John Terry: Chelsea players must take some blame for AVB axe
Chelsea captain John Terry concedes that he and his team-mates are partly responsible for Andre Villas-Boas's sacking
John Terry admits the Chelsea players must shoulder some of the blame for Andre Villas-Boas’s dismissal – because performances were not up to par.
The young Portuguese coach was given his marching orders following the Premier League defeat at West Bromwich after less than eight months in charge at Stamford Bridge with the Blues fifth in the Premier League.
And Terry concedes that the squad have to accept a portion of the responsibility as Villas-Boas’s sacking was ultimately the result of their disappointing displays on the pitch.
“We win and lose together at this football club,” Terry told a news conference ahead of the second leg of Chelsea’s Champions League last-16 clash with Napoli on Wednesday.
“We’re all responsible for the run of results. Unfortunately for Andre it fell on his head. But I think the players would also hold their hands up and say, ‘performance-wise, we are to blame as well’.”
Terry was also quick to dismiss suggestions that Chelsea’s senior players have a big influence in the running of the west London club.
“With regards to older players running this football club, that’s not the case at all. It’s completely untrue,” he continued.
“That’s the perception from outside. Roman [Abramovich] and the board make those decisions – it has nothing to do with us.
“If we don’t win games then the board step in and make their decisions – but anything other than that is complete nonsense.”
Roberto Di Matteo has stepped in to take charge of the Blues until the end of the season – and the Italian coach enjoyed a winning start after overseeing victories against Birmingham in the FA Cup and Stoke in the league at the weekend.
But Terry refused to single out a reason for Chelsea’s recent change in fortunes – and the England centre-half is hoping the west Londoners can turn their season around by clawing back a 3-1 first-leg deficit against their Serie A opponents on Wednesday.
“We couldn’t seem to buy a win, [then] we changed managers and we get two wins,” continued Terry. “Sometimes that’s football, but as a player you can never sit there and put your finger on one thing and say, ‘this is the reason why we’re not winning games’.
“Roberto and Eddie [Newton] have come in and obviously we’ve done very well in the first few games and it’s the momentum that we’ve maybe missed coming into these big Champions League games.
“The way we’ve bounced back in these two games could be key for us and it could kick-start our season tomorrow night.”
Pre-match facts: Chelsea v Napoli
• Ezequiel Lavezzi has scored in each of Napoli’s last five games – six goals in all – including the sole strike against Inter Milan on 26 February and a late winner away to Parma a week later.
• Walter Mazzarri’s side have drawn 10 Serie A games already this term; they drew seven times last season en route to a third-place finish.
• Frank Lampard’s goal in the 3-0 win against Bolton on 25 February made him the first player to score 10 or more in nine successive Premier League seasons.
• The Blues have conceded just once in four games since losing in Naples, in a 1-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion on 3 March.