Andre Villas-Boas plays down his arrival at Chelsea
"Don't expect something from one man," says former Porto coach after he was confirmed as Chelsea boss
Andre Villas-Boas is the right man to take charge of Chelsea but owner Roman Abramovich must display uncharacteristic patience with his new acquisition.
The 33-year-old, who becomes the youngest manager in Premier League history, has already tasted success in his short career and the Portuguese coach is be an ideal candidate to guide Chelsea to long-term success.
He has been constantly likened to Jose Mourinho, but Villas-Boas’s arrival at Stamford Bridge has unfolded with stark contrast to the storm the Special One conjured upon his unveiling.
The former Porto boss opted to play down the significance of his appointment in his first interview on Wednesday.
“Don’t expect something from one man,” he told Chelsea TV. “Expect us to create a group dynamic of everybody getting together, with the fans getting together, with people getting excited with the motivation that is in and around us.
“In the new way of communicating and the new leadership – this is the most important thing. It is not about my arrival. It is about the continuous success of this club.”
Villas-Boas took charge of Portuguese side Academica de Coimbra in October 2009, with club rock bottom of the table. The Porto-born coach led the club to the safety of mid-table, while guiding them to the semi-finals of the Portuguese Cup.
His home-town club Porto then decided to gamble on the young manager in the summer of 2010 despite his lack of experience.
The departures of key players Bruno Alves and Raul Meireles were made to feel insignificant as Porto flourished under their new coach’s leadership and raced to the Portuguese title unbeaten, finishing a staggering 21 points ahead of second-placed Benfica.
“Don’t expect something from one man. Expect us to create a group dynamic of everybody getting together, with people getting excited with the motivation that is in and around us”
Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas
Villas-Boas then led the club to Europa League glory, becoming the youngest coach to win a European title aged 33 years and 213 days. Porto then completed their silverware treble with a 6-2 victory over Vitoria de Guimares in the Portuguese Cup.
There will, however, be a number of immediate issues facing Villas-Boas as he settles into life in the Stamford Bridge hot-seat.
His fate will inevitably depend on his ability to end Manchester United’s domestic dominance, a feat Mourinho was able to momentarily manage.
Villas-Boas managed to partially follow in Mourinho’s footsteps at Porto but performing the same feat at Chelsea will clearly prove a much sterner task.
Past managers, including Avram Grant and Luis Scolari, have struggled to deal with player power in the Stamford Bridge dressing room – Villas-Boas will need to assert his authority immediately.
Then there is continuing selection debate over Didier Drogba and record signing Fernando Torres. Carlo Ancelotti struggled to accomodate both forwards in his line-up and his indecisiveness in selecting a first-choice striker contributed his downfall.
Abramovich is a notoriously impatient owner who has shown his ruthless streak of late, and Villas-Boas has no choice but to get his reign off to the right start by delivering in his first term in charge. He will know that there is little room for error in the Chelsea dugout.