Monday 26 February 2018

Villa new boy Terry sets sights on Chelsea job

New Aston Villa signing John Terry being unveiled at Villa Park yesterday. Photo: PA
New Aston Villa signing John Terry being unveiled at Villa Park yesterday. Photo: PA

John Percy

John Terry has revealed that he is already targeting a return to Chelsea, as manager, after embarking on a new chapter in his career with Aston Villa.

Terry has opted to extend his playing days in the Championship, turning down far more lucrative offers from around the world, to secure a significant pre-season boost for Villa manager Steve Bruce.

The former Chelsea and England captain has agreed a one-year deal, which includes the option of a further 12 months, after making it clear to interested Premier League clubs he did not want to play against his old employers at Stamford Bridge.

Terry's arrival is a huge coup for Bruce, who branded it a "statement of intent", and it is simply promotion or bust this season for the Midlands club after a year outside the Premier League.

But while Terry (36) is focused on reviving Villa, he is daring to dream of the future as he begins the long road to becoming a manager.


He is taking his coaching badges and, when asked if the ultimate aim was to lead the club he served for more than two decades, he replied: "I think that's a goal for all of us, me and Lamps [Frank Lampard] have had those conversations.

"Do you dream too big? I don't think you ever can. I've always wanted to be the very best and if that's in management, then Chelsea's the one and, in an ideal world, that would be incredible. But I do realise as well that you can't go in at somewhere like Chelsea as your first job. You need to go and learn, whether that's in the academy like Stevie [Gerrard] is doing.

"It's difficult to get jobs. I see a lot of players from my generation not walking into jobs that maybe I thought they would get. So, I think you need to go out and do your work and put your minutes in on the pitch and make your mistakes that no one sees so that when you do go in, you're kind of ready."

Terry bid a tearful farewell to Chelsea at the end of last season and the uncomfortable prospect of playing against them directed him towards Villa Park. After winning five Premier League titles, five FA Cups and the Champions League, the thought of facing Chelsea gave him sleepless nights.

"I just couldn't, there are no words for it. Chelsea has been my club since a boy, I've grown up there and had some great times, great memories and won some trophies.

"I've had a rapport with the fans which I'll never be able to explain and that will never go away. But this is a new chapter for me now and it excites me.

"If you were to offer me the chance to get into the Premier League with Aston Villa, and face the scenario of playing Chelsea, then I would bite your arm off. In football, we always say never rule anything out because it's a funny game."

Terry also received contract proposals from West Bromwich Albion, Swansea, Birmingham and clubs in China and the United States, but the persistence of Villa, and Bruce in particular, proved pivotal when making a decision.

Bruce, who took the Villa job in October 2016, first pitched the idea of signing Terry four months ago but it was only last week that it really looked like happening.

He passed a medical on Sunday and then flew out to join Villa's squad in Portugal for their training camp yesterday.

"I want to prove I can still do it. It's down to me to perform every week and to prove to the players I can still play," he said.

"I'm not one of those at the end of his career looking for a pay-day, that's certainly not the case. I would be somewhere else if that was. The ambition really is to get us back to the Premier League and, if I can, that would be an unbelievable achievement.

"I've given as good as I've got over the years from supporters all over the country and, at the end of the day when I retire, if they turn around and say 'he was a decent player', that will do me." (© The Daily Telegraph, London)

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