What is your views on “subgate”?
With Sunderland’s pre-match blessing, it was agreed that Chelsea legend John Terry would be given a 26th minute guard of honour at the time of the match that matches his shirt number, as he was substituted in front of his home fans for the final time as a Chelsea player. He later lifted the Premier League title that afternoon in what was the perfect way to end his Chelsea career.
I think it is clear Terry will probably retire. What else is left to do in the game with a send off like that?
However, what do you think of the substitution itself? Alan Shearer said it brought the game’s integrity into question, Garth Crooks criticised the staging saying this is “not Hollywood” whilst Ian Wright said he had no issue with it.
My opinion? It was acceptable, but only because Chelsea were already champions and Sunderland were already relegated. In any other setting I would be against it because this type of thing is what testimonials are designed for. Doing this in a competitive match is not the best precedent to set.
Thinking aloud even further, in an era with hardly any “one club players” anymore can we not make an exception for a man who has captained his country and club in a career that spanned 22 years at the club? Maybe we can and maybe we should.
Just don’t expect Wayne Bridge to join in. Or Rio Ferdinand. Terry was not without his critics, despite his successful career.