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Andre Villas Boas- A Closer Look At Hodgson’s Potential Sucessor


With Roy Hodgson seemingly on his way out of Anfield, speculation is rife as to who will be his successor. As expected, the usual suspects in terms of household managerial names are doing the rounds in the papers; the likes of Rijkaard, Hiddink and Martin O’Neill continue having their names linked with the soon to be vacant managerial position at Anfield.

However, NESV’s arrival at Anfield along with their innovative outlook, has resulted in a shortlist of relatively unknown managers being continually linked to the Liverpool managers job. Jurgen Klopp, Ralf Rangnick, and Andre Villas Boas being those receiving the most attention in the national media. With Guus Hiddink being the only available household name worth considering in my opinion, a lot of excitement is beginning to surround the names of the relative unknowns of the managerial world, particularly that of Andre Villas Boas.

In just six months as manager of FC Porto, Villas Boas has done his reputation immeasurable amounts, particularly as outside of Portugal it’s fair to say his reputation was non-existent prior to his appointment as manager. At the age of 33, with no prior experience of top-flight management, Villas Boas has become one of the hottest properties in world football. Like any young Portugese manager with great potential and no previous footballing experience, the Jose Mourinho comparisons have become somewhat inevitable.

A former scout and assistant to Mourinho, Villas Boas has come into the spotlight in quite spectacular fashion. The last few years has seen Porto become less of a threat in European competition whilst also losing their stranglehold on the Portugese League they became accustomed to winning. Along with the sale of Bruno Alves and Raul Miereles, Porto lost two of their best players, they were expected to fall further away in the running for the title. Twelve wins out of fourteen so far this season suggests Villas Boas has every chance of winning the title with his new team. He currently holds an 89% win ratio in all games in his short time at Porto, a remarkable record for a young man new to the high pressure environment of big club management. To those about to question his credentials when things aren’t going so well, you only have to look at the job he did at Academica, his first managerial job, who were rock bottom of the league without a win until he took over and subsequently secured an eleventh placed finish, with a run to the semi-finals of the Portuguese cup thrown in for good measure.

His short career so far certainly suggests he is a Mourinho in the making, but would he be the right man for Liverpool? If the rumours are to be believed, NESV are keen to employ a young up and coming manager and Villas Boas certainly fits the bill in that respect. With regards to Liverpool though, this may a big step too soon for the young man. Despite his CV looking too good to be true, the step up to the Premier League would be a huge one for him. The pressure and expectancy on his shoulders from the media and the fans would be enormous and could prove, as it has done in the past, debilitating for certain managers.  Particularly in a league which is considerably more competitive than the Portugal’s Premier Division. On the other hand, although in hugely different circumstances, a novice manager like Pep Guardiola has coped and succeeded under massive pressure from fans and the media; he was a risk who truly paid off.

His age may also cause concern for some, particularly those in the dressing room. A manager younger than certain members of the playing squad may have difficulties earning his team’s respect, particularly when that manager hasn’t achieved at the highest level; something many Liverpool players have been used to in recent years, Hodgson aside. For those that argue that Guardiola hadn’t, I imagine his reputation within Barcelona was already fairly formidable given his illustrious playing career and close ties to the club and city.

The free-flowing, attacking football Villas Boas has got Porto playing would be well received by the Anfield faithful. However, the English and Portuguese games have major differences. Portugal is a nation that arguably nurtures more technically gifted players than England, and along with the physical nature of the Premier League that many foreign managers struggle to begin with, and this may cause significant problems for a relatively inexperienced coach like Villas Boas.  Another problem that has caused great difficulty for foreign managers in England is the language barrier. This could possibly be a reason Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher are rumoured to be so much in favour of British managers. Fluent in English, Andre Villas Boas would jump over that huge hurdle before even arriving at Anfield.

Despite recently signing a new contract with Porto, I’m sure John Henry and Co. won’t abandon their recently acquired knowledge regarding the worthlessness of footballing contracts, and still try to attempt to get him on board despite his commitments. Any man or club has their price, and although he may perceive the Liverpool job to be too early in his career, working for Liverpool would turn any manager’s head.

Unfortunately, Liverpool may have had a better chance capturing him six months ago, as the potential for success he has displayed at Porto in his short time there will have interested a lot of clubs. It is probable this man will have more than one offer on his table next summer.

A young, forward-thinking, charismatic Portuguese manager with a similarly analytical and academic background as Mourinho, already proving to be a success in his homeland whilst playing attractive, attacking football does sound quite appealing. Combined with fitting NESV’s specification immaculately he looks like a more than interesting candidate. I, for one, would be prepared to take the risk.

Submitted by Some Team Up North



  1. rolando

    January 4, 2011 at 10:37 am

    In the summer maybe but now, not a chance!

  2. costasy

    January 4, 2011 at 10:56 am

    If Roy Hodgson had the least dignity and integrity for this football giant club and its fans throughout the world, he would have stepped down. But he is proving himself as a dwarf manager who just care how to lay comfortably on what he thinks might provide him with security, the supposed support he enjoys from the new owners and the players as he claims! But this dwarf manager doesn’t realize that his days are up. This dwarf manager doesn’t realize that the heritage of this club was build up on the fundamental of its fans, “YOU WILL NEVER WALK ALONE!” He has lost the real sense and meaning of what it takes to be a Liverpool manager. He said, “tt has taken me a long while to get to this elevated position coaching one of the best clubs in Europe.” Not exactly right Mr. Roy! This is one of the best clubs in the world not just in Europe and you can no longer be a disgrace and humiliation to its heritage and fans!

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  4. SAM

    January 4, 2011 at 11:09 am

    yes i would too!
    Its clear Roy has to go, this young manager is just the type of profile that Liverpool need.
    He also speaks English, as his grandmother was bron in the UK. he speaks very good English as i understand,
    His wage wouldnt be as much as other managers and to help aid his transformation into the huge club, of Liverpool we could put king keny in their or close to him to aid him in his arrival.
    Porto is a great club but its still nothing like LFC, he would need time, but with new fresh investment into the playing staff which has to happen, if this once great club wants to even start thinking about the top 4, just has to happen!
    For me he would cover almost all of what we need, his background of a scout is good too, also he knows the euopean market very well, and he could bring players with him, and their are some very good players in porto and that league that are better than what we have.
    for me its a great deal that we should look at.

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    January 4, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    What do you mean his CV looks too good to be true?? His CV is blank!! There is nothing on his CV…. There is NO CV!!!

    Granted he appears to be a young talented manager but at this moment in time he has won precisely nothing… even Roy has won the Danish league for Pete’s sake… 🙂

  7. Mark

    January 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm

    Have to say, I’d be more confident of him adapting to English football than you are suggesting. He did spend 3 years as part of the Chelsea backroom staff. He’ll know quite a bit about the English game, when you consider that managers like Rafa, Mourinoh and Wenger had 0 Premier League experience, Villas-Boas shouldn’t have too much trouble adapting to our game

  8. Chris

    January 5, 2011 at 12:37 am

    We seriously need to get him, a young english speaking manager with a near flawless record at a decent club in europe (porto). he could the man to turn us around. We need a young manager who can stick with for years and win major trophies again. A young manager, a young team = long term success. PLEASE NESV MAKE HIM OUR MANAGER. HE IS THE NEW MOURINHO!!!

  9. satish kumar

    January 5, 2011 at 10:02 am

    He is the ideal one since he have worked under Mourinho at Chelsea.He shouldn’t have problem adapting to EPL since he was chelsea backroom staff for 3 years.But he should be given the role start of next season not this season.Let him win some trophies with Porto this season to boost his confidence.Until then Dalglish should be caretaker if Hodgson sacked this season.


    January 5, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Final says….Roy Hodgson must leave the club and go holidays.ARE YOU AGREE WITH ME???Roy is suitble for Japanese League.

  11. Lfcred

    January 5, 2011 at 11:36 am

    By the way, I’m all up for Roy out but some of you Internet reds sound like woolybacks. Follow Roy out the door

  12. anon

    January 5, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    He was also the Mourinho’s chief scout at his previous clubs. He smashed Benfice 5-0 and then went on to publicly describe just exactly how he tore Benfica apart in detail. Mourinho in the making.

  13. Jon mac

    January 8, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Villas Boas ticks all the boxes except one… Major silverware (except portugese cup). VB should be snapped up for the start of next season, Dalglish should takeover as caretaker til then… Giving VB the opportunity to seal the title for Porto which would tick the final box. Then he can get to work reviving the mighty reds to their former glory and bring back the attacking football we crave!
    Enough of the defensive styles of Hodgson & Benitez!
    We need someone young, talented and ambitious if we have any hope of returning the ‘Bastion of invincibility!’
    John W Henry you must sign this guy fast!!!!

    Oh part 1 just done…. Hodgson out..King Kenny in Final part… Villas Boas Employed for start of next season….. PLEASE!!!

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