Chelsea captain John Terry has no idea how Jose Mourinho manages to keep what he calls “the two best goalkeepers in the world,” Thibaut Courtois and Petr Cech, happy in the same team at the same time, but he’s just glad the Portuguese manager can do it.
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Terry’s words have been backed up by the performances of the two shot-stoppers in recent days, as Cech played 90 minutes against Everton last Wednesday and made four saves in helping Chelsea secure a 1-0 victory. Five days later, Courtois came back into the team and made six saves away to Paris Saint-Germain to keep their UEFA Champions League tie 1-1 after the first leg.
Terry, on Mourinho’s ‘keeper rotation, from the Guardian:
“I saw enough of him in the semi-finals last season [when Atletico knocked Chelsea out 3-1 on aggregate]. It’s unlucky for Big Pete because he made two unbelievable saves from Lukaku against Everton, but he has been unbelievably professional around the club this season. I’ve seen a lot of players in my time throw their toys out of the pram but he’s been different class for the team, and that’s been important.
“The manager stresses the importance of the team coming first. They’re both there for the whole squad. Both of them have been excellent. We’ve got the two best goalkeepers in the world, in my opinion, both fighting for one place, so it’s difficult. You can’t keep them both happy. The manager manages to do it, I don’t know how. Obviously they both want to play all the time, but the two of them are at the top of their games. Rotating them is a tough job. I’d rather that was the manager’s decision.”
As for Cech’s future, Terry says the 32-year-old Czech hasn’t said one word about wanting to leave Chelsea, adding that he’s been “brilliant” in goal every time he’s been called upon.
“We’ve not even spoken and credit to Pete: he’s not grumbled or sent shockwaves through the dressing room. He’s been really professional. He knows he’s been a top keeper and still has a lot to give. He’s fighting for his place. He hasn’t just given up and said: ‘It’s yours, Thibaut’. When he’s come in he’s been brilliant and given the manager food for thought. He could play for anyone, and he’s been different class for us. He’s been worth 10-12 points every season.”