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Serie A season preview: AS Roma

AS Roma 8 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 31, 2009

Terry still baffled by Makelele's comments

John Terry remains mystified why former Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele accused him of being responsible for the sacking of Jose Mourinho.

Makelele claims, in a new autobiography called "Tout Simplement'' published in France on Saturday, that Mourinho and Terry fell out as the captain dealt with injury, and that Terry asked for a transfer.

"I thought Mourinho was practically untouchable, but a lot of players had complained about him, notably John Terry,'' Makelele wrote.

"When John Terry let his discontent be known to [chief executive Peter] Kenyon and asked him for an immediate transfer, (owner Roman) Abramovich reacted immediately: the departure of Terry was totally unimaginable, from the point of view of the supporters, the players or the club owners. Mourinho was packing his bags.''

Both Chelsea and Terry strongly refuted Makelele's claims and after lifting the FA Cup at Wembley with a 2-1 win over Everton on Saturday, the Chelsea defender revealed how he and other senior players tried to persuade the board to keep Mourinho when news of his sacking reached them.

"Funnily enough, Mourinho called me on Friday and we spoke about it,'' said Terry. "It's bizarre, actually, because he knows the real truth and, if anything, I was one of three players phoning Roman at 1am or 2am the night I heard he'd been sacked, to keep him on.

"I was speaking to Peter Kenyon, speaking to Roman, speaking to Eugene (Tenenbaum) and hoping we could keep him.

"Myself, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba were all fighting to keep him at two in the morning. So it's bizarre where it's come from.

"Me and Jose know the truth. It's bizarre that Maka has put this in his book, but I tried to call him Friday night and his phone was off. I'm sure I'll make contact in the next few days.

"Jose texted me and I called him straight back, and we spoke about the situation. We know what happened, the relationship between him and the football club. They parted on mutual terms.''

Terry believes the likely arrival of Carlo Ancelotti as coach could be the start of a new successful era at the club.

Former AC Milan coach Ancelotti would be welcomed by the players and Terry says if he is the man to takeover then it could be the start of a wonderful partnership.

"I think a few of the backroom staff have worked with him before, and Andriy Shevchenko speaks very highly of him,'' said Terry. "If he's the man to come in, then he's got a great bunch of lads to come in and work with.

"Knowing him and knowing us, it could be the start of something very good. Each manager has their own tactics and the way they play. They'll bring that with them.

"I think there needs to be a couple of changes, a few players brought in, maybe a few players who haven't played in the last couple of years maybe need to move on, but the backbone of the side needs to stay as it is.

"We've had a great time under Guus. Big shoes to fill, that's for sure, but we know a new manager's coming in and we know that we need to come back ready and more determined.

"This is the basis Guus has left us on. We need to continue this not only for him, but for our fans and our football club.

"It's important we get a settled manager now for a couple of years, a settled team, and we build on this day. Those feelings and emotions in the dressing room. Honestly, it seemed a million miles away from us winning something (earlier in the season), so it's great to have that feeling back, that feeling of winning again.''

Terry revealed how there had been emotional farewells prior to the game and that Hiddink was presented with an engraved Rolex Daytona watch by the players the night before the final.

"What was said was very private, but really emotional again, and will stay private between the lads,'' said Terry. "We gave him a gift last night with a message on the back and a shirt framed up for him. But it was a really good night.

"I spoke on Friday night when Lamps and I presented him with the Rolex Daytona watch and thanked him for all his hard work. It's been a pleasure to work with him. He was overwhelmed by it, actually, and took his gift really well.

"I think the relationship between Chelsea and Guus Hiddink doesn't end with the final. I think he'll have a big input, and a sit down with Roman Abramovich.

"They're very close anyway, and he's obviously seen things that need to be changed at this football club over the last six or seven months. He'll certainly tell Roman exactly what he feels, and rightly so.

"Hopefully those bad things at the football club will change but, as I say, it's definitely not 'goodbye' to Guus. It's the start of something.

"It's little things he's picked up on that need to be improved upon at the training ground, around the football club.

"As players, we've said our feelings about what we feel needs to be improved. Hopefully Roman will listen and things will get done.''

Terry also revealed that owner Abramovich has still got big plans for the club despite his financial affairs suffering under the credit crunch.

"Over the last six months, he's been busy,'' said Terry. "The previous six months after the Champions League, he was away quite a lot.

"But, of late, he's been here wanting to know what's happening at the training ground again. I think we'll see Chelsea back and competing for the top players who are out there at the moment like Franck Ribery and David Villa.

"These are the kind of players we want to attract to Chelsea. If we can do that, with successes like this and pushing for the Premiership again next season, we're going to attract those kind of players.

"We need those kind of players to strengthen the side and, at the same time, we need to keep hold of lads like Didier Drogba, Ashley and Joe Cole who are up for contract talks.

"They're great people at the football club. People like Ash, Didier and Frank Lampard have been fantastic this year.

"I think there'll be many players we'll be in for in the summer, but when big players come up like those kind of players, we need to show people and let them know that Chelsea are back.''

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