June 21st, 2011
04:28 PM ET

Can Andre Villas-Boas succeed at Stamford Bridge?

After guiding Porto to both domestic and continental success, Andre Villas-Boas looks set to move to Chelsea.
After guiding Porto to both domestic and continental success, Andre Villas-Boas looks set to move to Chelsea.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve lost count of the times people have asked me how to pronounce the name of the man who is close to becoming the new Chelsea manager.

Andre Villas-Boas (and-REH Vil-ASH Boh-ASH) will soon become one of the highest profile managers on the planet. If his deal goes through, this man will soon take charge at one of the biggest clubs in the world of football, and walk into the eye of an English media storm in the process.

Let’s get one thing straight. Villas-Boas is an incredibly gifted coach.

His precocious talent that we could compare to the medical genius Doogie Houser. This man has been fast tracked to the top of the game, not because of his contacts, but because of his ability. I have no doubt that he has the skills necessary to become a top manager. My concern is that this job may come too soon.

Villas-Boas has only had one full season as a full-time manager. It may have been an incredible campaign in which he won four trophies, but managing in Portugal and the Europa League is not the same as coaching in England and in the Champions League. The expectations will be infinitely higher at Stamford Bridge, as will be the pressure.

What do I know about Andre? I have met him a couple of times and found him to be very humble and mild mannered. I have tried to interview him but unfortunately he sticks to a policy of not talking to journalists exclusively.

He prefers to address them all in press conference situations, just like Pep Guardiola. He speaks perfect English and also has working knowledge of Italian and Spanish. I think he is confident, charismatic and composed.

One factor which plays in his favour is he knows the London club and several of the players very well. Of course he spent three seasons at Stamford Bridge working as an assistant with Jose Mourinho. He shouldn’t find it too hard to rekindle the relationship he had with the likes of Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard.

I am curious to find out how he will get along with John Terry. From various accounts, I have heard the captain had a hand in Mourinho’s dismissal a few years ago, and there could be some tension there.

If you are wondering about what style he will want to play, I can tell you he will go for a positive, possession-driven brand of football. His FC Porto side scored 141 goals in 58 games (average of 2.4 goals per game) last season and as a manager he was someone who always wanted his players to keep attacking.

No matter what the score was or what other match was on the horizon, he wanted 100% commitment to attacking football at all times.

So in summary I really believe in the man, I just don’t know if I believe in the arrangement. Although people say age is just a number, at 33 Villas-Boas simply does not have the experience to take on a job like this one.

I really hope he is successful, and I hope he is given the time to be successful, however, the pressure and expectations might be a little too much for a man who only has 18 months of management under his belt.

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soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Gbenga

    I have much belief that, he will succeed, but he must have the ability to withstand any pressure of being in EPL, considering his age.

    June 21, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  2. Sema Richard

    Thanks Pedro for this report.

    I think Chelsea needs such an aggressive Manager to turn things around in the short run, however, his manager challenge will be dealing with the aging Chelsea squad that plays well in the last 15 minutes of each half. I think he needs more mature assistants to be able to get this players moving and also sign in new young blood especially from the latin world so as to match the likes of Barca.


    June 21, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  3. saliu sesan

    i believe he'll be successful,if given time to settle down!

    June 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  4. george

    someone please help me out here...cos this is just silly...chelsea fires a champions league winning coach( carlo ancelotti) willing to replace him with a europa league winning coach and plus the prime target is GUUS HIDDINK..i like ANDRE VILLAS BOAS but he just made the biggest mistake of his life cos he ain't gonna last for a single season//... reason being that VILLAS BOAS needs time which apparently chelsea will never offer...plus what if GUUS changes his mind after euro 2012?

    June 21, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Reply
  5. Kash

    Yes he cn win champ lig bt abra giv hm tym

    June 21, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  6. anemosUK

    The only way any manager will succeed in Chelsea, he has to rid of Abramovich, he is the biggest obstacle

    June 21, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Reply
  7. DarkJourneyTheMovie

    Hiddink will be the main man in charge, as Director of Football. Villas-Boas is keeping the seat warm for him until he's finished working with Turkey.

    June 21, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Reply
  8. Gerard Costello

    Great column pedro. I am a Chelsea fan and no one seems to know anything of any substance about the man himself. I think that all Chelsea fans, and indeed English football as a whole, miss the youthful charisma and drama which jose Mourinho injected into the premiership. Hopefully this young manager will be someone who the fans can relate to directly.
    I was also relieved to hear that he speaks good English, it's hard to like a manager at a personal level when he speaks in pidgin English (no offense Carlo).

    June 21, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  9. Joe Mukoro

    Nice innovation, i think Andre Villa Boas will do well at chelsea due to the fact that he will bring in young players that will blend in a mixture of young and old players. its a welcomed developement

    June 21, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Reply
  10. Sunero20 nigeria

    Yeah, i believe he will succeed.

    June 21, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Reply
  11. dani

    To be honest, it would have been nice for him to spend few seasons more at Porto to test himself and strengthen his confidence before coming to Stamford bridge. If he does come to Chelsea, that will be too soon to withstand the enormous pressure he has to carry.

    Not only for him, it does not sound good for Chelsea. I do not think they have made a good choice. He just can not be as successful as Jose Morinho very soon.

    June 21, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Reply
  12. quadri

    am so hpy abt our new coch, bt wht i want us to knw abt this man is that, if chelsea can sell Drogba, Malouda, Lampard, so the man can renew the team, so all my fans please, i want this message to reach Abramovich, if we know that, we want our team play like Barca. thanks up chelsea. Quadri from Lagos.

    June 21, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Reply
  13. André A

    Pedro, ok, only 18 months of management, but 16 years working top level in soccer world.
    And I believe that a considerable amount of Mourinho's sucess is due to Villas Boas.
    And more, as a Porto fan that followed pretty close both Mourinho and Villas Boas' rise, I have no doubt that Villas Boas is way much better coach than Mourinho was back in 2003-2004. Better reading on the game, no fail in substitutions, great leader.
    Yeah, he will succeed on his favorite league, the premiership!

    June 22, 2011 at 12:54 am | Reply
  14. dutchie

    Marco van Basten didn't pass muster?

    June 22, 2011 at 2:31 am | Reply
  15. Sheik Hamza

    Should be a good choice for Chelsea. Working alone could not make things forward. Team innovation and investment on new high standard players could lead him and Chelsea to top line.

    June 22, 2011 at 3:54 am | Reply
  16. Jerry

    you'll be fired sometime but give them your best.

    June 22, 2011 at 5:37 am | Reply
  17. Demóstenes

    You have it all wrong.
    Managing FC Porto is much harder than managing Chelsea.
    Although Chelsea's boss keep on trying to establish his club as one of the greats, it is not. All Chelsea have is money,
    No history, no CL trophys, an almost empty trophy room.

    FC Porto is an historical club with less money. Has a room filled with international silver.

    The way anyone would see it (if money is not in the equation) He went from a big club to a rather small one. Manchester and Liverpool are the only clubs in England that surpass the number of international trophies FC Porto has. Is that simple.

    By the way, FC Porto's administration would like to inform Chelsea's boss that is stadium can be bought by a 800 million Euros clause. Transport excluded. Also, FC Porto's bus could be bought by a 12 million Euros fee. I know he wants it. Our international trophies room can be bought by 1000 million Euros, but unfortunatly, our trophies don't want to leave. They would hate going into a room filled with empty space.
    All Chelsea have is money. Nothing else...

    June 22, 2011 at 10:08 am | Reply
  18. jolly.julius

    I am 100% sure thatthis new season is a season of chelsea nd with dis our new manager chelsea will srely win many trophy dis season bt if it happend dat we win little trophy.I will want we d chelsea fans all over d world 2 please support dis our new managrer Andrew Villa Boas in taking blues 2 d promise land bcos i believe our players are capable of winning many trophy nd i also knw dat they are all ready 2 put in thier best in getting best for chelsea dis season.I wish all chelsea fans all over d world including me d best of d season.It's our time 2 shine.

    June 22, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Reply
  19. magaji

    Up Blues. Success for Blues. Blues pls fire on to victory !

    June 22, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  20. youAREwhatYOUis

    I think Villas Boas will succeed. I also think FC Porto is a true special club since it has won 2 UEFA Cups and 1 Champions League Cup and has "discovered" two top managers over the past seven years, Compare this score with Real Madrid's score for example...

    June 23, 2011 at 12:17 am | Reply
  21. Tony

    How many years will AVB last as Chelsea manager? Two, tops.

    He will have one year window of not winning any thing. Then we all know what will happen midway through in the second if things don't look rosy..

    If he's successful in winning, including the CL, he will likely get into the skin of the owner and get axed.

    In either of the above scenario, AVB will have dressed up his resume. Next, Barca, Real, Inter, AC? ,Goodbye, Roman.

    June 23, 2011 at 2:08 am | Reply
  22. Tuckyjoe

    No! He will be gone in a year. The Champions league will elude Chelsea again next season and I can't see how he can stay beyond that.

    June 23, 2011 at 5:15 am | Reply
  23. kahiga

    he's the right at the moment.....with a mix of young en aging experienced players you only need such a coach.....he will succeed en might even bring CL to Stamford. ...wish him the best!

    June 23, 2011 at 10:59 am | Reply
  24. Kevin O

    Time will tell..

    June 23, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  25. Yalebiz

    Though the guy may be so young but we shouldn't doubt his ability.........I think he would find it easy to relate with the younger players more than the older ones but that may also narrow down to maturity.

    June 23, 2011 at 11:14 pm | Reply
  26. me

    There's no Pinto da Costa in Chelsea, André is still to green.

    June 24, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  27. Dr.Cajetan Coelho

    He is a born winner. Andre Villas-Boas will bring fresh ideas. Good luck to players and fans at the Bridge.

    June 25, 2011 at 10:10 am | Reply
  28. femi.odejayi

    I believe he will be successful.He will revolutionalize chelsea and restore her lost glory.

    June 25, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  29. ochemeje emmanuel

    boaz has got the winning mentality and i think he brings to stamford bridge the ablity to decipher the opponents strength and weaknesses .he is a tactitian and the tonic that chelsea needs at the moment when they seem not to have a game plan for each opponent.i wish boaz a memorable stay at the bridge

    June 25, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  30. kenneth thomas yerima

    Guys lets give him the chance!!!
    He will succed.i have that feeling

    He is going to win the champions league!!!

    June 26, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  31. bestpricecheapshop

    He is a new Morinyo

    June 27, 2011 at 6:18 am | Reply
  32. St. Don

    Age has nothing and absolutely nothing to do with profession . if he can be able to archieve such a feat at Porto then why not in Epl . Mark my word .. that guy is hot n sharp and beside that the whole wild world knows that its the guy perfect time to shine . Much success bro !

    June 27, 2011 at 10:24 am | Reply
  33. Bennie

    I tink villas boas is got a fifty-fifty chance. Hope he dosnt gt fired. I wsh him well though

    June 27, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Reply
  34. Lala

    Well I believe AVB would be a successful coach, but he big question is would it be at Chelsea? Im a Chelsea fan and I believe that this guy may have all the potentials of a great manager, but lets be honest; the portuguese league is by far nothing like the EPL in terms of quality, pace and sheer brute. Plus he is just 33, peers with the likes of Frank and Didier; in such a situation, the issue of respect and loyalty for the man in charge comes in to question. I think its going to require a lot of maturity on his side and those of the senior players for them to have a good relationship. All the same I wish him the best!

    June 27, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  35. Pedro Peters


    June 29, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  36. kenneth thomas yerima

    He is very good..guys.

    June 29, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  37. Frank

    Age is just a number and no one is born with experience what we need is a manage with a winning mentality and with such a mindset I tell you next season is going to be a killer season

    June 30, 2011 at 2:01 am | Reply
  38. Jae

    i was impressed i read this report. perpect

    July 1, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  39. victor

    no league hes gone

    July 3, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Reply

    I think the first season will definitely be a success but its the one after that will need much tactfulness and experience.

    July 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  41. aspo19

    Drogba & torres will make the difference with this clever man they won't meet tany difficult 2 get the championship this year

    July 4, 2011 at 9:28 pm | Reply
  42. Tony

    The record speaks for itself.

    Maurinho, trophy every year – out in 3 years.

    Ancelotti, a double and a blank – out in 2.

    AVB is in a win-win situation. He can take credit if he wins. He can blame the owner if he doesn't.

    July 4, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Reply
  43. robinson

    i will like Andre Villas to bring a creatic mildfider into the club or a play maker. thank

    July 6, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  44. Francisco Gonçalves

    Someone should explain Mr. Abramovich why is Porto F.C. a glorious team (although without money) and why Chelsea is not (but swimming in money..): the secret is not Mourinho, or Villas Boas, or any magic player. The secret is Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, the president. I don't know how many millions would make him sell his soul, but with that Abramovich will have to departure and give place. 🙂
    Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa is probably the president with more trophis in all world. Gave up Abramovich. You just have to hire Jorge Nuno.
    You will see if sold out Porto F.C. find Chelsea in Champions. You will see what is "demanding"...

    July 8, 2011 at 12:09 am | Reply

    thanks be to ROMAN for given us this wonderful coach. But please maintain ESSIEN for us.

    July 16, 2011 at 1:29 am | Reply
  46. Ganna Aminu

    I believe strongly the new chelsea coach will surely perform beyond expectation. I believe in his ability

    July 19, 2011 at 9:44 am | Reply

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