John Terry has revealed that his Chelsea team-mates would have ‘screaming arguments’ in the dressing room but insists at no point did player power undermine a manager at Stamford Bridge.
Suggestions that captain Terry and other influential figures in the squad were actually running the show rarely went away during his 19-year, 717-game career for the club.
Managers such as Avram Grant, Roberto Di Matteo and Andre Villas-Boas were allegedly sunk by player power and in 2015, Terry even had to deny dressing room forces curtailed Jose Mourinho’s second stint.
John Terry has again insisted that player power was a myth in the Chelsea dressing room
Terry (right) and Frank Lampard (left) were among a supposedly powerful group of players during the reign of Jose Mourinho (middle) and other managers
But Terry, who returned to Chelsea as a consultant coach in January, insists the likes of Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Ashley Cole and Petr Cech were not too powerful behind the scenes.
He told Stadium Astro: ‘No, definitely completely untrue in terms of the players being in charge and making decisions.
‘The reasons that we had such success in Chelsea at my time, we always had one man in charge and that was the manager.
‘We had such a strong group of players to help that process. If we could help that manager, whether it be talking to him or discussing things with him or helping the process of lots of things before it even gets to him and nips stuff in the bud.
‘There was stuff in training that Mourinho never had to do because players didn’t accept it.
Andre Villas-Boas was rumoured to be one Chelsea manager forced out by player power
Avram Grant was another whose time at Chelsea was short-lived and unsuccessful
‘If someone wasn’t to the level or the standards that we demanded, as Chelsea Football Club, then me, Ash, Frank, Didier, Pete [would tell them].
‘If people didn’t continue to be at those standards, before the manager even had to say anything, we would nip it in the bud and that’s what we big characters in the group would do.
‘Even a couple of times, we would go in the dressing room and there would be screaming arguments, we’d be battering each other.
‘The manager would come in and go “you’ve done my job for me” and he could concentrate on the tactical side.
‘They’re the little bits where that was what we knew, that was what brought the best out in us and that was what worked for us at the time.
‘I’m not saying that would work now, or would work in 10 years’ time but that is what worked for us.
Chelsea’s strong core at the time included (left to right) Terry, Lampard, Cech and Drogba
‘Those stories of us being in charge are completely untrue but we did have a big group.’
Centre-back Terry made 717 appearances for Chelsea between 1998 and 2017, helping them win five Premier League titles, the Champions League, Europa League and a host of domestic cups.
In 2012, following the sacking of Villas-Boas after just eight months in charge, Terry insisted Chelsea’s players didn’t wield too much power.
He said at the time: ‘People have got this thing about the senior players at Chelsea having a massive influence – I can assure you that’s not the case, and it hasn’t been since I’ve been at the football club.
‘All the players care about Chelsea, the owner certainly does.
Terry pictured at Chelsea’s recent Premier League match with Newcastle at Stamford Bridge
‘Andre was very good but unfortunately we didn’t get the results and it falls on his head. The manager and players all make mistakes together.’
And in 2015, when Mourinho was sacked following rumours of discord between manager and players, Terry again addressed the rumours.
‘We are aware there have been rumours of player power at the club but I want to make it clear that is not the case,’ he wrote in his programme column at the time.
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