Monday 25 September 2017

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

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.

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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