Andre Villas-Boas must get rid of John Terry if he is to stamp his authority on Chelsea — and keep himself in a job.
That’s the view of ex-Blues and Wimbledon midfielder Vinnie Jones, who added that under-fire manager Villas-Boas would not be in complete control of matters at Stamford Bridge with the veteran skipper still around.
England captain Terry has failed to get to grips with his new manager's tactics this season, while the 30-year-old is also the subject of a police investigation into claims he racially abused QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, something he strenuously denies.
‘JT’ is by far the most influential figure in the Chelsea dressing room — and Jones said that may not be a good thing as Villas-Boas attempts to completely revamp the club's style of play.
“Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if JT moves on,” he said yesterday.
“Sometimes, you've got to clear the decks. Some people might think: ‘How can you leave someone like JT out?'
“But sometimes your big, high-profile players go and other players come in and, all of a sudden, the coach is in charge again.”
Jones, who compared the situation at Chelsea to that Sir Alex Ferguson encountered when he took charge of Man United 25 years ago, also believes the Terry racism inquiry is unsettling the club.
“That's all got to be sorted out,” he said. Chelsea have lost three of their last four Premier League games to lie 12 points adrift of Manchester City and pile the pressure on Villas-Boas.
Jones urged notoriously trigger-happy Blues owner Roman Abramovich to stand by his manager, but admitted the club's own fans could turn on the Portuguese if he continues to falter.