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Is Villas-Boas a Mini-Me Mourinho?

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Jonathan Stevenson | 17:26 UK time, Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Seven years after Jose Mourinho's ascension to the Stamford Bridge throne, Chelsea have gone back to Porto to appoint his protege Andre Villas-Boas, handing the precocious 33-year-old the challenge of claiming back the Premier League title and winning the Champions League.

But is Villas-Boas, from 2002-09 a key member of Mourinho's backroom staff at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan, a clone of his mentor? I spoke to Portuguese journalist Jose Delgado and former Inter midfielder Olivier Dacourt to find out.


Mourinho is from Setubal, 182 miles south of Porto, but Villas-Boas - who, according to Delgado, once claimed that sitting on the bench as Porto coach was like "sitting in the chair of my dreams" - is Porto born and bred.

"The fans thought he was one of them," says Delgado, "and the president thought he had more than just a working relationship with Villas-Boas. They wanted him to stay for many years. No-one thought he would leave so soon. There have been some protests, but only out of sadness."

Villas-Boas has a superb human touch and all the players loved him. He is more human than Mourinho - Ex-Inter midfielder Olivier Dacourt

Mourinho took his time to get to the top, but Villas-Boas's rise has been meteoric, as Delgado explains. "He lived in the same apartment block as Porto manager Sir Bobby Robson and, as a 16-year-old, would talk to the coach, giving his opinions. Robson found him extremely interesting because he wanted to know everything about football."

Robson sent Villas-Boas off to get his coaching badges and, by the time Mourinho arrived as Porto boss in 2002, Villas-Boas was already working with the under-19s. He was put in charge of the Opponent Observation section, and his role in Mourinho's rise to stardom was born.

Andre Villas-Boas' coaching career has followed a similar path to Mourinho's  Pic: BBC

Villas-Boas' coaching career has followed a similar path to Mourinho's Pic: BBC


What is clear is that Robson had an enormous impact on both men. Mourinho has always spoken about the debt he owes the former England manager, and Villas-Boas is no different.

"Bobby allowed a 16-year-old to approach him and talk football tactics with him. Then he took me to training, watching sessions. He had that respect for a young boy who approached him in an apartment block in Porto," said Villas-Boas.

Upon taking over at Porto last summer, Villas-Boas, who has a grandmother born in England, said he considered himself more like Robson. "I see myself more in the image of Sir Bobby than Mourinho. Like him, I've got English heritage, I've got a big nose and I like red wine."

But he has also acknowledged the importance Mourinho played in his education. "He introduced me to professional football and I'd like to dedicate this to him," said Villas-Boas after victory in the Europa League final against Braga in May.


Who could forget Mourinho waltzing into English football in the summer of 2004 and immediately declaring: "I am a Special One"? Can we expect the same level of confidence from Villas-Boas?

"People focus too much on the manager," he said last season. "Success is down to the structure of the club and the players. Football is not a one-man show. My job is to nurture talent, to allow players to explore their capabilities to the full. I'm no dictator. I don't see it as a one-man show."

Delgado says the two are very different people. "Villas-Boas learned a lot from Mourinho, but he is a different person, definitely not a Mourinho clone. He knew from the beginning he couldn't be Mourinho, he had to go his own way, be his own man.

"Mourinho is aggressive and always needs to be fighting someone, but Villas-Boas doesn't need that. He is, though, very strong in the mind games and intelligent, so he won't hide from anyone or anything. He will happily take on someone like Sir Alex Ferguson, he won't be afraid."

Relationship with players:

"Villas-Boas has a superb human touch and the players loved him, every one of them," said Dacourt of his time at the San Siro. "He is more human than Mourinho. He always wanted to talk to us, find out how we were. We knew how young he was but he wanted to learn and worked very hard at improving in every area."

This is where the two men are most similar. Mourinho's rapport with the likes of John Terry and Frank Lampard at Chelsea is legendary, and Villas-Boas saw at first hand just how important it was to gain the respect of key players in the dressing-room.

Porto goalkeeper Helton, seven months younger than Villas-Boas, said recently: "He looks after us, he gives us tranquillity and reminds us what we're capable of. He's a friend of the team and a friend to every player. He's one of the best coaches I've worked with and allows us to play with lots of freedom."

Striker Radamel Falcao agrees: "Villas-Boas has made 24 players at Porto feel relevant and important - and that is not easy," while Markus Berger, who played for Villas-Boas at Academica, told my colleague John Sinnott: "He emphasises creating a big spirit in the group so that everybody works together and everybody will push for the team. He has a great personality and you want to work with him."


So how can Chelsea fans expect their team to line up? "Villas-Boas likes 4-3-3, the same as Mourinho," says Delgado. "But it would be fair to say Mourinho is more pragmatic than Villas-Boas and a little more radical when he feels he needs to be.

"People say Villas-Boas's teams are more attacking, but he didn't need to play defensively this season because Porto were winning every game. Who knows what he'll do at Chelsea? He's only been a manager for a year-and-a-half!"

It is unlikely that Villas-Boas will prove to be a one-trick pony where tactics are concerned. He is, after all, the man who spent four days at a time putting together exhaustive dossiers on opponents while he worked for Mourinho.

Playing the game:

Mourinho, master of the mind games, enjoyed his fair share of battles with the media and his fellow managers alike during a compelling three-and-a-half years at Chelsea, but will Villas-Boas keep us similarly entertained?

"Oh you'll have fun, be sure of that," says Delgado. "It might not be quite the same as Mourinho, but you won't be bored. Villas-Boas will give you plenty to write about."


  • Comment number 1.

    I'm genuinely excited by this appointment - far more daring than going Guus, who always seemed a bit of a safe bet.

  • Comment number 2.

    - that should be going FOR Guus. Doh

  • Comment number 3.

    I want to say that this is a great appoinment for chelsea and hope he can deliver us thwe champions league

  • Comment number 4.

    As a Chelsea fan I hope he is given time to build. Its time for Chelsea to enter a transitional phase that could be clearly foreseen last season and I think He is the right man to take us through that phase. I also hope he gives the likes of Mcceachran, kakuta, Sturridge. I think these guys have great potential to be the next big players at our club.

  • Comment number 5.

    Its a gamble for Chelsea who need it to pay dividends straight away. He's unproven really as a manager, winning the league, domestic cup and UEFA cup is impressive but Porto had won 4 of the last 5 titles and always have a pedigree in Europe. Good to see young managers given an opportunity to shine though. Be interesting to see how he utilises Torres also.

  • Comment number 6.

    It seems to me that AVB is the opposite of Mourinho who was and is impatient at Real. If you look at AVB he seems much the calmer and more respective type. I think that he will not be anything like Mourinho from style to personality. I am very excited for next season. 6 good teams battling for 4 spots and I am very much looking forward to how Chelsea plays next year.

  • Comment number 7.

    Hope AVB displays the same afront he showed Sir Bobby and dumps Lampard, Malouda, Kalou, Anelka and Torres. Barca has showed everybody including those with half a brain that if you have a good midfield that is creative and can pass the ball and play for the team and not for individual egos, you can win the highest honour in football.

  • Comment number 8.

    An intriguing appointment but, in reality, I'd be astonished if he's still there in 18 months. A couple of poor results and you won't be able to open a newspaper without reading about his age and lack of experience.

  • Comment number 9.

    I hope Abramovich has moved on from his 'buy the CL now' phase, buying older players failed, Shevchenko being the obvious example, you need a team to win the CL, not a bunch of individuals, Mourinho created a great team spirit, players were dead keen to aid each other, i would say that AVB will do the same, given the time and resources he will win the CL.

  • Comment number 10.

    Chris Coleman?? Aged 32 years 11 months when he was named permanent Fulham manager in May 2003.

    An oversight?

  • Comment number 11.

    An interesting appointment by Abramovich... I'm waiting with bated breath to see how long he lasts.

    Chelsea are a very good football club and deserve a good manager who will guide them to the trophies they desrve. But firing a man who's won 8 european cups as manager and player, then hiring a 33 year old who's managed for 1.5 years to win the Champions League is not the way to do it in my opinion. If Ancelotti with all his wisdom struggled (mind you, he wasn't given very long) how will Villas-Boas do it?

    Villas-Boas is no doubt a very good manager, for Porto, but not for Chelsea. He was born and bred in the city and grew up at the club. I doubt his "Superb human Touch" will sit well with some of the egos at Stamford Bridge; players and coaching staff. I mean how would you feel if, at work, where you had established yourself as a valuable member of staff, suddenly find yourself managed by someone new that is your own age?

    I believe Villas-Boas should have stayed put at Porto, not because I think he's getting all jumped up, but because he would have more time to ply his trade around the people who have grown to trust him. Besides he would have been in the Champions League next season too, allowing us to get a better idea of what kind of manager he really is.

    I reckon this appointment is short sighted by Chelsea, another one of Abramovich's bodge fixes. If Ancelotti had more time and support he would have adapted to life in the Premier League and moulded a very good Chelsea side.

    For now though, I will wait and see if I will be made to stand corrected...

  • Comment number 12.

    'd say that his young age is actually a positive thing. when managers go through their training in order to become thus, they often rely on past glories as a player. e.g. maradonna, a great player, but as a manager, not so much.
    in order to get to a high level, as AVB has done, he could not rely on reputation. what he has achieved is shown to be down to skill as a manager (not discounting the players of course)

  • Comment number 13.

    How exactly does that graphic show that their careers have followed similar paths? There is absolutely no similarity between the two sets of stats, and no sense in comparing them in the first place, because you're comparing the AVB of today and the Mourinho of today. Maybe comparing them both at 33 would have made more sense if you were trying to show "similar paths".

  • Comment number 14.

    For me, the best young manager in the world and someone I feel that Abramovich will commit to for a number of years, due to his age and his preference for an attacking, but structured, style of play. But I actually feel that they will be successful almost immediately, as he will know the club relatively well and has been noted for building a good relationship with his players, which may help in getting off to a winning start.

  • Comment number 15.

    Let's hope this gamble pays off like Mourinho's appointment, we'll see if he can turn the fortunes of Torres around as well. Come on you blues lets win the treble this year!

  • Comment number 16.

    As Sven once said,

    "It's a gamble. But it's a good gamble."

    Of course, Sven's gamble was bringing Walcott to the World Cup aged 16 and that didn't work out but that's not to say that this won't.

  • Comment number 17.

    Does every Chelsea manager have to be compared to that slimy egotistical fool? The English press are obsessed with the guy.

    As for Villa-Boas, I think he's a great capture for Chelsea. A great up and coming manager who I think could do wonders for Chelsea if he stays there for years - hopefully Ambramovich gives him the time. Also, a man who has a sense of dignity and respect unlike Mourinho.

  • Comment number 18.

    At 22:10 22nd Jun 2011, a1dyl0l wrote:

    Chris Coleman?? Aged 32 years 11 months when he was named permanent Fulham manager in May 2003.

    An oversight?


    Stevo is talking about CURRENT premier league managers. Do people comment on these articles just to complain?

    Anyways, I'm gutted he has signed for Chelsea. Was hoping he was going to stick with Porto long enough until The King's retirement! As long as Roman and his advisers leave him alone and give him sometime he will do a fantastic job. He may even get the best out of that rancid pot noodle (aka Torres!).

  • Comment number 19.

    Slimy egotistical fool. really? is that why he won the Champions League with Porto, 2 premier leagues titles breaking almost every record in England in 2004-2005? Is that why he won the treble with Inter? Is that why he beat Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey final? clearly the wrong statement. I do agree on the part that he lacks respect

  • Comment number 20.

    @ 17 the above comment is for you.

  • Comment number 21.

    Really happy about this appointment and so looking forward to next season! Go Chelsea! Now we just need Modric and we are ready for the season.

  • Comment number 22.

    Interesting article but I cant help feeling how two young portuguese men were put on the path to becoming incredible coaches by an englishman but this country itself is incapable of doing the same , Sir Bobby was a good man and a good coach . Anyone who has tried to pass FA coaching badges know how bad the system is , intelligent , open minded coaching is not what you find with the FA system , in fact the local FA near me brag that Mourinho would never have got a badge with them for various reasons , is that something to be proud of ? I also think its almost impossible in the UK for a non ex pro to make it as a coach yet mourinho and vilas boas were not ex pros .... hmm take note FA

  • Comment number 23.

    One other point on coaching , with all the football writers that exist in this country its incredible to me no one has taken a very close look at the FA coaching system because coaches at the very lowest level are what england needs to start developing technically gifted players . I have heard so many terrible stories from people who tried passing the coaching badges that I have no confidence in the system , large numbers of potentially good coaches become disillusioned by the system ........ to lose good people who love their sport and coaching and who have passion and care is sad to say the least

  • Comment number 24.

    His third team in two seasons? I don't expect him to see out his contract with Chelsea (if Abramovic doesn't sack him first).

  • Comment number 25.

    hers's wishing the guy a long and prosperous 3 months as a PL manager.

    i am already writing the words to a new song

    gone by christmas ........................

    struggling though to come up with other lyrics perhaps i will make a ringtone instead

    ding dong ding dong
    you not last long

  • Comment number 26.

    or a remix of a Tina Turner classic

    " we dont need another EGO "

    available for all smart phones apologies in advance to all chelsea fans for implying they have the abilty to use one.

  • Comment number 27.

    Nothing like Jose mourinho, not as many trophies hasn't had the experience of top flight football so he isn't as good. He is also going to make Torres twice the player. So he should score two goals this season, lol lol looking forward to that Chelsea fans. Floppy torres

  • Comment number 28.

    I enjoyed reading this article, thanks for publishing, but Phil Mcnulty already has a blog on the appointment of Villas Boas, so I am surprised to see this one running in parallel.

  • Comment number 29.

    I want to say that this is a great appoinment for chelsea and hope he can deliver us thwe champions league

  • Comment number 30.

    All the best to Villa-Boas, hopefully the players respect you for who you are...

    The only thing we did best last season was finishing 2nd and trophyless, as for you I think building the team with youngsters should be a priority. We need to retain our CL spot and at least one trophy that will be a good enough achivement for AVB.

    Roman you took the risk, so you need to give this young man time!!! You are the real tinkerman!!!

  • Comment number 31.

    I think it's a disgrace tbh. He is clearly a very good young coach, but does he deserve to be handed such a big job in the English game with so little experience? He'll now be given hundreds of millions to spend. How disheartening it must be for English and British managers, who have to take jobs with the lesser Preimier League teams, or even in the Championship, while this guy comes from a small league, and jumps the queue straight to the big four.

    How do we know how good our managers could be unless we give them a chance at the big clubs, or do we expect them to win the league with the likes of Blackpool or West Ham?

  • Comment number 32.

    Think Roman Abramovich has made a great decision in brining AVB to the bridge! great manager at a young age, who already has an idea of what goes on behind the scenes at chelsea.

    wont be surprised now with the first thing he does is sell Drogba and Anelka, and bring in Hulk and Falcao over with him from Porto, and play them with torres in that 4-3-3 he likes.

  • Comment number 33.

    wont be surprised now with the first thing he does is sell Drogba and Anelka, and bring in Hulk and Falcao over with him from Porto,


    Depends who Roman wants to buy or sell though doesn't it, he calls the shots when it comes to transfers.

  • Comment number 34.

    It does not matter if he has played football. So as long he can do the job.
    Maybe this is another new dimension for the PL.

  • Comment number 35.

    Seems people are getting a bit carried away with this appointment.

    He won the league with Porto, who have now won it 5 times in the last 6 years. I don't wish to suggest he is not a good manager - I simply don't know enough about him at the moment - but winning the Portuguese league with Porto doesn't strike me as such an incredible achievement. The Europa League win is in there, but the jury is out on quite how important that league is, as most of the time we seem to write it off as being a poor mans Champions League.

    What I see at the moment is a manager with little experience of the English game being brought into a club and being asked 'to succeed' where Ancellotti, Hiddink, Scolari and Grant couldn't.

    If he wasn't young, and hadn't worked with Mourinho, there would be an outcry at how this is such a weak appointment.

  • Comment number 36.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 37.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 38.

    Odd appointment, in essence his managerial record is that he won what is at best a two horse race in Portugal and went one result better than Roy Hodgson and Steve McLaren in the UEFA cup, the difference being that Hodgson and McLaren reached the UEFA Cup (Europa League pah) final with Fulham and Middlesbrough and lost whereas Vilas Boas won it with the considerably larger Porto.

    Aston Villa fans thought McLaren wasn't good enough for them but Chelsea fans seem to be welcoming Villas Boas with open arms, who's right? Time will tell but personally I think this may be a job too soon for Villas Boas and he'd have been better off wating a couple of years until Terry, Lampard and Drogba are already out the door.

  • Comment number 39.

    #36 & #37 Mr Chelsea

    Exactly. People say he bought Torres and try to use it as a stick to beat him with but don't seem to give any credit for the acquisition of Luiz at the same time.

  • Comment number 40.

    I think this is a welcome development. I would want him to repeat what he did @ Porto by selling players that are irrelevant at Chelsea and pave way for young, talented and energetic ones to come in and take Chelsea to the next level ie winning the champions league. I have no doubt he will succeed and I pray so. Villas-Boas you re welcome

  • Comment number 41.

    #38 Chad Secksington

    Perhaps people think that we have seen all that the likes of Mclaren and Hodgson have to give but, at this time, think that the sky is the limit with Villas-Boas? If you were comparing them all at the same stage of their careers, you might have a point, but you're not are you?

    In terms of the Europa league, Porto beat what was in front of them. Now he has a chance at the Champions League so we'll see what he can do.

    Also, although he may have what we perceive as big decisions in the likes of Terry, Lampard and Drogba, it is also a chance with something of a clean slate. Are you arguing it would be better when someone else has built a new squad rather than him doing it himself?

  • Comment number 42.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 43.

    Lets not waste time over analysing this appointment. We did the same with Grant, Scolari and Ancellotti. My prediction? Sacked by christmas, for failing to have a 100% record.

  • Comment number 44.

    We are assuming that Roman buys ALL the players right?


    Who know's, it seems to be happening more and more over tha last few years at least. Torres and Shevchenko were seemingly Abramovich purchases and there's been a bid for Modric when Chelsea didn't have a manager.

  • Comment number 45.

    Alongside the trophies, he has 2 other battles to win:

    1. Get Roman to give him enough time to build a system that is repeatable year after year. Make sure he has enough executive support to protect him from the knee-jerk sacking that are a feature every 18 months at Stamford Bridge.

    2. Manage the guys who have in the past publicly stated that they go directly to Roman when they think something is not right. If these players think that they can just pay lip service to the manager and then go behind his back, every attempt to make Chelsea a force in Europe will be undermined.

    He seems to have the man-management skills for number 2 but does he have the political skills for number 1?


  • Comment number 46.

    Is Villa-Boas a Mini-Me Mourinho?!?

    Is that really the title of a blog on the BBC website?! Oh dear lord, that is probably one of the most disrespectful thing I've ever read!

    The guy is 33 and in the process of forging his own career, and doing quite well. Yet, instead of recognising his own achievements, all the lazy media can do is compare him with another manager.

    That's a real shame in my book. He should be given the chance to be his own man, but no. This is him from now on: Mourinho Mark II. He must hate the media here already.

    The thing is that the comparison breaks down on any real analysis, as you show in your awful blog.

    Look Mr Stevenson, I have noticed your hero worship of Mourinho before, but this is going too far. If it were me publishing something like this, I would feel dirty.

  • Comment number 47.

    I think its an exciting appointment from a Chelsea supporters point of view. I just hope that as a young manager he's given the time and backing to build a team he can sustain for years, rather than being treated like Carlo (who i thought was a superb manager).

    Its about time the powers that be at Chelsea gave someone the oppertunity to build something long term.

  • Comment number 48.

    46 - One of the most disrespectful things you've EVER read? I can tell you're clearly not a person easily given to exaggeration...

    Do you think you'll be alright?

  • Comment number 49.

    If things don't work out straightaway I am afraid Roman will lose his patience easily. Although I think he will last at least until Christmas. In my opinion Alex McLeishsh will be the first PL manager casualty.

  • Comment number 50.

    Dear All,
    Pls do not compare José Vs Villas Boas they are very different! José is a battle man BUT Villas Boas It's a 5 Stars General even with only 33. NOTE the modern football managers will be younger in future, and examples like this are will open those minds that experience is the key. Know how works even well and age (there are exceptions) decreases capabilities. Villas Boas won’t give English media exciting José entertainment but results with this guy are a natural

  • Comment number 51.

    Pls do not compare José Vs Villas Boas they are very different!


    Sorry but they're BOUND to be compared with each other, you can't expect them not to be.

  • Comment number 52.

    I am also very excited by this appointment. He sounds a nice guy but NOT a soft touch which is a good combination. He seems to understand motivational leadership rather than just a "make demands" style. He needs, however, the space to mould a team and make progress within a reasonable timescale

  • Comment number 53.

    He is young, vibrant, sophisticated and can boast amoung other things a " count " ..
    yes thats COUNT! amoung his relatives wow im over the moon are we speaking sport? or X-factor perhaps this blog is better suited to Facebook.

    for those of you just joining us may i draw your attention/s to my posts 25/26

    more titles will follow

    alas not in chelseas direction

  • Comment number 54.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 55.

    Same old same old. Better things were written about's all history now. I really pity this guy, typical English press, raising him up (almost to the level of sainthood) only to take pleasure in beating him down later. Why can't you just be patienet for a few months before taking time to objectively assess him?

    Why are the majority of English people always threatened by someone with a bit of personality or eccentricity(Mourinho, Balotelli, C. Ronaldo, J. Terry, Sir Alex...)
    Beyond any talent, there seems to be a pre-requisite that everyone should be boring, humble and timid! Then everyone would be as uninteresting as the English. What a complicated lot!

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    Mourinho hasn't won 8 leagues.

  • Comment number 58.

    I love reading your comments. I think I might miss them the most when I leave the BBC.

    Anyway, the debate continues...

    londonsmanutd - lots of good points there, but doesn't it happen all the time all over the world where people are managed by guys/girls the same age, or even younger? Don't think it matters - if he's good enough, he's old enough. And don't forget he knows a lot of the key personnel at Chelsea very, very well already. If Dacourt's chat is anything to go by, they will already be fans of Villas-Boas.

    Gooner Maestro Drives A McLaren Mercedes and a few others too - Yes, he absolutely does have to be compared to Mourinho. He spent seven years with Jose, managed Porto to incredible success and moved to Chelsea; it's not a giant leap to try and find out whether he's pretty similar to his old gaffer.

    It's a shame some people find this a cheap discussion, but I believe it's one worth having. Villas-Boas clearly isn't bothered by the Mourinho comparison - if he was, it's unlikely he'd be moving to Chelsea when he could have stayed at Porto, the club he supports.

    I think Villas-Boas provides a hugely exciting, unknown X-factor in the Premier League next season. Let's face it, Ferguson, Wenger, Dalglish, Mancini and Redknapp are unlikely to know too much about him, in the beginning at least.

  • Comment number 59.

    You make me laugh you Chelsea fans, most of you are 'excited' about this appointment and are practically wetting your pants in anticipation (and you still have wet dreams when you think of Maureen). I bet 90% of you had never heard of him until 3 weeks ago and now you're spouting off about his 'motivational leadership' and 'attacking style' as if you've been watching all the Porto games under him.
    Give the bloke a chance and we can assess him at Christmas - cos if he isn't in the top 3 then, he'll be gone!

  • Comment number 60.

    Neutral in terms of Premiership team partisanship (I'm a Hull City fella), pretty excited about Villas-Boas, hope he's given time blah blah blah as everyone says.

    P.S. Take away 606 and the article comments go from being about 50% constructive to being around 90% bored, inarticulate, ill-informed, reactionary nonsense. What did you expect?

  • Comment number 61.

    They are incomparable but time 'll tell. Surely by December he 'll be clubless.

  • Comment number 62.

    @ 59 Diablo Rojo. I am a Chelsea fan and I watched the Europa League final and that was 5 weeks ago. Did you fail math???

  • Comment number 63.

    1. I said 90% of Chelsea fans wouldn't have heard of him until 3 weeks ago. (Like most of us) - so you are part of the 10%, did you fail math?
    2. So you watched the Europa League Final - what about the rest of the season - or did you base his brilliance on that one viewing?
    3. The guy deserves a chance to prove himself, not the added weight of the fans' expectation on his shoulders (he'll already have RA watching his every move)
    4. I'm not inarticulate, and you'll always get people on here who think they are superior to others - usually supporters of lesser teams.
    5. I am entitled to make my own observations on some of the comments left by others.

  • Comment number 64.

    I love the insistence of rival fans that he will be gone in 6 months if he doesn't win everything. Does any one of you have access to Roman Abramovich that you have this incredible insight?

    The most obvious thing from day one was that Roman is a) a huge fan of exciting, Barca-style football and b) wants to be entertained. He is going to continue to shake things up until he gets that right combination of exciting style and winning ways. I don't think he expects his manager to win everything, but I do think he expects value for the money invested. He is a businessman with a huge investment portfolio and didn't get where he is today by settling for second best (not allowing for the questionable source of his seed capital, or course).

    I think if Chelsea serve up quality play and win the games they ought to win in style, then AVB is set. Mourinho did that in his first season. By his second season, there was too much of the stolid about him and too little flair. By the third season, the team was no longer performing well and his mouth was getting him into way too much trouble. He had to go. Grant was stop-gap. The team coached itself. Scolari was a mistake, Hiddink was a caretaker, and that was known from the start. Carlo did a great job in his first year, but demonstrated this past season that he does not have a game plan when things get tough.

    So the pattern is not so much of an impatient RA who tosses out his managers at whim. He expects value for the millions he has pumped into the club, and if he doesn't get it, he is going to look elsewhere.

  • Comment number 65.

    the job should have gone to rory mcilroy!

  • Comment number 66.

    well, he's jumped into the bear pit now. any chelsea manager is lucky to get two seasons and he'll have to get torres scoring at least if he wants to see the second. don't know much about his style, think porto play 4-3-3 which will help as i think that's when they seem most dangerous. Looks like he's interested in bringing Falcao and Moutinho with him, both seem good players, falcao has 72 goals in the last 2 seasons and moutinho seems well thought of.

    He'll need players he can trust because the player power in the dressing room at chelsea is so extreme, abramovich is clearly intimately involved in signing players and expects the manager to get his little toys working properly, to blame the players would mean he might be at fault so the managers get the blame (and the sack) when things go wrong. abramovich spent £50m on torres, if AVB can get him scoring he'll be given time. He'd do well to make a statement to the players by selling drogba in my opinion, AVB needs the illusion of power and a 33 year old drogba (same age!) could well be an undermining influence if he doesn't get the games he wants, would keep everyone on their toes if falcao/sturridge came into the fold...

    as a utd fan hopefully that could pave the way for a utd swoop on modric whilst attentions are elsewhere.

    at chelsea i'd probably get shot of mikel/drogba/ferreira and get a striker, winger, am and rb.

    chelsea still need a few more home growns if they want the full 25 man squad i think, unless any of the youngsters have had a birthday only turnbull/terry/a cole/sturridge/lampard are HG...they were short last year and i think the lack of options hurt them. glad they never got young.

  • Comment number 67.

    Make your live easier go to William hill and bet on Chelsea for next season! 100% Victorious!
    Villas-Boas clearly isn't bothered by the Mourinho comparison he knows is a lot better!
    Attacking clever lab trained and solid defending zone creative mid field watch and then you will see all players eating grass. I've watching him all season and I know...another thing your league its a lot better than the Portuguese for sure but Oporto of last season in Premier League with less budget was in title fight for sure!

  • Comment number 68.

    Totally different coaches, the only thing similar is their coaching path (Worked for Sir Bobby Robson, coached Porto then Chelsea). And the movie reference is terrible, Villas-Boas is a grown man who looks nothing like Mourinho. Just saying...

  • Comment number 69.

    This is going to be a very expensive appointment for Abramovich. Villas-Boas will want to pick his own team and it may not contain some of Roman's overpriced superstars.
    I have no doubt that the new manager will find a winning team in the Chelsea squad but it could ring in the changes for some.
    As noted by some team spirit is key in winning trophies and V-B has said he is all about that.
    A ballsy decision by Abramovich, but the Chelsea billions will have to show some real class to get my respect.

  • Comment number 70.

    All these Mourinho comparisons are so ridiculous. Every great manager starts their career under someone... Clough, Ferguson, Shankley etc. AVB's interesting points are his meteoric rise and comparatively young age to be coaching a side like Chelsea, whilst comments that he may owe some of his success to being taken along with the success of Mourinho why is there this fatuous conclusion that "he worked under him, so he must be like him"??!!

    Let him be his own man, I think even in his short time he's done enough to warrant being judged on his own merits.

  • Comment number 71.

    i love how everyone wants AVB & Chelsea to fail and for AVB to get the sack, it shows how sad some people are.

    Chelsea is a great team no matter what, its no clubs right to win trophies every season - look at arsenal. However chelsea are a good team and always win games, thus increasing the chance of winning trophies. Even under grant we didn't win any but we got to the final of CL and should of won - wasn't to far of the PL to, although we didn't deserve to win that!

    My point is, whoever chelsea had whether we kept Carlo, brought back Hiddink or jose, or even sparky, we still have the quality, the support & the spirit to challenge for all honors.

    By this i dont mean to undermine AVB, because i do believe he will be a good manager. I am not basing this on fact, im basing this on my faith as a fan of chelsea that he can do the job? Who says he couldnt? The people that say he cant are just as bad as the chelsea fans saying, 'oh hes amazing blah blah blah' im surprised how opinionated people are about the so-called opinionated fans of chelsea!

    Good luck to him, KTBFFH!

  • Comment number 72.

    You have to realize that Jose Mourinho is Donald Duck in comparison to Sir Alex Ferguson as well as this brutal fact...

    Playing in the Premier League is nothing like managing a foreign club.

    Teams with professional wrestlers and foulers like Stoke City will cripple your players if you train them to be too technically skilled rather than bulky and imposing while still maintaining technical ability.

    In other leagues, this isn't an issue as they all try to imitate the top clubs in those leagues. In the Premier League, teams like Wolves, Wigan, Stoke and Blackburn play rough football, they don't care if you're passing it nicely across the field with superstar tactics, they play successful long-ball tactics since they don't have the finance to get quality midfielders. The exception to this was West Ham with Scott Parker but West Ham are in the Championship now having proven that two good players in your team don't make a squad.

  • Comment number 73.

    25 & 26 #...

    how original and clever you anyone who has read and debated on phils column you will see this poor joke in that as well, almost identical

    hats off to you younorthern monkey!

  • Comment number 74.

    72# jose sire alex could only hope to be better than jose!
    why do you think he is one of hte few managers hes befriended, because he admires him? probably...because hes scared of him & his ability? defo!!!

    Mourinho has already won 19 throphies in 10 years... and hes 30 years younger the SAF! and it doesnt matter if he hasnt won them with one club. I think it is more skill to go from club to club and achieve instant success everytime with a group of new players/staff and a foreign language, adpat play etc...

    SAF takes 5 years to build a squad, they dominate for 3-4 years then fade and then begins again...well payed but i reckon i could do that with united's money.

    Mourinho is a genius in his own right, tactically, mentally in every-way he is a proven, natural born winner

    Yes his is very rude/smug/disrespectful....but he wins trophies like ti was nothing in the most extreme circumstance...and he dont make it easy for himself...yet he still pulls it out!!


  • Comment number 75.

    i wouldn't say people want AVB to fail, in fact i think a lot of people are looking forward to seeing his style and what he's all about, it's just that under abramovich failure isn't an option to a manager, abramovich has no patience. AVB seems clever enough to know this so it'll be interesting to see how he handles the pressure. AVB is the 8th manager in 7 years!!!!

  • Comment number 76.

    You cant compare Mourinho achievements with Villas Boas. Mourinho won both Uefa and Champions with a cheap team of Portuguese players he found in the Portuguese league like Pedro Emanuel, Ferreira, Valente, Carvalho, Maniche, Derlei, Postiga, Costinha, a cheap striker bought in Spanish second division Benny Mcarty, talent of Deco plus the experience of Vitor Baia and Jorge Costa. Villas Boas won with a team already 3 x times champios full of internationals and expensive playes like Helton and Hulk (Brazil Internationals), Sapunaru (Romania International) Alvaro Pereira, Fucile And Rodriguez (Uruguay Internationals 3s in the last WC), Moutinho (bought last year fro 10M), Falcao, Guarin and James (also Colombian internationals). Total budget of Porto 100 M Euros today. Mourinho never ha such resources back then. So it is totally different, what Mourinho achieved for Porto was real magic. Andre was perfect but he had more talent to work with.

    On personal it's clear Mourinho is working class type and motivates himself and players by fighting everything and everyone. He was a low class individual that fight to be where he is. Andre Villas Boas have other type of upper class education and a easier life, so he is completely the opposite of Jose Mourinho. Calm, reflexive and not aggressive at all.

    I believe that the 1st ten matches of Villas Boas at Chelsea will be decisive. I am pretty sure he will succeed but that will depend on expectations also. Keep in mind Mourinho had a fresh base of young players anger for 1st time wins like Terry, Lampard, Cech, Carvalho, Drogba, and Andre will get them end of life. That is the biggest challenge he as.

  • Comment number 77.

    Is Jonathan Stevenson a Mini-Me cross between Tony Blair and Roy Keane???

  • Comment number 78.

    On personal it's clear Mourinho is working class type and motivates himself and players by fighting everything and everyone. He was a low class individual that fight to be where he is. Andre Villas Boas have other type of upper class education and a easier life, so he is completely the opposite of Jose Mourinho. Calm, reflexive and not aggressive at all.


    mourinho is not working class. what on earth makes you think he was poor or underprivelaged? he's from a well off middle class family.

  • Comment number 79.



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