LONDON, England, January 4 – Chelsea captain John Terry has insisted manager Andre Villas-Boas has his complete support amidst reports the England skipper was one of several senior players to have fallen out with the Portuguese boss.
Villas-Boas’s reputation as one of the best young managers in football has taken something of a battering since his pre-season arrival at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea having already lost four Premier League matches so far this term to leave their title hopes hanging by a thread.
But the 34-year-old’s team — eight points behind leaders Manchester City and Manchester United — did enjoy a morale-boosting 2-1 win away to strugglers Wolves on Monday.
But reports of a split between Terry and Villas-Boas intensified when the central defender failed to join the goal celebrations with his manager and the rest of the team when Ramires fired the visitors into a 1-0 lead at Molineux.
However, Terry was adamant there was nothing untoward in his behaviour.
“I want to make it clear I’m 100 percent behind the manager,” Terry told Tuesday’s London Evening Standard. “There are no problems behind the scenes.
“The manager has made it clear the players who want to stay here will be here and the ones who don’t can move on.
“I have seen on the news today that people are saying I didn’t celebrate with the manager for the first goal against Wolves but I did.
“I ran over there and I was worried that Wolves were about to restart and take the kick-off and catch us on the break while we were celebrating. I had a quick celebration with him then after the game as well.”
Terry, whose own reputation has been under intense scrutiny after British prosecutors announced last month he would face criminal charges over allegations he’d racially abused QPR’s Anton Ferdinand, said talk of a divided camp was no surprise given Chelsea’s run of one win in their last five league games.
“From a results point of view we have been giving people an opportunity to write stuff. People tend to look at it a lot deeper than it is,” he added.
“At the same time we need to be winning a lot more which I’m confident we will do. First and foremost, the club is a lot bigger than any of us and will come before any of us from now into the future.
“He (Villas-Boas) has come in and changed a lot of things at the football club, not only on the football pitch but on the training ground as well.”
And Terry added Villas-Boas also had the backing of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, despite the Russian billionaire’s ‘hire and fire’ approach to managers.
“Roman (Abramovich) is fully behind him, the club as well, and he is making these changes, not for the short term but for the long term as well.
“He is going to be the man in charge and we all have to respect his decisions. He has been very up front with all of us so we can’t argue with what he’s done.”