Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas believes fascination with social stories is hurting the English game

Stamford Bridge boss feels that the media's love for off-the field stories and the way they hype them up, as in the case of John Terry, does nothing to dignify British football

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas believes the disruption and commotion being caused by the allegations of racism against John Terry are leaving an unwelcome blemish on the English game.

Earlier in the week Terry was stripped of the England captaincy for the second time, on this occasion by the FA themselves. After the decision was announced, Villas-Boas told The Observer: “It is an unfortunate event, with consequences, and it doesn’t dignify British football, to be fair”.

The former Porto boss has had to endure press conferences filled with questions that have nothing to do with his side’s upcoming games and are instead focusing on social stories.

He said: “I think in the Premier League there is always a pattern of these kind of stories appearing, what each player does outside of the pitch.

"We had it in various different cases, we and other clubs. We have to let the people get called to court and the court to make the necessary decision."

Since the story broke that Terry was going to have to face a trial for his alleged racial slur against Anton Ferdinand, it has dominated much of the debates regarding football.

The media hype surrounding the issue has had a knock-on effect on the Portuguese coach, who admits there is very little that managers can do to prepare themselves for the fall-out from such incidents.

He added: “It comes with the job and, as you gain experiences, you know how to deal with it better.

"On that sense John has been amazing in terms of his off-field events not affecting his on-field performances."

Villas-Boas has suggested that his captain’s ability to thrive under immense pressure has helped Chelsea and he believes he can use that ability to good use in an England shirt.

“For us, we benefit. Hopefully for his country it will continue to be the same. I'm not saying it fuels him, that he needs negativity, but he has been outstanding," he said.

Terry will play no part in the game against Manchester United at Stamford Bridge because of a knee injury, though Villas-Boas will have no problem putting his skipper straight back into the team once he regains his fitness.

Another unhelpful aspect of the season that the Chelsea boss has had to contend with is the extent to which his team have fallen behind in the title race.

He admitted: “There was a click of two games that made us lose track. And because we had so many emotions going on for that particular game against QPR and the impact it had on us for continuing to challenge for the title, I am sure I would come back again at the end of the season and say that was the key for us not to be champions.

“We should have a lot more points, that’s the reality, which is why there is that heaviness of a year that is not going well. We need to find a sequence of results to make us explode.”

Villas-Boas believes Manchester United are still the team to beat despite the rapid improvements made by Manchester City this season.

“I think so, bearing in mind the injuries they had which are now returning. I think they will be the ones to beat. Although the distance to Man City is equal to nothing, they will be the main favourites," he added.

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