Spurs boss explains why Chelsea will miss John Terry at White Hart Lane
Andre Villas-Boas says Chelsea have the players to replace John Terry as he starts his four-match ban – but Spurs’ head coach believes the Blues will miss their captain’s leadership qualities.
Terry yesterday accepted a suspension and a �220,000 fine from the FA for racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand, and he will now miss this weekend’s London derby against Tottenham.
Villas-Boas says Chelsea have quality players who can fill in for Terry in the heart of the defence – but he feels the Blues will miss the influence of their ‘emotional leader’ at White Hart Lane.
“Obviously you have to take into account that this is an extremely good player, an experienced player and Chelsea’s captain,” said Villas-Boas. “A player of this dimension is always surely missed.
“In the end, I’ve worked with those players in the past and the reality was that in that precise sector we never had problems - the other centre-backs are tremendously good too.
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“Gary Cahill had a solid start to his Chelsea season when we bought him in January, and it has been the same this season. They have David Luiz, and [Branislav] Ivanovic is another option.
“Obviously he [Terry] is a player of massive experience, an emotional leader that can push the others through and certainly he is someone who will be missed by Chelsea - but the options they have are extremely good.”
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Villas-Boas’ clash with Chelsea has been billed as a revenge mission against his former employers, but he insists he is looking forward to seeing his old colleagues on the touch-line.
“I’m going to see people who mean a lot to me, people who are part of my development as a coach,” he said.
“I certainly feel I have become a better coach because of them. They have helped me a lot on my development of my career.
“They are people who gave everything for me, and obviously it is special to encounter any team you have played for or belonged to in the past.”
Villas-Boas admits that he is aiming to use his inside knowledge of Chelsea against them tomorrow, but he says his players are already very familiar with their opponents.
“Obviously it is something I have to my advantage, but they know exactly as much as I do from their own experience - they have more than myself because of their years involved in the Premier League,” said the head coach.
“My experience of the Premier League is so short compared to the players. We will share information with them, but it’s info they know anyway because of their experience.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs