Frank Lampard pays tribute to 'legend' John Terry

SoccerBy Sunday World
John Terry and Frank Lampard
John Terry and Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard paid tribute to his long-time Chelsea team-mate John Terry after the defender announced he is set to leave the club in the summer.

Terry revealed after Sunday's FA Cup win over MK Dons that he is not being offered a new contract by the Blues when his current deal expires after this season, ending his 18-season spell in the club's first team barring a late U-turn.

Lampard, who left Stamford Bridge in 2014, posted a picture on Instagram of the pair celebrating together for Chelsea with the caption: "#captain #legend #chelsea #winner @johnterry.26"

Another former Chelsea man, Graeme Le Saux, is disappointed to see Terry heading for the exit door.

The former England full-back told BBC Radio 5 Live: "The relationship between an older player who's been at the club all his career and is getting to the end of that lifespan, it's whether the club are going to compromise or the player's going to compromise.

"It's difficult for both the club and John Terry but I'd love to see him there, because I think he still has a huge role to play."

Chris Sutton, who spent the 1999-2000 season with Chelsea, told the same station: "It's disappointing more than anything. Clubs don't show enough loyalty to players.

"John Terry's been a tremendous servant, he's been outstanding for the last 15 or 20 years for Chelsea, and he deserves better.

"Chelsea have been struggling and John Terry, I think, as this season has gone on has got better and better."

Regarding Terry's decision to reveal the news, Sutton added: "He's annoyed, he's angry... I think he would just feel let down. He's given so much to Chelsea and I think he expected more from the club."

Former Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder turned television pundit Jamie Redknapp - Lampard's cousin - was also critical of Chelsea's decision.

"It's a big mistake by Chelsea," Redknapp told the Daily Mail. "He can still do a job for them.

"They don't seem to treat older players well. Look at who has left - Petr Cech, Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and now John too? That's the spine of their trophy-winning team. They make half-hearted efforts to keep them.

"They should have kept him playing for a year then made him their defensive coach."

But former Arsenal and England defender Martin Keown told the same newspaper: "I've never been (Terry's) biggest fan.

"Chelsea need to change and bring in fresh blood. Maybe they need to remove any obstacles.

"Nobody can question what he has achieved on the pitch. I respect that people who played with him admire him. He was powerful in the dressing room, but was he too powerful?"

Terry remains a popular figure with Chelsea's fans, who campaigned for his reinstatement when he was dropped from the team earlier this season by then-manager Jose Mourinho.

Chelsea Supporters Group chair Trizia Fiorellino told 5 Live: "It seems a very strange time to do it and given that we've got no manager at the moment, we've got an interim manager, who has made this decision for John Terry to go?

"He played every minute of every league game last season and we won the title. It's just all very peculiar, very strange, and I think the club owe us an explanation."

Sutton agreed: "What I find odd is that it doesn't look like (Guus) Hiddink will be in place as manager next season, so what if the new manager came in and wanted to keep John at the club? Obviously Hiddink hasn't made that decision."