Premier league big-shots Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal Football Club may have had their fair share of headlines due to them being involved in some prominent transfer deals over the past few weeks.
But it is former Barclays Premier League champions Chelsea who have claimed bragging rights for producing the biggest transfer headline thus far with the capture of the most talked-about manager in recent times.
The new man entrusted with the responsibility of bringing the Premier League trophy and the most sought-after UEFA Champions’ League cup back to Stamford Bridge is Andre Villas-Boas.
The Portuguese was snapped up by Chelsea on the 22nd of June. His transfer, however, did not come cheap with the English club having to pay a hefty £13.3 million in compensation to Porto; making him the most expensive managerial transfer to date.
Fans of Chelsea will be welcoming back a familiar face as Villas-Boas was the chief scout responsible for assessing opposition teams throughout Jose Mourinho’s time in charge of the team. Not only was he an expert in determining strategies on how to break down opponents, he was also noted for his comprehensive knowledge on tactical approaches and game-play.
Though a stark contrast to the high-profiled and prominent Mourinho, Villas-Boas prefers to stay away from the limelight and let his management style do the talking.
But what is so special about the 33-year-old, who will become the youngest boss in English top-flight football?
His involvement in professional football began when he was just 17 years old when he met the late Sir Bobby Robson, who moved into the same apartment building while managing Porto. A young enthusiast for the sport, Villas-Boas soon enjoyed conversations with the highly-experienced ex-England manager.
This prompted Sir Robson to take Villas-Boas under his wing and groom him into a competent coach. Villas-Boas was eventually invited along to Porto training sessions and it was there he met Mourinho, who at that time was Sir Robson’s translator. After taking coaching courses in UK, Villas-Boas became the youngest person to gain the FA’s coaching qualification.
Having just won the Portuguese league and the Europa Cup, Villas-Boas does come with a big reputation of being the youngest manager to win a European title. His unique style of attacking play saw his former club finish the season unbeaten and only giving away four points.
This would be very encouraging for Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who is desperate to reclaim the Premier League trophy and finally win the Champions’ League.
There may be concerns on how is he is going to manage a dressing room filled with big egos and how is he going to assume control over players whom some are older than him and are used to seeing him as Mourinho’s chief scout.
Personally, I think he will be able to manage those players due to the fact that he has worked with them in some capacity before. Furthermore, I believe that he has been groomed by two great managers in modern football; the late Sir Bobby Robson and Jose Mourinho. With such great development, I am very confident in the man-management capabilities of Villas-Boas.
The Portuguese league and the English Premier League are of different levels and some may doubt if Villas-Boas will be able to manage in a top league. If he can continue his attacking style of play with Chelsea, I am sure his approach will be embraced by the players and fans and naturally he will be able to attain results and win titles.
Being the manager of Chelsea is surely not an easy job. But I do believe that Villas-Boas will be able to bring his own philosophy of football into the club and potentially with the right signings and man-management, he will become a success and bring back the glory days to the bridge.
Instant success is what Roman Abramovich craves, but the Russian billionaire’s impatience may be the Portuguese’s undoing if Villas-Boas does not deliver. Villas-Boas has taken the bold step into the big league and time will tell on how fast he fits in.
Article written by: Aloysius Emmanuel Vetha