players cope with the high expectations. Their thumping 4-1 win at home to champions-elect Wolves in March was a prime example.

Added with that, despite being one of the oldest players in the team Terry has proven that he’s physically as fit as his centre-back partner James Chester, who has not missed a single minute of league football since he arrived at the club in 2016.

From an individual standpoint, Terry has proven that form is temporary and class is permanent with the Villa captain recently being named in the Championship Team of the Season, alongside teammate Albert Adomah.

However, with the possibility of the play-offs looming for Villa, Terry will be hoping he can add promotion to the Premier League to his illustrious CV.

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