Terry's vocal performance is applauded as leadership by Di Matteo
Saturday 17 March 2012
Roberto Di Matteo is relaxed about John Terry's apparent assumption of managerial responsibilities at Chelsea. The captain shouted instructions from the technical area after being substituted on Wednesday night, and has recently denied claims that senior players have too much influence at Stamford Bridge. Di Matteo said Terry was "reinforcing messages", and that the club was lucky to have leaders like him.
Rather than representing a challenge to his authority, caretaker manager Di Matteo said Terry was just meeting expectations. "I expect all my players to be responsible and help each other and reinforce the messages that I give before the game starts and during the game," Di Matteo said. "We are lucky that we have some leaders in this team and we expect them to reinforce messages. That's exactly what happened."
On the issue of the senior players running the club, as the Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny recently claimed, Di Matteo said it was "not true". He played down the fact that it was Terry, the captain and figurehead, who was most obviously vocal. "It was not just him," Di Matteo insisted, adding: "We've got some great quality players – Michael Essien, Petr Cech, Ashley Cole, David Luiz, all with experience. Every manager would like to have some leaders. Fortunately we have some."
Asked whether he would take Terry under his wing and give him further responsibilities, Di Matteo said: "I think he's still too young for that; he has many years to play. I can help him with badges first. But I would recommend to anybody to play as long as they can."
Di Matteo continues his stewardship of Chelsea tomorrow with an FA Cup quarter-final at home against Leicester City, and hopes to continue the recent upturn in form.
"Every win just gives you a little bit of confidence," he said. "We won against Birmingham, we won against Stoke, then we won against Napoli; that brings a little bit of belief back into the team."
Having scored in the 1997 FA Cup final against Middlesbrough, Di Matteo has good memories of the competition, which he described as "one of the most exciting in the world". He also led Chelsea out for the 2002 final, soon after retiring due to injury. "It was a nice gesture of club and manager to let me walk out the team for the final," he recalled.
Latest in Sport
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...
World Cup 2014: Neymar's agent launches scathing attack on Brazil's Luis Felipe Scolari, labelling him 'an old jerk, arrogant, repulsive, conceited and ridiculous'
Loic Remy to Arsenal? Gunners close in on move for QPR and France striker - reports
World Cup 2014: The 50 best players of the World Cup
PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 3 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 4 Britney Spears sings 'Alien' without Auto-Tune in embarrassing leaked audio clip
- 5 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories