Age considers, Youth Ventures – Why Villas-Boas could be the shrewdest signing this summer

By on July 2, 2011

Chelsea, a club with so much wealth and power in the modern game in recent years have not been blessed with a stable managerial set up in the years since the arrival of Roman ‘I-have-a-bigger-yacht-than-you’ Abramovich.

The exception of course was a man self titled the ‘Special One’ who brought the Blues their first title in over 50 years and dominance in England’s cup competitions. Since his untimely departure, Chelsea have churned their way through 5 managers (Wilkins as stand in boss) in a 5 year period.

With the Champions League trophy becoming the West London clubs ‘Holy grail’ in recent years, stability may be the reason for the appointment of 33 year old (yes, 33 years of age) Andre Villas-Boas.

VOdds

Why?

Who in their right mind would appoint a manager as young as Andre, especially since he is the same age or younger than a few of the clubs most influential players you may ask. I asked myself the same question then paused for a moment to let the news sink in.

Would I take a risk on a young manager that has shown exceptional promise but lacking in experience at a top level or go for a ‘safe’ option (surely winning a league and cup double in your previous season shows safety. No?)

If today’s more trigger happy board members would have had their way, he would have been fired and in a black cab home faster than a dejected Apprentice contestant
The answer is categorically, no.

However I would be halting the managerial genius of many managers of past years. Were things smooth sailing for Sir Alex when he arrived at United?
If today’s more trigger happy board members would have had their way, he would have been fired and in a black cab home faster than a dejected Apprentice contestant. Yet by keeping him at the helm, English football has seen him lead Manchester United to a record 19th title and dominate over his 20 year + reign.

Ferguson, who was named as the LMA manager of the season recently commented:
‘’I’m glad I’m not coming into the game nowadays. It’s full of difficult situations – handling the media is difficult, then you have to deal with the players’ profiles and agents, and there are different types of chairmen to when I started. ‘I think it’s often a knee-jerk reaction to sack managers – their performances are assessed very, very quickly and that’s a big, big challenge in the game. Some young managers suffer because of that. More than ever, management is a precarious industry’’.

Whatever your opinion of Mr Ferguson, he words ring true. Rather than a great risk on the club, the biggest risk is surely being taken by Andre Villas-Boas himself leaving his throne in Portugal to head back to the Amphitheatre of Stamford Bridge under the hawk like scrutiny of the Roman Emperor Abramovich.

‘I think it’s often a knee-jerk reaction to sack managers – their performances are assessed very, very quickly and that’s a big, big challenge in the game’ – Sir Alex Ferguson
Not a newbie to Chelsea tho, Mr Villas-Boas was a scout for compatriot Jose Mourinho at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan and specialised in his attention to detail. His philosophy in football is to study and know more about your opposition than you know about yourself, a truly dedicated man to his profession.

This truly is a man that knows him stuff and surely knows how to get the best out of his players. With a triumphant treble last season, winning both the league and league cup as well as the Europa League, Porto dominated in Portugal last season. To add to that, they ended last season unbeaten in the league, with 27 wins in 30 games, the second Portuguese club in history to finish a season unbeaten, after Benfica in 1972-73 era. An incredible achievement in a first season with a top club.

27 wins in 30 games for Porto in 2010/2011
Surely rather than a risk, the Chelsea hierarchy have chosen to plan for, invest and venture into the future. Instead of transfers of 19-20 year olds for excess of £18-20m this summer that may not even show their potential, they’ve chosen to invest in an assured rising star.

And at £13.5m to release him from his contract, could this be the shrewdest signing of 2011?

I think so.

Submitted by Thomas Paisley from TLWOF

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One Comment

  1. Slausty

    July 2, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Next time why don’t you made the Title “Love letter to Rudolph the red nosed Scot”?

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