Man United clash is not about the managers, says Villas-Boas
Chelsea boss does not want to be in the spotlight ahead of his side's trip to Old Trafford on Sunday
André Villas-Boas does not believe the focus should be on the managers ahead of Chelsea’s trip to Manchester United on Sunday.
The Chelsea boss, whose side are two points behind early pace-setters United and City, will go head-to-head with Sir Alex Ferguson for the first time at Old Trafford this weekend.
But the Portuguese coach claims that the managers’ role in football is “minimal” and the spotlight should be on the two teams instead.
“I don’t think it can be two managers facing each other,” said Villas-Boas on Friday. “In my opinion and vision of football it just doesn’t play like that.
“Our importance in the game is minimal, it is for the players to feel motivated and enjoy the game and exploit their talent.
“It is for us managers to promote that talent and try to lead them to success but our percentage in my view is always a small percentage, it is for them to be up to the challenge of the game.”
Villas-Boas admits United’s flying start to the season has been “impressive” – but insists it is too early in the season to draw conclusions over the destination of the Premier League trophy.
“It’s for all of us to praise when any team in the world starts a league like that,” he continued. “It is impressive and the fans are able to enjoy these kind of goals from Man United or Man City or any team in the world who starts a goalscoring spree like this one. It’s good for all football.
“We are confident with what we have been doing so far. Of course we would prefer to have been level on points by this date but it didn’t happen. We think we had an important point at Stoke. It’s early season and the Premiership is so unpredictable.
“It’s the fifth game of the season. I think if any manager is judged on five games of the season there is not something wrong with the manager there is something wrong with the people who run clubs.”
And the Chelsea boss is hoping Sunday’s showdown will live up to the pre-match hype. He continued: “Normally when there is this high expectancy for a game sometimes things go the other way round and it is a boring, tactical game.
“Hopefully it won’t because that’s not the culture of the Premiership. I think it will be a high-intensity game fuelled by emotion.”
Villas-Boas added: “This game comes at a good time for us because both teams feel very motivated and feel strong so hopefully this will be enough for the spectacle to be excellent which all of us should hope for.”