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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 23, 2008

Chelsea's 'Chopper' criticises Terry pen selection

Chelsea legend Ron 'Chopper' Harris insists John Terry should not have taken the penalty that cost his side victory in the Champions League final.

Harris claims a striker had to be given the Blues' ill-fated fifth spot-kick, which Terry pushed against Edwin van der Sar's left-hand post after slipping during the run-up.

With Didier Drogba sent off and his fellow forward Nicolas Anelka appearing further down the order, Chelsea skipper Terry stepped up at the decisive moment.

'It would have been fantastic for John to have scored because of the type of lad he is,' said Harris at today's Right to Play event at Stamford Bridge.

'He is Mr Chelsea and has repeatedly put his body on the line for the club, so you have to feel for him.

'Of course it's easy to be wise after the event but I personally feel that a striker should have taken that penalty.

'He's the captain but a striker has more chance of scoring a penalty than a defender.'

Harris, who made 655 appearances for Chelsea during his 19 years at Stamford Bridge, expects Terry to emerge a stronger player following his Moscow heartache.

'I know John - he's a terrific lad - and I think this setback will make him more determined than ever,' he said.

'He's not the type of fellow to let something like this get to him. No-one wants to miss such a crucial penalty but he'll be fine.

'He'll go away on holiday to spend some time with his family and when he gets back he'll be fired up to win silverware next season.'

Chelsea have finished runners-up three times this season - in the Barclays Premier League, Carling Cup and Champions League - and the lack of silverware could spell the end of boss Avram Grant.

Harris believes fans, who have been mourning the loss of Jose Mourinho, are starting to warm to Grant but does not know if the Israeli will still be at Stamford Bridge next season.

'In February we were involved in four competitions. Everyone was talking about winning all of them but slowly they've been whittled away,' he said.

'We've finished up with nothing. It was always going to be difficult to follow Jose Mourinho.

'We must remember Avram Grant is the first man to take Chelsea to the Champions League final, but I don't know if he will be here next season.

'I think he started to win the fans over towards the end of the season.'

Drogba looks set to leave Chelsea with AC Milan reported to be his likely destination, but Harris is confident Frank Lampard will not follow him out the door.

'There seems to be doubt over Drogba and the only one who can silence that is the player himself,' he said.

'But I can't see Frank leaving - he's happy here. He's a regular and I hope he will be for years to come.'

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