I read an article recently saying that Sir Alex Ferguson was irreplaceable - and, to a certain extent, I believe this to be true as I doubt that one manager will ever have the same amount of success he enjoyed with one club.

Good luck, David Moyes.

However, Andre Villas-Boas has impressed fans and pundits alike with his attention to detail and his passion for the game. He has led Tottenham to fifth place so far this term and although this is no more than satisfactory for Spurs, one needs only to look back to Ferguson's first few seasons in charge in Manchester after which he was nearly sacked. He led Manchester United to an 11th place finish in his first season after a disastrous start in which he only one one away game all season.

Villas-Boas was very successful at Porto, winning the treble, before moving to Chelsea and this can be, for the most part, mirrored in the journey of Sir Alex who, after some success in Europe with Aberdeen, arrived at Manchester United apparently a little out of his depth which is certainly what the British press think about Villas-Boas at the moment.

But more importantly was the fact that neither were very major footballers. This could maybe be a little harsh on Sir Alex, who enjoyed relative success in Scotland before trying his hand in management, whereas Villas-Boas was never a professional footballer.

I think this is important to bear in mind because it affects how both managers interpret the game because, unlike big names such as Roberto Mancini and Michael Laudrup, they have to earn the respect that the game gives them.

With regards to playing style I believe that the two have similar techniques in their efforts to control the game from the defence and midfield.

Villas-Boas has brought in Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembélé to do just that, whereas in Michael Carrick and Nemanja Vidic, Ferguson has, with undoubtedly more success, done the same thing.

Both managers like finishers and this is evident in Villas-Boas' faith in Jermain Defoe and Ferguson's acquisition of Robin van Persie. Neither player has an exceptionally good passing range or ability to beat a man but both are very accurate in their shooting and like to take a lot of shots.

Finally, when Villas-Boas moved to Chelsea he wanted to build a 'project', his 'project', but he was cut short in a decision that supposedly went against the agreement he had with Roman Abramovich.

This very idea of growth and a project shows that he has the capability to remain at a club for a long time and if only Chelsea had given him more time they could be reaping the rewards of his tactically astute approach rather than jumping from manager to manager. I think Tottenham will retain the services of Villas-Boas for a while to come - and will be the better for it. 


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