After a Chelsea season he surely could not have believed would happen after the euphoria of last term, could there be one last twist in the tale for John Terry?
By that, we mean a dramatic return to England action for Euro 2016.
It’s a highly unlikely prospect, we know that. In fact, you can get 66/1 with the bookmakers that the 35-year-old will be among the 23-man squad that manager Roy Hodgson takes to France. As far as Euro 2016 tips are concerned – it’s an outside bet!
But if Terry was to declare himself available for international duty – something he would obviously have to do privately rather than publicly – it would certainly make sense on several counts.
Firstly, there is no question England need a defender of the quality the Chelsea captain still produces week after week.
He played every minute of every Premier League match last season as the Blues strolled to the title, and the way in which he was substituted against Manchester City by manager Jose Mourinho last August came as a shock to everyone in football except the ‘Special One’ himself.
Ultimately, that decision harmed Mourinho more than Terry as it appeared to typify the manager’s less-than-clear thinking in the lead up to his December sacking, and subsequently the former England captain has nailed back down his place in the team.
He has largely played alongside Kurt Zouma, but for the rest of the season it will be Gary Cahill as the promising young Frenchman suffered a serious knee injury against Manchester United which keeps him out of action until the start of next term.
Terry and Cahill in unison were a key part of last season’s title success and if the younger man can hold his form, they will represent a pairing that would be more than capable of serving England very well at the Euros.
At present, if you had to name the Three Lions’ most likely central defensive partnership for the tournament in France, you would go for Cahill and Chris Smalling, with Phil Jagielka the other contender.
However, Cahill and Jagielka were exposed at the 2014 World Cup and while Smalling had a very good first half of the season for Manchester United, his level has dropped recently.
Imagine any of that trio alongside Terry and then consider whether his presence would be an improvement. The answer, to me, is obvious.
Another reason why this could be a perfect time for Terry to enjoy one last crack at international football is that it could increase his options for next season, if nothing can be sorted out with Chelsea.
There will be no shortage of interest anyway, but it will mostly come from the Middle East, Far East and North America. If Terry had a strong European Championship, he would probably get offers from the top European leagues – Italian football, in particular, would appear to suit him, having insisted he would not play for another English club.
Logic is all very well, of course, but in this case it counts for nothing without a willingness on both sides.
Terry retired from international football in September 2012, seven months after being stripped of the England captaincy over allegations of racial abuse involving Anton Ferdinand – a decision by the FA that prompted the resignation of manager Fabio Capello.
Just under 12 months ago, he rejected the notion of playing for his country again and Hodgson has also thus far been unwilling to discuss a potential recall.
But history has shown that England cannot win major tournaments without their best players. And if somehow John Terry was to return for Euro 2016, he would most definitely be in that category.