Chelsea not responsible for England consequences insists Andre Villas-Boas

 

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas insists his club cannot be blamed for the chain of events which led to Fabio Capello's resignation as England manager.

Capello resigned yesterday following the decision of the Football Association board to go over his head and strip Chelsea defender John Terry of the England captaincy.

The FA board made their decision pending the outcome of Terry's trial in July on a charge of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand - a charge Terry denies.

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay had written to the district judge asking for the trial to be delayed until after the Chelsea player's domestic and international footballing commitments were over for the season, with the FA initially expecting a verdict in March or April which would have made a decision over Terry's captaincy more clear-cut.

Villas-Boas stressed: "It was a court decision in the end.

"We had our preference of course, but I am not sure if it was that preference that made an impact on the court's decision to delay the case.

"Whatever the consequences of events that ran after, we had nothing to do with it."

Villas-Boas feels England will struggle to find another coach of Capello's calibre - but declared it would be an "outstanding" progression were the Football Association to appoint Harry Redknapp.

Stuart Pearce, the England Under-21 and Great Britain Olympic team boss, has been put in caretaker charge for the friendly against Holland on February 29 following the shock departure of the Italian.

FA chairman David Bernstein today said the next England manager will ideally be English or British, but must above all be "the best person" available.

Villas-Boas believes Capello - who won a string of club titles across Europe before taking on the England job - was certainly that.

The Portuguese coach said: "First it will be very, very difficult for the FA to find a manager with Fabio's CV, because it is one of the best of the world. He has been a successful manager with most of the clubs he has managed.

"I am not in a position to say what triggered the consequences or the events that terminated with Capello's resignation because I don't have that inside information, but all I can say is it's a surprise for England to lose such a successful figure in world football.

"It's a very specific job. Exciting or course, and extremely demanding, under public scrutiny for most of the time, but hopefully a good solution will be found.

"The team is in the European Championships which is the most important thing, there are big favourites for the job and big expectancy regarding Harry's future, but it's up to the FA to decide."

Redknapp's stock has risen again after taking Tottenham into the Champions League and then on above Chelsea this season.

Villas-Boas added: "I would congratulate him for sure. He has had an outstanding career that was made even better through time with continuous success, and culminating a fantastic career with managing the national team would be outstanding."

Terry, meanwhile, will miss Chelsea's match against Everton this weekend as he recovers from a knee injury, and has been given some extra time away from Cobham by the Blues boss.

"He has a couple of days off, but that is because of his injury, not the turmoil and the media," Villas-Boas said.

PA

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