Four months after being fired by Chelsea, Andre Villas-Boas was given the opportunity to rebuild his reputation in the English Premier League when he was hired as head coach of fellow London club Tottenham on Tuesday.
The Portuguese manager’s appointment was first announced on Tottenham’s official Twitter site. He joined on a three-year contract and will succeed Harry Redknapp, who was fired on June 14 after nearly four seasons in charge at White Hart Lane.
Having established himself as one of Europe’s most sought-after coaches following a stunning stint at Porto, the 34-year-old Villas-Boas’ short managerial career nosedived during a troubled eight-month reign at Chelsea during which he was criticised for his reportedly detached style of man-management.
However, he has convinced Spurs chairman Daniel Levy that he is the man to take the north London club to the next level and will look to build on the work of Redknapp, who managed to threaten the dominance of England’s four major powers – the two Manchester clubs, Arsenal and Chelsea.
“Tottenham Hotspur is a great club with a strong tradition and fantastic support, both at home and throughout the world,” Villas-Boas said.
“I feel privileged to be its coach. For me, this is one of the most exciting coaching positions in the Premier League.
“This is a squad any coach would love to work with and together I believe we can bring success in the seasons ahead.”
The man known in England as “AVB” will take over a team that finished fourth in the Premier League last season but failed to qualify for the Champions League, ironically because of the amazing exploits of Villas-Boas’ successor at Chelsea, Roberto Di Matteo.
Villas-Boas’ departure and Di Matteo taking over sparked an upturn in fortunes at Stamford Bridge culminating in a surprise victory on penalties in the Champions League final over Bayern Munich, meaning Chelsea – who finished sixth in the league – took Spurs’ spot in Europe’s leading competition.
Tottenham will instead play in the Europa League, one of four trophies won by Villas-Boas in 2011 at the end of his sole season in charge of Portuguese giants, Porto.
During that short reign, Villas-Boas led Porto to an undefeated campaign to win the league and became the youngest manager ever to win a European title.
“I am delighted that Andre has agreed to become our new head coach,” Tottenham chairman Levy said.
He has an outstanding reputation for his technical knowledge of the game and for creating well-organised teams capable of playing football in an attractive and attacking style.”
With winger Gareth Bale recently signing a new deal keeping him at Tottenham until 2016, Villas-Boas’ biggest task could be to keep hold of the club’s other star player, Croatia midfielder Luka Modric.
Modric has been linked with a move away, with Manchester United and Chelsea among those believed to be interested.
By taking over at Tottenham, Villas-Boas may be waiving Chelsea compensation that reportedly amounted to around $15.7 million to cover the two years left on his deal at Stamford Bridge.