The kids are alright at Chelsea

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The knockers have firmly been placed on Chelsea in recent weeks, with critics rounding on the Blues after defeats to QPR and Arsenal.

A draw against Genk in the Champions League did little to lift the spirits at Stamford Bridge, although a hard-fought victory at Blackburn over the weekend suggested it isn't all doom and gloom in west London.

Currently sitting fourth in the Barclays Premier League, securing a place in the top four will be the first priority for Andre Villas-Boas. Should the former Porto boss fail to secure Champions League football next term, the writing will be on the wall for the 34-year-old.

And, whilst title aspirations should be placed on the back-burner this term, AVB's attacking brand of football has been a breath of fresh air in the league this season, despite results not always going in favour of the Blues.

With this in mind, losing the former Académica manager's talents to the sack would be a negative for both Chelsea and the division in general, and thankfully owner Roman Abramovich appears set to give the new man time.

Villas-Boas certainly looks like a manager building for the future, with Oriol Romeu, Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois all drafted in this summer and under the age of 24. 17-year-old Brazilian Lucas Piazon will also be joining in January.

These additions join Milan Lalkovic, Ryan Bertrand, Josh McEachran, Sam Hutchinson and Daniel Sturridge as the future of the club. Under the guidance of AVB and his backroom staff at the Cobham training ground, these players could be molded into the manager's style in a bid to win trophies in the future.

It's a philosophy that has served Manchester United so well under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson, and if replicated could reap long-term rewards for all involved with the club.

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Josh McEachran
Premier League

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