Terry sings his own praises as 'born leader'

Chelsea captain says Lampard and Drogb have been vital behind scenes during club upheaval

John Terry yesterday claimed the support of senior players Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba has helped him keep the Chelsea dressing room together through the uncertainty which has seen five managers in charge in the space of three seasons.

Terry said Lampard and Drogba have been instrumental in keeping the team focused on getting results on the pitch, despite the atmosphere of continuous change in the coaching department. After Jose Mourinho was sacked in September 2007, Chelsea saw Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Guus Hiddink all come and go, before Carlo Ancelotti took charge last July.

Despite that uncertainty, the club still managed to reach the Champions League final in 2008, losing to Manchester United on penalties, and won the FA Cup in 2009. They are now top of the Premier League, with a game in hand on their two main rivals Manchester United and Arsenal, who both could only draw at the weekend. Terry said the support of Drogba and Lampard meant he was able to rally the dressing room around him throughout that period of uncertainty, to ensure things did not get any worse.

The England captain said: "It has been a test for me but I think I have dealt with it, and not only me. People like Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, they deserve real credit because people hear about me but they don't tend to hear about Lamps and Didier behind the scenes.

"I can tell people that they are great and it is really important I have got their backing because we have had so many managers over the last few years and it was important that myself and Didier and Lamps kept everyone together and said, 'Listen, as long as we keep doing our job, we are going to have the fans there supporting us.' That is what matters, Chelsea Football Club, not the manager, not the players, because one day we won't be here and it is important we keep the players going and keep the belief in our club to go on and win trophies."

Terry's revelations underline how influential a figure he has become at Chelsea. The 29-year-old has become probably the most powerful player in the English game despite a spate of recent controversies, including his activities related to tours of the club's training ground and the emergence of an email from a marketing firm inviting firms to bid for his services.

Terry said he has always been a leader, and told how he proved it to former Chelsea manager Gianluca Vialli by criticising former team-mate Gianfranco Zola, now the manager of West Ham, during a reserve game.

Terry said: "It is one of those things where you are born like it or not, and thankfully I was blessed with that. When I was younger and we played a reserve game and Franco [Zola] gave away the ball, I shouted at him. Some of the younger players were saying, 'You can't do that'. I said, 'Why not?' Luca [Vialli] came up to me after the game and said, 'That was fantastic, no one had the guts to say that and you did'."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future