Andre Villas-Boas a good choice for Tottenham, says Roberto Di Matteo
Roberto Di Matteo expects Andre Villas-Boas to be a success at Tottenham after he was appointed Spurs boss on Tuesday
Roberto Di Matteo has backed Andre Villas-Boas to be a success at Tottenham Hotspur after the Portuguese coach took charge of the north Londoners on Tuesday.
Villas-Boas, who has signed a three-year deal at White Hart Lane, was sacked by Chelsea after 257 days in charge following a string of poor results which left the Blues’ title challenge in tatters.
Di Matteo, who worked under the 34-year-old during his doomed reign at Stamford Bridge, was appointed Chelsea’s full-time coach on a two-year contract after leading the Londoners to a Champions League and FA Cup double following Villas-Boas’s dismissal.
And the Italian is backing his former colleague to bring success to White Hart Lane after Harry Redknapp’s sacking last month.
“I wish him the best of luck,” Di Matteo said at a news conference on Wednesday. “He’s a very good manager and I’m sure he’ll be a success.
“It doesn’t surprise me that he’s back. I think it’s a good choice.”
Roberto Di Matteo fact-file
• Born in the Swiss city of Schaffhausen, Di Matteo started his career with the local club, scoring two goals in 50 league appearances over three seasons before moving to Zürich in 1991. Won the Swiss league title with Aarau in 1992-93, his sole season with the club, going on to a three-year spell at Lazio.
• He became Chelsea’s record signing in 1996 and paid back a chunk of that €5.85m fee with goals in their 1997 FA Cup – after 42 seconds, then the fastest in the final’s history – and 1998 English League Cup final victories. Scored the only goal of another FA Cup final triumph in 1999/2000, the last final at the old Wembley.
• Having won 34 caps for Italy, Di Matteo sustained a triple leg fracture in a Uefa Cup tie against FC St Gallen early in the 2000-01 campaign and was forced to retire in February 2002. Then-manager Claudio Ranieri asked him to lead out the team for the 2002 FA Cup Final, which Chelsea lost to Arsenal.
• He took charge of MK Dons in July 2008 and, having finished third in the English third tier, was appointed by West Brom the following summer. In his first season, led the club to second place in the Championship and promotion to the Premier League but sacked in February 2011.
• That June, Di Matteo returned to Chelsea as assistant manager to Andre Villas-Boas and, following the Portuguese coach’s dismissal on 4 March 2012, was appointed as interim first-team coach for the remainder of the season.
• He was then rewarded for having guided the Blues to a Champions League and FA Cup double with a two-year contract to become Chelsea’s permanent manager and head coach.