It looks as though Chelsea have got their man. Andre Villas- Boas the next big up and coming coach is to be the new manager of Chelsea.
Now it may not be the impossible job but he sure has got a hell of job on his hands now with Roman’s Army. He must show a lot of character over the coming weeks and months, to take a strong squad in hand and show he is no Mini Mourinho. The Shadow of Mourinho still looms large over Chelsea and its squad. Even a double Champions League winner couldn’t shake it off and he won the double.
Villas- Boas is clearly a clever man, his record suggests that if good sound football men Mourinho and the late great Sir Bobby Robson have you on board as part of their coaching team then you must be doing something right. But he must shake off the image that many Chelsea players still have of him as the stats man, the man who scouted the opposition so clinically and professionally and he must start to show the dynamism that Porto so clearly saw and felt last season.
He is only 33, which is the same age as many of Chelsea players are including the likes of Lampard and Drogba. Age I know is a mere number but Villas-Boas will need to be seen to hit the ground running. What isn’t much known about him is how politically savvy he is in what is a very political club. Mourinho for all his faults was a master at playing football politics he knew how to present himself to both fans and players alike and he came to Chelsea with bigger clout. He could claim he was the special one and lay down a marker, he could walk into the dressing room and put a Champions League Winners Medal on the table, something Villas-Boas cannot yet do.
Chelsea, for some time now, has been a victim of perceived player power with Cech, Drogba and Terry at the front seem to have the owners ear. Villas-Boas will have some tough choices to make about his squad. Does he start to change the mentality of the club and buy in younger talent that he can mould into his own ways and own footballing philosophy?
If he does get the job it could indicate a change in Chelsea’s thinking from grabbing the big names of previous years Scolari, Ancelotti to fathering a more intelligent and academic approach. But this would all hinge on whether Roman will ever get out of the habit of acting as a creature of whim. This is the owner after all who after deciding on a more stringent approach at the start of the season and getting rid of 5 senior players then went and spent £75 million in January.
Villas-Boas must also find a way of getting the most out of Abramovich’s vanity buys. Mourinho struggled with Shevchenko and went. Ancelotti had Torres put upon him and look how that turned out. If Torres doesn’t start scoring early next season he may soon have to start to look over his shoulder.
Villas- Boas is now no longer the apprentice, he left Stamford Bridge essentially a data analyst and now returns as coach presenting one hell of a change in a short period of time. Does his appointment represent Abramovich’s gamble during his time at Chelsea? Arguably yes, but everyone at Chelsea is beholden to their master in the shadows Mr Abramovich will do as he pleases. Villas- Boas will quickly have to decide whether is he going to play puppet or be his own master.
Like his previous master Mourinho he’s not short of an ego otherwise he wouldn’t have taken the job whether he gets the time to complete the job is a different matter.