André Villas-Boas must lead Chelsea evolution not revolution
Sharethematch.com ambassador Andy Gray casts an eye over the start of André Villas-Boas's reign as Chelsea manager
André Villas-Boas is young man who has never managed at this sort of level – but he will learn quickly.
The pressure surrounds a manager on a daily basis in this league and I think it showed when he let off some steam to the written press and TV. He was probably a little unwise to do that and it was a measure of his inexperience at this level.
He is an intelligent man and he knows his football – but he doesn’t know the league. He doesn’t know the pressures he will be under.
He had a couple of years in Portugal but over here you can pick up any newspaper and there are 10 pages at the back surrounding this sport that we all love.
But I was delighted for him that Chelsea got through in the Champions League because he has been hammered unfairly.
Give the man a chance. He has inherited a squad that needs to evolve. Evolution, not revolution, is needed.
He needs to tweak it. Introducing young players – that is what Chelsea are about now. It will be like that for the next 18 months and we will see more players come into Chelsea that reduce the average age of the team.
I remember watching Ricardo Carvalho for years and at times he would take the ball go on a wander and disappear up the pitch, play a little one-two in the middle of the park and he’d end up on the edge of the area. You’d think: ‘what is he doing up there?’
And the one thing that Carvalho has over David Luiz at the minute is that he could defend. He was a great tackler, he had great pace, he complimented John Terry wonderfully well and I think part of Chelsea’s problem has been that they haven’t replaced Carvalho.
But I think Luiz could be a fabulous footballer if he continues to learn the game and about the Premier League.
I’d like to see him concentrate more on defending because we know he can play, we know he’s a good footballer. But is he a good defender? I think he needs to find that level of defensive responsibility first.
You always want your centre-backs to be the best defenders – you don’t want them to be the best footballers. We have eight others who can be the best footballers if we want.
The right side of their defence has been ‘iffy’ for a couple of years. Branislav Ivanovic does great but is he the answer? Is he the right-back that you would want moving forward at the very highest level? I’m not so sure he is.