Posts Tagged ‘Villas-Boas’

Portuguese manager Andre Villas-Boas has become another victim of Roman Abramovich’s crazy lust for instant success as he exits nine months into the Stamford Bridge hot seat. Seven have been axed by the owner during his tenure and with former Liverpool boss, Rafael Benitez, installed as the bookies favourite to be the next Chelsea manager, you can’t see him lasting much longer.

AVB as he became known, emerged on Abramovich’s radar following his domestic and Europa League treble winning feat of 2011 with FC Porto –any comparisons becoming clear yet? (He also was part of The Special Ones’ backroom team at Internazionale & Porto). Onlookers predicted he may follow Jose Mourinho’s European success by taking his Europa League winning graduates one step further to the Champions League –but Chelsea came calling for the new boy on the block, possibly too soon, and the crazy goldfish bowl of the English Premiership beckoned. He inherited a squad which was in a quandary and disorderly in its age and abilities. Something he also took on was some rather meddlesome experienced first-team stars and an owner with ideas above his station on how “his team” and “his players” should be playing.

Villas-Boas required a clear-out and if he had any hope of succeeding, John Terry and Frank Lampard had to go –their constant actions and undermining of the ex-bosses has hamstrung the club from the undoubted potential they have to contend for major honours in England & Europe. This combined with the Russian tycoon appearing at training and interfering in the dressing room would drive anyone to the brink, and the young Portuguese man has been on the back foot since last June. A season in the Premiership is hard enough to get to grips with –never mind doing so with the harsh media spotlight and criticisms which are lurking behind every dropped point or defeat. The ex-Porto boss required time to stamp his authority and footballing beliefs within the Blues team –to clear out the deadwood and the players which didn’t fit, and incorporate his own cast list on the Chelsea starting IX.

Out of the previous six bosses, only three delivered major trophies whilst Claudio Ranieri, Avram Grant and Guus Hiddink all made reasonable inroads in the Champions League without providing Abramovich with the holy grail of European elite success. Power struggles at a club are one thing – but in-fighting between coaching staff, lack of respect and resent for your first-team coach and colonial groups of squad players is a situation of unmanageable proportions of which the club dictator needs to shoulder the burden of responsibility for. I am certain that within the next few years, Andre Villas-Boas will emerge again as one of the most wanted men in European football –where Chelsea go next, is not as clear-cut.


Torres enigma set to unravel

Posted: September 19, 2011 by thebhoymcclay in Football, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

A sight we may well get more accustomed too? (But in Blue!)

You may not know it following yesterday’s match headlines at Old Trafford – but Fernando Torres has made an impressive start to this season. An abundance of journalists and onlookers chose to highlight the glaring miss late on from the Spaniard which may well have made the closing stages interesting, and in retrospect would have galvanized the strikers reputation in an instant. It’s funny how the margins of error in football are so slight that they can turn one outstanding individual performance,  into a moment in time which now defined the 90 minutes.

Much has rightly been made of the strikers £50m move to Chelsea which has for the most, been unsuccessful, but could Andres Villas-Boas’ faith in Torres’ ability and his footballing approach revitalise the striker? Early indications are positive – a Man of The Match performance away to Stoke, two assists in a Champions League win against Bayer Leverkusen and a goal yesterday, to cap off a not too shabby six appearances in a Chelsea shirt this season. His manager rightly backed El Nino after the game yesterday and even drew comparisons with Rooney’s penalty slip to his own players’ off balance gaffe.

ATLETICO: 249 games /91 goals

LIVERPOOL: 142 games / 81 goals

CHELSEA: 24 games / 2 goals

Since that transfer at the end of January, it took Torres 903 minutes to capture his first goal in a Blue jersey and for some fans, they thought it may never have come.  Toward the end of the 2009/10 campaign with Liverpool,  the striker went in for his second knee operation in five months. The ongoing problems on that right appendage since Christmas told the story of an uncomfortable and inept few months when Rafa Benitez still regarded Torres as the talisman – a weight of burden which was too heavy on his shoulders. He went straight from the surgeons table to the World Cup and was again visibly not ready to compete at the highest level, he made only two starts as Spain went on to become champions with no scoring assistance from their one time star man.

The following twenty-six appearances for the Reds’ under new manager Roy Hodgson, in which he found the net nine times, did not bode well for player or club and at the start of January, the former Fulham man left the hotseat. Torres decided to cut out this disastrous spell in his career by moving to Stamford Bridge and only now after Villas-Boas’ appointment has any sign of a resurgence been noted. This early run has also coincided with an injury free period in the side and a full pre-season without any niggles or major international competitions to contest with. The new look Chelsea dynamic with Torres at the head of a three-pronged attack (Juan Mata & Sturridge yesterday) can reap rewards and I believe the Spaniard could have one of his most productive seasons in the Premier League and Europe – El Nino ready to take the country by storm again?