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Andre Villas-Boas Will Be the Key To Unlock Chelsea’s Champions League Glory

Photo by Gilyo

Andre Villas-Boas is the new manager of Chelsea.  The former FC Porto manager is one of the brightest young tacticians in Europe.  Even though Carlo Ancelotti should have been given more time, Villas-Boas is the best available option for Chelsea moving forward.

Villas-Boas is only 33-years old, the same age as Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba.  Young managers sometimes have difficulty commanding attention from older players.  Will veteran footballers like Ashley Cole, Lampard and John Terry listen to a manager who is around the same age? This is just one of the many hurdles that Andre Villas-Boas has to clear.

Everyone understands why Villas-Boas would welcome a move from Porto to Chelsea. Porto has a history of selling their young stars after reaching success. Chelsea can keep any player they want and buy any player for sale.  Even though Porto are one of the best sides in the world after completing their treble, Chelsea will be able to sustain success because of their vast reservoirs of cash.

But with more money comes more problems.  That problem will be owner Roman Abramovich.  Villas-Boas will have to build a successful team out of aging stars despite Abramovich, which begs the question: Why would anyone wish to manage under him?

Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger are the two best managers in the history of the Premier League.  Both have enjoyed long tenures and continue to lead their teams above and beyond. But both have had to deal with hard times.  Ferguson was allowed to stay with United despite failing to win the league title until his sixth season. Wenger is going through a similar stretch now.  United kept faith in Ferguson, and it paid off big time.  Arsenal is hoping for the same now.

The point is that Abramovich needs to give Villas-Boas more time than he has given other managers.  Villas-Boas could be the long-term solution for Chelsea if Abramovich allows him to be.  Or he could be another footnote in a long line of managers at Stamford Bridge.

Carlo Ancelotti learned that Abramovich doesn’t care much about a league and FA Cup double.  If Villas-Boas wants any kind of length to his Chelsea career, he needs to focus on the Champions League. Abramovich may finally settle down after Chelsea wins their first Champions League. Until then, expect the antics to continue.

Someone close to Abramovich needs to let him know that sacking managers doesn’t lead to success. Andre Villas-Boas has all the tools needed to become the next great manager and sit alongside Ferguson and Wenger.  All he needs is the patience that United and Arsenal have shown with their legendary managers.

Abramovich will finally change.  He will realize that doing the same thing over and over again will not lead to different results. Yes, Chelsea has had tons of success since he bought the club, and he is the reason why Chelsea attracts the top footballers in the world. But he is also holding the club back. Once he gets that history-altering manager, Chelsea can really dominate Europe. If so, I believe Andre Villas-Boas is that man to lead them there.

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  1. brn442

    June 22, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    But will he be able to solve the “Torres” problem? His most daunting problem besides avoiding the sack, is balancing the need to get the best out of the Spaniard without – by default, making Drogba and Anelka disgruntled bit-part players next season.

    You cannot build a dynasty – sacking managers every season. Madrid is proof of that; as they look on jealously at the footballing phenomenon taking place at the Nou Camp. I wish him the best of luck.

  2. Robert

    June 22, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    I think this is a brilliant move for Chelsea. Choosing Villas-Boas over Hiddink is fortuitous, since I’m sure many Blues fans would be equally excited about the Dutchman’s return to the Bridge. So, many thanks, Turkish FA!

    AVB is Roman’s dynasty gamble. If, as innumerable commentators and comments have made clear, Chelsea are on the verge of a transition from the JT/Cole/Frank/Drogba era, then this is a perfect manager choice. Hiddink’s stewardship, in some ways, would be the equivalent of an aging rock band’s reunion tour, and might have the same type of energy level. While on the whole, I disagree that “player power” is a problem at Chelsea (or anywhere, for that matter), AVB can enter the dressing room and announce that he will outlast the current veterans. If he approaches them as partners in a two-year project to win the Champions League, then he can send them into the sunset with a few more trophies.

    Aside from the “core four,” Chelsea can roll out a lineup of sub-27-year-olds (Ivanovic, Luiz, Torres, Essien, Mikel…with another level of even younger players on the way in a few years), to whom AVB can be an authentic superior.

    I don’t expect Roman to change. However, I do expect him to recognize that AVB could become the Chelsea equivalent of Fergie or Wenger (or Moyes), and is a perfect transition from old to new. If Mourinho returns to the Prem, and takes Fergie’s job upon his retirement, then we fans will be treated to a dramatic “father-son” rivalry every year. If AVB doesn’t win trophies, then he gets to treat his time at Chelsea as a seasoning experience and move on to another great job. Perhaps Inter Milan, or Real Madrid will need a new manager by then…

    This is all speculation, of course. But I refuse to join in the chorus of the football fans who have used the same tired line of AVB getting sacked in two seasons. It wasn’t clever the first time it was written. Instead, I posit that his age, experience and the timing of his appointment (in 2011 as opposed to 2012) point to a smooth transition from the first Blue (or Portuguese?) Revolution to another phase.

  3. CM

    June 22, 2011 at 10:34 am

    The poor guy is going to have to keep one eye on Terry. He is young and I’m assuming so is his wife/girlfriend. He’s going to be too distracted to get Chelsea to win the Champions League. 🙂

  4. El Tri 2014

    June 22, 2011 at 10:03 am

    I suppose in the back of VB’s mind, that Chelsea at best is just a stepping stone. He’ll probably manage there for 12-16 months and then move on to a club that is more stable ownership wise…Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter, AC Milan, Tottenham :). That said, if VB does take Chelsea to the promised land, then his career will be extended by 6-12 months give or a take a player’s fiasco.

    • bluefanmd

      June 22, 2011 at 10:13 am

      That’s funny! You listed SPUDS with the other great clubs! ROFL!

    • Fernando

      June 22, 2011 at 3:26 pm

      Do you know how many managers Real Madrid and Inter have gone through in the past 10-15 years? How can you say they are more stable?

      Your statement is totally incorrect.

  5. Taylor

    June 22, 2011 at 9:58 am

    This is all based on “ifs”. Like you say, chelsea squad is old and needs replacements/backups. Will Chelsea be able to do so ?

    It’s a different game right now: when Mourinho was hired, Chelsea was the only club in the EPL that was willing to play ball: name the price and we’ll pay. Now you have Manchester City. United and Liverpool are also ready to flex their financial muscles

    I would argue that AVB might not be the solution but Abrahamovich willingness to change his mindset could be the solution.

  6. MennoDaddy

    June 22, 2011 at 8:26 am

    “Abramovich will finally change. He will realize that doing the same thing over and over again will not lead to different results.”

    Pie in the sky. People like Abramovich (or, say, Donald Trump) don’t change. They have the arrogance and stubbornness brought forth by massive amounts of wealth and an overinflated sense of self-importance.

    Villas-Boas’ transition to Chelsea might have been expected, but that won’t save him from being fired in 12-18 months when he doesn’t deliver on the high burdens of exepectation that he’s already saddled with at Stamford Bridge.

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