Can Villas-Boas see through his Chelsea 'project'?

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It is a cliche often used to refer to a manager who spouts plenty of guff, but possesses very little when it comes to tactical substance.

But, although it would be unfair to level either of those accusations at Andre Villas-Boas, the Portuguese is certainly a perfect example of someone who 'talks a good game'.

Villas-Boas is more linguistically lucid than the majority of his counterparts in the Premier League and harbours admirable ideals when it comes to footballing philosophy.

But, unfortunately for himself and Chelsea, his impressive off-field articulation has not been mirrored by performances on the pitch, and his future at Stamford Bridge would appear to hang in the balance.

Villas-Boas, though, is confident that Roman Abramovich will allow him to see through his three-year 'project' in west London, the second phase of which is already starting to begin.

Should he remain in his position for next season, Villas-Boas is likely to conduct a significant overhaul of his Chelsea squad during the summer in order to create a side more in tune with his own ideals.

This could prompt the exits of Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, and will certainly herald the arrival of more dynamic and versatile attacking threats.

Porto forward Hulk has seemingly been identified as a key acquisition for the second phase of Villas-Boas' project - and the Chelsea boss confirmed he is interested in his former charge.

"I see room for an explosive player on the wing, someone who is strong in one-on-one situations and Hulk fits that profile," he told Portuguese radio station TSF.

"We have Kalou and Florent Malouda, both of whom are nearing the end of their contracts, while Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge are the future.

"As such, there will surely be a place to fill."

The signing of Hulk will no doubt prove to be a complicated one for Chelsea, with the Brazilian unable to leave the Estadio do Dragao for less than £85 million under the terms of his current contract.

But bringing the 25-year-old to Stamford Bridge would allow Villas-Boas to plant his stamp on Chelsea, and herald the beginning of phase two of his Blue-print.

The problem for Villas-Boas, however, remains that he may not be afforded the opportunity to complete his project before it has really begun in earnest.

The 34-year-old never intended to make swingeing cuts during his first season in charge, but personality clashes with senior pros will encourage him to do so perhaps more robustly this summer than he had originally planned.

This does, however, rely on the patience and trust of Roman Abramovich, who is more than renowned for his itchy trigger finger when it comes to Chelsea managers.

But, with Chelsea's cycle of success under the Russian billionaire coming to an end, perhaps he will decide to keep the faith with Villas-Boas.

Phase one of Chelsea under Abramovich's rule is over. Maybe he and Villas-Boas can deliver phase two together.

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