Chelsea grant John Terry compassionate leave to resolve his personal life

10 February 2010 10:48
In the 2-1 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park, Terry's fourth game in the 12 days since reports of his alleged affair with Vanessa Perroncel first emerged, the Chelsea defender appeared to find his performance affected for the first time by the scandal.

Terry twice lost Louis Saha as David Moyes's side recovered from Florent Malouda's early goal to inflict Chelsea's first league defeat since December and reducing the Stamford Bridge side's lead at the top of the Premier League to just one point.

 Related ArticlesEverton 2 Chelsea 1Terry may skip Cardiff FA Cup tieAncelotti defends decision to stand by TerryCapello sets conditions on talking to BridgeJohn Terry thanks Chelsea fans for supportSport on televisionAncelotti's trusted lieutenant Ray Wilkins, though, was adamant the club captain had not lost his focus amid the rancour over his private life.

'His head was not elsewhere at all,' said Wilkins. 'You have to give Saha credit, because he's very difficult to play against. John got caught under the ball for the second goal, thinking Louis was probably going to go over the top of him to win it.

'But he has been outstanding for us all season and if this was down to his mistakes then I am certain it is the slightest of blips.

'He will not play this weekend. Carlo has decided to give him a bit of time [off]. They had a little chat and decided that would be best for all concerned.'

Terry will most likely be joined in sitting out the FA Cup fifth round tie by Ashley Cole, victim of a 'nasty' ankle complaint sustained in a forcible challenge with the impressive Landon Donovan, though Wilkins expressed his hope the injury was not 'too severe'.

The United States international terrorised both England players all evening, no doubt adding to the regret many at Goodison Park are steeling themselves to feel when his loan spell ends next month.

It was the performance of Saha, though, which Moyes felt settled the game. 'He should have had four tonight,' said the Everton manager.

'I even gave him a slight pat on the back, but not a full one. He played really well at Stamford Bridge and he clearly had John Terry worried [when facing] long balls. But he is a top class defender and if they do not want him, then I will definitely have him.'

Source: Telegraph