Villas Boas takes over reins at Chelsea

London football club favour youth over experience in choosing new manager following his success at Porto.

    Villas Boas faces a tougher time under Abramovich after strolling to Europa League success with Porto [GALLO/GETTY]

    English Premier League followers will be waiting with anticipation to see whether Andre Villas Boas can bring the same success to Chelsea as he did with Porto last season.

    Chelsea appointed the 33-year-old on Wednesday following his resignation from Porto, a club he led to a domestic double and Europa League glory.

    Villas Boas becomes the seventh manager of the Roman Abramovich era after accepting a three-year contract at the west London club.

    The Portuguese manager replaces Carlo Ancelotti, who was sacked in May after failing to win a trophy in his second season having won the Premier League and FA Cup in his first.

    Villas Boas, who becomes the youngest manager in the Premier League, moves to London after Chelsea paid $21.5 million to trigger an escape clause in his contract.

    "Andre was the outstanding candidate for the job," said a statement on the Chelsea website.

    "His ambition, drive and determination matches that of Chelsea and we are confident Andre's leadership of the team will result in greater successes in major domestic and European competitions."

    Familiar ground

    Villas Boas, who cut his coaching teeth under Sir Bobby Robson at Porto in 1993, served under Jose Mourinho at Porto, then following "the Special One" to Chelsea and later Inter Milan.

    "Andre will bring his coaching experience back to a club he is already very familiar with, having previously worked here for three years," said the club's statement.

    "He has always been highly regarded at Chelsea and everyone here looks forward to welcoming him back and working with him."

    Although highly rated for his achievements at Porto, where he brought success with style in his 20-month reign and was unbeaten in the league last season, Chelsea initially seemed set to return to Guus Hiddink in their search for the man to finally bring them the Champions League after so many near-misses.

    The Dutchman, who enjoyed a successful spell as caretaker boss at Chelsea in 2008-09 and has a close relationship with Abramovich from his days as Russia coach, is currently Turkey's national team manager but speculation that he might still arrive as director of football has cooled.

    Colombian Falcao scored 17 goals in the Europa League last season and could follow Villas Boas [GALLO/GETTY]

    Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink understands that comparisons between Villas Boas and Mourinho are inevitable.

    "Yes, everybody is going to look at him and say, 'You have learned it [from Mourinho]' or 'You are the same as Mourinho', and he is going to be the example," Hasselbaink said.

    "Yes, he is only 33, but I think we should look at him just as a man on his own, a different manager - yes from Portugal, but a different individual, and just give him a chance to succeed."

    Former Chelsea midfielder Ray Wilkins, sacked as Ancelotti's assistant last November, welcomed the appointment.

    "We've had lots of older coaches come in at Stamford Bridge and they've not done as well, so we have to give this young man the credit for what he has done up to now," Wilkins told Sky Sports News.

    "Let's give the young man a chance, he's obviously done exceptionally well. His man-management skills from what I can read from the players he has worked with have been first-class."

    Villas Boas, who proved a shrewd operator in the transfer market, is likely to try to persuade Porto's Colombian striker Falcao to follow him to Chelsea after his prolific season.

    With Fernando Torres, Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka all vying for a starting role up front, the addition of Falcao would give Villas Boas formidable firepower.

    The kind of firepower Manchester United could find hard to rival.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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