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According to the stats and our friends at WhoScored, the top five centre-halves in the Premier League thus far this season are Dejan Lovren, Jose Fonte, Curtis Davies, Winston Reid and Sylvain Distin. The sixth name on the list is one John Terry.
Last season it looked like Terry's career was winding down. Already slow, his turning circle had gone from oil tanker to oil rig, and he appeared to be more susceptible to injuries too. Before, he was robust to the point of stupidity, playing on with knocks and strains and tweaks that would have sidelined most other players, but last season he spent over two months out with a knee injury.
Furthermore, in previous years he would have been bundled straight back into the Chelsea team when he could just about stand, but he was a sporadic presence in the first team under Roberto Di Matteo and Rafa Benitez, making just 11 league starts and not playing more than two games in a row after returning to fitness at the end of January. In David Luiz, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic, Chelsea had enough central defensive cover that they didn't need to rely on their ageing captain, who looked to be on his way out.
However, this season it has all changed. Terry looks like a new player, and hasn't missed a single minute of Premier League football. The only games he didn't start were the UEFA back-slapping exercise at the European Super Cup, the League Cup game at Swindon (when Jose Mourinho picked such a second string that Juan Mata started...) and against Basel in the Champions League. A game which, the astute of you will have noticed, Chelsea lost.
Terry might not be back to his absolute peak, but other than Oscar and Eden Hazard, few have performed better for Chelsea so far this season. And it's not difficult to figure out to whom he attributes his comeback.
"My career is where it is because of this man sitting next to me," he said before Chelsea's Champions League win against Schalke. "I'm very proud to be working with him again."
It's hardly surprising that Mourinho has returned to the players that served him so well in his first spell at Stamford Bridge, and hasn't repeated the divide and conquer approach he tried by alienating Iker Casillas at Real Madrid. Terry and Frank Lampard were devoted to Mourinho from 2004-07, and it seems a similar amount of faith is paying off now.
Consistency of selection seems to be the key. Terry said this week: "I've always been sure of myself ability-wise, but it's impossible when you're in and out of the side to pick up your own form. When I did play I was scoring and playing well. But the manager chose the other two."
"We don't put him under pressure to play five or six consecutive matches," said Mourinho recently. "It's better to play two in a row and get really fit, then be ready physically to cope with the sequence of matches.
"In this moment he is fine. It doesn't mean that he will always be first choice for me, and he knows that, but he also knows that I trust him and I am happy with the way he is performing. The situation for him now is good."
It's not only careful physical planning that has contributed to Terry's return to form. According to Mourinho, it has plenty to do with reclaiming some of the confidence that was lost after spending plenty of last season on the bench.
"He is recovering his self-esteem, recovering the feeling of being an important player for the team which he lost," said Mourinho last week, while suggesting that Terry could return to the national team, which brings us on to another consideration.
An interesting by-product of Terry's good form for Chelsea is how it might impact on England's plans for the World Cup. After Terry's international 'retirement', Phil Jagielka and Terry's clubmate Gary Cahill have established themselves as central-defensive pairing in Roy Hodgson's side. The pair were excellent against Ukraine and solid in the games since, but the chances are that, if this season carries on in a similar vein, Cahill will go to Brazil as England's first choice, but his club's third or fourth choice. Mourinho doesn't seem keen to partner Terry and Cahill in the Chelsea defence (and with good reason, such are their similarities), so if Terry's good form and renewed confidence continues, how many games will Cahill play before next summer?
For Chelsea though, those concerns are secondary. What is important for the moment is that Terry, who looked like he was on his way out, is back.
Nick Miller - follow him on Twitter