Andre Villas-Boas is no stranger to controversy in the media; when the 33-year-old became Chelsea manager, he was embroiled in trouble within weeks of setting up his new desk.
Villas-Boas told reporters he felt it was unfair that Manchester City had unlimited funds to spend on players in the transfer window. Or at least, the Press Association claimed he’d said it. He denied such a comment was ever made, and Chelsea insisted they’d investigate taking the matter further.
Now, the same scandal seems to have hit the Blues manager again, with Fernando Torres claiming he didn’t say that Chelsea players were ‘slow’ and ‘old’, when complimenting new signing Juan Mata.
But it's Villas-Boas’ reaction to the comments that might strike some football fans as odd; rather than doing his own research into where the comments came from, he gave a mixed reaction to journalists.
"We are going in-depth to regain the tape of that interview,” Villas-Boas said.
“He says he didn't say that. We will see if things play exactly as they are in that interview...We'd just talk. Just talk. To share opinion. If it was unauthorised, I'd fine him. Of course.
"People have different views on different things. It's nothing abnormal in that situation. Maybe we just have to speak about that situation and he has to see our view as well...I don't have to share my players' ideas."
There are a number of problems with Villas-Boas insisting on the investigation in public. Firstly, the comments are conflicting - is the manager going to punish Torres for doing the wrong thing, if he did do the wrong thing, or will he just agree to disagree with the Spaniard?
The whole story ended up a bit of a mess, with Villas-Boas eventually saying that the investigation was closed. What investigation? The manager only had to sit down and look at the video from LigaBBVA, where the interview came from, which is easily accessible on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpAsyPRzxck) and watch for three minutes and 45 seconds.
In the offending part of the interview, Torres speaks in English, saying that Juan Mata was a good signing for Chelsea because he makes the side quicker and more vertical. The papers could take note to do this three minute long research before putting Torres’ quote on their back pages.
What is surprising over the whole issue, and the papers’ reactions and sensationalist headlines certainly isn’t, is that Villas-Boas bought into the hype. Last night, he came out and claimed the ‘investigation’ was closed.
"We had a chat and the situation is solved. The investigation is over," Villas-Boas said. "You saw the player involved and he put in a good collective performance, like the team did. Hopefully these things won't arise in the group again. If they do, it will be the manager who has to resolve it."
Is it Villas-Boas’ inexperience with the English media that led him to overreact to the misreported quotes? Perhaps, but he needs to toughen up and get prepared fast, because journalists will eat him up and spit him out if he’s not careful.
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