John Terry says working under Jose Mourinho inspired him to embark on a career in coaching when he retires, adding that he made comprehensive notes on training sessions and methods during the Portuguese’s first spell at Chelsea.
Mourinho arrived at Stamford Bridge for the first time in the summer of 2004 and immediately led Chelsea to dominant back-to-back Premier League titles with Terry as captain, also winning the League Cup and FA Cup in his first stint in charge.
In a first-person piece on The Coaches’ Voice website, Terry said that he was hugely impressed by Mourinho’s attention to detail, as well as his methods of motivating players.
“Something special,” the Aston Villa captain wrote of Mourinho. “That’s how I first remember him. I couldn’t tell you why at the time, although I look back now and I know why.
“After a few training sessions, I went and got a notepad and started jotting stuff down. Things he said in team meetings, things he said before a game, or to the press. Sometimes I’d come in after a training session and write down everything we’d just done.
“The lads would look at me as if to say: ‘What are you doing? No one else is doing it.’ But I was intrigued by what we were doing.
“You’d come into the dressing room and everyone would be talking about what a great session that was, the best training we’d ever done.
“From the moment Jose came in, I knew I wanted to be a coach. Before then, as a player, I just went out on the pitch and played. Didn’t think about the training sessions, the coaching, the size of the pitches we’d train on, anything. Then I saw something special, and it was all about preparation.”
Terry also praised Mourinho’s man-management methods, citing the example of the Portuguese deliberately ignoring his injured captain in the treatment room in order to motivate him to make a quick recovery.
“He knew exactly what he was doing,” Terry added. “He knew how to press my buttons, but he also knew when to give me a cuddle, when to tell me I was the best, when to tell the press that me, Frank [Lampard], Didier [Drogba], Petr [Cech], Ashley [Cole] were the best players in the world. I promise you, as a player, you went out there thinking you were the best.
“That had an impact on our performances, and that was down to Jose. Were we the best in the world? Probably not. But he made you feel like you were.
“That was Jose. He’s the best I’ve ever worked with, and the reason I want to be a coach.”
Liam is ESPN FC’s Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.