First-team regular

Terry began to establish himself in the Chelsea first team from the 2000-01 season, making 23 starts, and was voted the club’s player of the year.[18] He continued his progress during 2001-02, becoming a regular in the defence alongside club captain and French international Marcel Desailly. On 5 December 2001 he captained Chelsea for the first time, in a League match against Charlton Athletic. Chelsea reached the FA Cup final, following wins against London rivals West Ham and Tottenham in the fourth and six rounds respectively, and Fulham in the semi-final - where Terry scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory. A virus denied Terry a place in the starting line-up for the final, although he came on as a second-half substitute as Chelsea lost 2-0 to Arsenal. In season 2003-04, his performances led to him being handed the captain's armband by manager Claudio Ranieri, when Desailly was out of the side. He played well in the absence of the French international, forming a strong defensive partnership with William Gallas.


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