Terry boasts the joint second best defensive record in terms of Performance Score in the Premier League this season (319 points).
The Chelsea skipper was in typically good form with his display against Cardiff at the weeken - a game that barring a David Luiz error, Chelsea would have kept a clean sheet in.
Terry won three out of three headers and also made 11 out of 11 clearances, as we can see below.
It is in this aspect of his game that Terry probably doesn't get enough credit: he is a very good technical player, despite not really being regarded as a ball playing centre-back. Eight of his successful passes were also accurate long passes, showing his range of passing.
|Apps||Goals conc per game||Aerial duel won per game||Defensive actions||Errors||Tackles per game||Pass accuracy||Passes per game|
The stats above give a comprehensive view of Terry and some of his England rivals, as well the retired Rio Ferdinand. Chris Smalling has been left out as he has barely featured domestically for Manchester United.
Most centre-backs do not attempt many tackles nowadays and will do more in terms of intercepting and clearing the ball. Lunging into a tackle only leaves space in behind that can be exploited. Phil Jones's number of tackles might be the result of playing at right-back, whilst Michael Dawson is defending a high line so will have to commit at times.
Jose Mourinho clearly rates Terry higher than Cahill, given that the ex-Bolton man isn't getting into the Chelsea side at the moment. Cahill, however, has conceded the least amount of goals per game of those listed here, as well as completing the most headers.
Terry has completed the second highest number of headers, has the second best goals conceded per game rate (joint with Dawson), the best pass accuracy and the third top passes per game. He also completes more defensive actions per game than team-mate Cahill, with neither playing making any defensive errors yet this season.
The number of errors is something that counts against Dawson, although he probably does deserve a place in the England squad given that he has been relatively good this season and that his side boast the joint best defensive record in the league with Chelsea.
Phil Jagielka compares favourably with the most defensive actions per game, although he too has made one error. He has, however, conceded the most goals, although that could be a result of the more expansive style implemented under Roberto Martinez. Despite this, he has a low-ish passing accuracy given that he is in a ball-playing side. Jagielka and Dawson are probably the weakest players at Roy Hodgson's disposal in a technical regard.
Defensive statistics need to always be taken with a pinch of salt. It is not possible to quantify positional awareness or organisational skills, two aspects of the game in which Terry excels. The former is something that has left Ferdinand struggling of late, having been a bit of a liability in United's back line this season, particularly in the home defeat to West Brom. The fact that Terry starts ahead of England first choice Cahill in the Chelsea side implies that if Terry was available for selection for England, he would, and probably should, start.
His experience and quality cannot be overstated. He was one of the Three Lions' better performers at Euro 2012.
That being said, there is an incredible amount of baggage involved with Terry and Hodgson may be wise to steer clear of a debate about whether he should return or not, especially with Cahill and Jagielka appearing to be settled together at the heart of the England defence.