When asked about the greatest talent he has ever experienced, John Terry answers surprisingly. He names someone who didn’t make it.
Who is Rob Wollaston? John Terry, former world-class defender for Chelsea FC and legend of the Blues, is likely to be one of the few people on the planet who can answer that question. Because Terry experienced the rise and fall of the young person up close.
Wollaston was one of the greatest talents in Chelsea’s youth division in the late 1990s – and, for Terry, the most talented player he has ever seen. The now 41-year-old said that in one go Instagram Live.
At a time when the Internet was not yet mass-compatible, Wollaston knocked on the Blues in the first team, but over time it turned out that he was not up to the great pressure.
There are no pictures or videos of Wollaston himself from this time, so Terry must be trusted in his assessment.
Terry praises Wollaston: “enormous quality”
“He was a midfielder and winger who was of tremendous quality,” said Terry. “I still know Rob. He didn’t have what it takes to push himself mentally back then,” said the Chelsea star, describing the youngster’s decisive disadvantage.
“Wollaston was allowed to train in the first at 17 or 18, did well there – and then Gullit gave him [Trainer Ruud Gullit, Anm. d. Red.] said that he could play in a cup game, “recalled Terry. The big chance for Wollaston – but that was exactly his problem.” On the day of the game he called and called in sick, “reported Terry.
“All of us would have come and played regardless of whether we were sick or completely exhausted. We would not have let this chance pass,” said Terry. Wollaston made a different decision – and not just once. “He did that two or three times, he just wasn’t mentally ready,” Terry looked back. “In terms of talent, he was unbelievable,” he added again with praise. Before Rob Wollaston’s great career could begin, it was over again. And today only John Terry and a few others remember his name.