Tuesday 17 January 2017

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas may risk John Terry in Champions League clash with Napoli

Published 20/02/2012 | 10:52

SUCH is Chelsea’s desperate need for leadership that John Terry’s wounded knee could be risked against one of the most formidable attacks in Europe, Napoli’s scalpel-sharp trident of Edinson Cavani, Marek Hamsik and Ezequiel Lavezzi.

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I will leave it as late as possible and make a decision on him after training in Naples," said Andre Villas-Boas, who faces the defining moment of a darkening season on Tuesday.



Leadership questions plague Villas-Boas, from his captain’s fitness to his choice of the right man to lead the attack. Chelsea's manager last night warned Fernando Torres that he was now in a straight fight with Didier Drogba and Romelu Lukaku for the central attacking role.



The key question revolves around the extent of the manager’s control of a star chamber of a dressing-room. If Villas-Boas’s authority were supreme, photographs of Drogba exhorting the players in the tunnel on Saturday would not be portrayed as a mutineer taking charge, delivering a team talk.



Drogba’s intentions were undoubtedly innocent, simply a conscientious player geeing up team-mates, but the furore highlighted the perception of a febrile atmosphere around Villas-Boas.



Ditto Frank Lampard, who failed to engage in any eye contact with his callow manager when about to come on against Birmingham City. Short of holding up a sign reading: “I should have been starting ahead of that Raul Meireles”, Lampard’s body language could not have been cooler towards his manager.



I will leave it as late as possible and make a decision on him after training in Naples," said Andre Villas-Boas, who faces the defining moment of a darkening season on Tuesday.



Leadership questions plague Villas-Boas, from his captain’s fitness to his choice of the right man to lead the attack. Chelsea's manager last night warned Fernando Torres that he was now in a straight fight with Didier Drogba and Romelu Lukaku for the central attacking role.



The key question revolves around the extent of the manager’s control of a star chamber of a dressing-room. If Villas-Boas’s authority were supreme, photographs of Drogba exhorting the players in the tunnel on Saturday would not be portrayed as a mutineer taking charge, delivering a team talk.



Drogba’s intentions were undoubtedly innocent, simply a conscientious player geeing up team-mates, but the furore highlighted the perception of a febrile atmosphere around Villas-Boas.



Ditto Frank Lampard, who failed to engage in any eye contact with his callow manager when about to come on against Birmingham City. Short of holding up a sign reading: “I should have been starting ahead of that Raul Meireles”, Lampard’s body language could not have been cooler towards his manager.

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