I’ve learnt from my mistakes at Chelsea, says André Villas-Boas

André Villas-Boas admits that he made "mistakes" during his doomed spell in charge of Chelsea last season

Martin Caparrotta
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andre villas-boas
RIP AVB: André Villas-Boas was sacked as Chelsea boss last March Photo: Back Page Images

andre villas-boas

André Villas-Boas admits he made “mistakes” during his doomed spell in charge of Chelsea but insists he holds no grudges over his dismissal.

The Portuguese coach was sacked after less than eight months at the Stamford Bridge helm, with the Blues well off the pace in the Premier League title race and teetering on the brink of Champions League elimination.

Villas-Boas was appointed as Harry Redknapp’s successor at Tottenham last summer and has enjoyed a positive start to his White Hart Lane reign, guiding the north Londoners into fourth place in the Premier League table.

And the Spurs boss insists he has learnt from the errors he made at Chelsea.

“I think they could have given me the opportunity to continue. But I am fully aware that changing was the only way to make an immediate impact on the results,” Villas-Boas told France Football magazine.

“When you’re in that negative spiral, there are two sorts of reaction: either you stick to your project for the future and the people who are part of it, or you want immediate success. In that case, you have to change everything.

“What we have been doing at Tottenham with my staff is a reaction to the mistakes we made at Chelsea.

Chelsea went on to win the Champions League for the first time under the guidance of interim boss Roberto Di Matteo.

And although Villas-Boas admitted he watched some of the dramatic final victory over Bayern Munich, he did not see it all.

“I watched it, but not right to the end,” he said. “There were players in the dressing room that I liked a lot, and to whom I could only wish the best.

“It wasn’t easy for me to leave. I congratulated certain people with whom I’d worked there, those who had given everything, who were my friends.”

André Villas-Boas factfile

• An amateur player in his teens with Ramaldense and Clube Marechal Gomes da Costa, Villas-Boas never played professional football, laying the groundwork for a coaching career with a spell as a teenage talent scout during Sir Bobby Robson’s spell as coach of Porto in the mid-1990s.

• Still in his 20s, he took on a role as technical director with the British Virgin Islands in 2000, but was back working with Porto’s youth players by the time José Mourinho took him into his inner circle following his appointment as Porto coach in January 2002.

• Initially detailed to scout upcoming opponents, he followed ‘The Special One’ from success to success at Porto, Chelsea and Internazionale before striking out on his own as coach of Académica in October 2009.

• An 11th-placed finish in his only season in Coimbra was enough to persuade Porto to bring him in as Jesualdo Ferreira’s replacement; hired in June 2010, he became the club’s youngest ever coach aged just 32.

• Oversaw a memorable 2010-11 campaign at the Estádio do Dragão, becoming the first Portuguese to guide a side through a Liga campaign unbeaten, winning the Super Cup, national championship and Portuguese Cup as well as the Europa League after beating SC Braga in the final.

• Joined Chelsea on a three-year deal in June 2011 but was sacked in March 2012 following a poor string of results.

• Appointed as Harry Redknapp’s successor at Tottenham Hotspur in July 2012.

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