Senior players did not force Villas-Boas out, says Terry

Reuters, Sunday 11 Mar 2012

Chelsea’s senior players should not be blamed for Andre Villas-Boas losing his job as the club’s manager, skipper John Terry has said

Andre Villas-Boas

Villas-Boas was sacked after only eight months in the job last Sunday following Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion and intense media speculation that he no longer had the players’ support.

Shortly before he went, Frank Lampard said that his relationship with the 34-year-old Portuguese coach “was not ideal” and there were widespread reports of a rift between the players and Villas-Boas following a run of three league wins in 12 games.

However, Terry said that those poor results rather than any perceived idea of player power were the cause for billionaire Russian owner Roman Abramovich ending Villas-Boas’s tenure.

He told Sky Sports on Sunday: “In all clubs, when players don’t play, there’s always misunderstandings and people upset about not being played.

“I think because it’s Chelsea, people have got this thing about the senior players having a massive influence and I can assure you that’s not the case and it hasn’t been since I’ve been at the football club.

“All the players care about Chelsea Football Club, the owner certainly does. Andre was very good - unfortunately we didn’t get the results.

“Collectively, not only him, although unfortunately it falls on his head, I think the players and the manager will make mistakes together.”

Villas-Boas had shone at Porto last season.

Terry added: “We all wish him well, he’s got a very good future. He’s very young as well. This can be a learning experience for him and myself. I got on very well with him.”

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, who scored his 100th Premier League goal for the club in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Stoke City to give interim coach Roberto Di Matteo his first league win, also said he had no problems with Villas-Boas.

“These things happen and no matter what happened I think we have to give him credit,” he said. “It cannot work for all of them.

“He was unlucky, the team was not in good shape. I think we, as players, could have done maybe better to change that, to avoid this happening. But that’s life. We support him. He’s a friend and he’s always going to be a friend.”

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