Villas Boas feels weight of expectation

Chelesea new manager says he expects to be fired if he fails to land silverware in first season at Stamford Bridge.

Villas Boas said he would not resort to ‘dreaful football’ to create success at Chelsea [EPA]

Andre Villas Boas expects to be fired by Chelsea if he fails to engineer instant success in his first year as manager of the English Premier League club.

The 33-year-old Portuguese was hired last week as Chelsea’s seventh manager in eight years after quitting Porto.

He won four trophies, including the Europa League, with the Portuguese club.

But a lack of silverware in 2011/12 is unikely to give the youngest winner of a top UEFA club competition any breathing space with Blues owner Roman Abramovich.

Asked about the “Special One” tag adopted by one-time mentor Jose Mourinho, Villas-Boas instead styled himself as the “Group One” with a collective mentality.

If that doesn’t materialise, Villas Boas acknowledged that his tenure at Stamford Bridge could be brief.

Instant success

“What you expect from this club is to be successful straight away,” the 33-year-old said at his official presentation on Wednesday.

“I will be surprised to be kept on the job if I don’t win.

Mentor: Mourinho [EPA]

“The expectations of the club are at the maximum. No doubt we have a compromise with a certain amount of trophies. There’s nothing that the owner told me that I didn’t know, to challenge for the trophies in every area.

“It’s pretty clear for a club of this dimension. Who expects to stay as Chelsea manager if they don’t win anything?”

Villas Boas established himself as one of Europe’s most highly rated coaches by winning three trophies with Porto last season, including the Portuguese league, in his one year in charge.

His contract was terminated after Porto received payment of $21.5 million to trigger his release clause, turning Villas Boas into something of a villain at the club and city where he brought so much success in the previous 12 months.

“It was a difficult separation. It’s something that was felt hard in Portugal. My commitment was 100 per cent to Porto and it will always be my club,” said Villas Boas, who revealed he received offers from other leading clubs in Europe.

“I always felt well in Porto … but everyone feels the need for a new challenge.

“The move to Chelsea was based on a very lucrative move … Porto was able to beat their offer. Porto made an extremely competitive offer to stay. But this was a bigger challenge.

“I’m not running away from the fear of another successful year at Porto. Their objective is the same as here. If you’re not (successful), it’s end of story.”

Villas Boas, who said his family had been reluctant to leave Portugal, is often compared to Mourinho, a compatriot who he worked under as a scout at Chelsea from 2004 to 2007 and then with Italian side Inter Milan.

Chelsea quality

He said he wouldn’t necessarily make drastic changes to Chelsea’s ageing squad, rejecting opinions it was short of quality after failing to land a trophy last season.

That led to the sacking of Italian manager Carlo Ancelotti, who won the Premier League and FA Cup double the previous year.

“My confidence in the players is for them to return to me and judge from there. These are players who deserve this respect for me. They have won a lot but still have hunger for success”

Andre Villas Boas, Chelsea manager

“I agree that minor changes can be done and we can put some input here or there in certain sectors, but my confidence in the players is for them to return to me and judge from there,” Villas Boas said.

“These are players who deserve this respect for me. They have won a lot but still have hunger for success.”

Villas Boas also hopes to have autonomy in the transfer market, something that hasn’t happened at the club recently and which was a key factor behind the departure of Mourinho four years ago.

Chelsea has been heavily linked with Porto stars Joao Moutinho, Hulk and Radamel Falcao, as well as Tottenham  playmaker Luka Modric, as the club tries to land its first Champions League title.

Villas Boas, who announced former star Roberto Di Matteo as his assistant, also said he hoped his teams would entertain.

“We are proud defenders of the beauty of the game,” he said.

“It makes no sense for us to get into a club like Chelsea and play dreadful football. This is why this technical staff was picked, based on a philosophy of playing well and as a team.”

Villas Boas has already raided Porto to appoint Jose Mario Rocha as fitness coach and Daniel Sousa as opposition scout in the backroom staff.

Steve Holland, who worked as reserve-team coach at Chelsea last season, was promoted to the senior setup.

Source : AP


Villas Boas becomes the youngest manager to win the Europa League as Porto defeat their Portuguese neighbours Braga 1-0

18 May 2011
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