Have Chelsea Found The Answer in Andre Villas Boas?by Jack Kitson / 22 June 2011, 15:49Tweet
After a month of indecisiveness and uncertainty Chelsea have finally named Carlo Ancelotti's successor at Stamford Bridge. Andre Villas Boas has been named as the bold soul tasked with one of the most high pressure jobs in sport after he today signed a three-year deal with the club to become the seventh manager of the Roman Abramovich era.
Many people within the football world will consider the appointment a big gamble. Chelsea have already had a series of high quality, experienced, trophy winning managers at the helm who have all failed to break Chelsea's Champions League duck, so, what can a young, relatively inexperienced 33-year-old possibly offer that they could not?
What Villas Boas may lack in managerial experience he certainly makes up in coaching experience, ambition and drive. It is therefore crucial that Abramovich gives his new manager the freedom to express these qualities. The Russian billionaire has developed a nasty reputation for his short temper and lack of patience, and is not afraid to send a manager packing when results aren't up to scratch, but and this is a big but, it is absolutely vital that he gives Villas Boas both the time and space to succeed.
Chelsea certainly don't think the appointment is a gamble as they have shed out an extortionate £13.3m compensation fee to release the Portuguese coach from his Porto contract, but then again this is free-spending Chelsea we are talking about. To the rest of us it is a very high risk move by the club that has the potential to end in disaster.
Villas Boas's age is going to be a massive talking point. At 33 he is the same age as senior Chelsea players such as Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba. He must therefore instantly assert his authority in order to get the backing of the squad. He may be young and fairly inexperienced but he is extremely knowledgeable and his word should not be undermined. The former Porto coach has a number of big decisions to be make, including whether to stick with the ageing Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka or dispense of their services in preference for likes of Neymar or Radamel Falcao. He must find a solution to the Fernando Torres problem, which is something that eluded Ancelotti last season.
Villas Boas is known for his attention to detail, man management skills and preference for an attractive attacking style of football, which is sure to go down well with the owner, players and supporters...providing it works. His main challenge will be moulding together a team that can win the Champions League, something that has become an Abramovich obsession. Time is the pivotal factor here and something that the Chelsea owner must give his new manager if he is to have any hope of conquering Europe.
Chelsea 2011/12 Specials with Victor Chandler