Chelsea Terrace Talk – Irish Examiner Article By Trizia

So we finally have a new manager, and I can’t imagine that many saw that one coming when Ancelotti was given the elbow. Given the alleged obsession with the Champions League, it is interesting that Abramovich has plumped for a man who not only has never won it, but has not ever had a team in it!
That said, he was one of Mourinho’s trusted scouts during his reign at Chelsea so was able to observe first-hand the shenanigans that went on – on and off the pitch during that unprecedented period in the club’s history. It will be interesting to watch this new young manager’s business manner, as to whether he has picked up The Special One’s confrontational approach or whether he is more like Guardiola, a man who he says he admires.
Much has been made of his age but I don’t think that is a factor that should unduly bother anyone – what will be interesting is the dynamic between himself and the players in terms of his previous role at the club and now coming back as boss. Many of the squad who played under Jose, still remain and I would hope that they afford Villas Boas the respect that the position is due. He needs to go in and make the distinction of his new role quickly and not without a little force. There are some strong characters in that dressing room, and the relationship that is established in the early days will have an on-going impact through his reign.
Speaking of which, I heard one bookmaker offering odds of just 9/1 that he will be sacked before Christmas and only 50/1 that he would lose his job after the first match of the season!! No pressure then?? In all seriousness, even Abramovich must be feeling a little self-conscious at the revolving door of managers and the ridiculous millions spent paying them off. Villas-Boas too must be more than aware of zero tolerance on failure at Chelsea and still decided to take the position which is a good sign I think. Obviously, I imagine the money probably too would have had quite a bearing on his decision, but given where he is in his career at the moment, this is a pivotal move.
It’s not only a high profile position at a high profile club in a high profile league, but it is an enormous leap for him in terms of calibre of players he will be dealing with and competition/league importance. The inevitable comparisons with Mourinho have been made, but Mourinho had won the Champions League – with Porto – still an incredible achievement. Failure at Chelsea could see him out in the wilderness for a while – but success could catapult him into the football’s most wanted bracket – being able to name his price and his terms. So it is as much a gamble for him as it is for us.
He could have quite easily stayed at Porto another season – or perhaps cut his teeth at a mid-table side in a better league – but he has gone where much is expected and many have failed before him and that shows a strength of character and a belief in his own ability which can only be a good thing.
It has also been reported that he will be responsible for the purchasing of new players – something which has been stated before but was evidently not the case for some of his predecessors. It’s the only way – a manager can only truly be judged if he has total input into the tactics/personnel/management – with no interference. I am still to be convinced that Abramovich can do “no interference” but if Villas-Boas has inherited even a little of his old boss’s fire it could be an interesting season.
As far as I am concerned, I like this appointment – it’s a bit of the unknown, there were no real other stand out contenders anyway, and you can bet your bottom dollar that this guy will be busting a gut to establish himself amongst his peers and I get the impression that he doesn’t care who he has to shake up to achieve that – so hang onto your hats – it’s going to be a bumpy ride.