'Tottenham flop', 'Chelsea flop', 'clueless'- there's plenty of insults that new Zenit St. Petersburg manager Andre Villas-Boas has had to endure over the course of his managerial career.
After two spells in England, football experts have begun to question his credibility as a football manager, and had wondered if he would ever land a top job again. Even though AVB hasn't achieved the greatest success as a boss in England, does he really deserve the negative press and the name calling? I don't think so.
AVB was appointed manager at Stamford Bridge in June 2011, after Chelsea paid his buyout clause of £13.3million to release him from Porto, where he had just achieved huge success by going undefeated for a season, winning both the Portuguese league and the Europa League. At the age of 33, AVB was an extremely young manager, and was even younger than some of his own players at the time. Despite his inexperience, he was given the huge task of rebuilding Chelsea and creating a young, successful team.
Being the ambitious person that he is, Villas-Boas believed in his managerial credentials and began his task with Chelsea. Things started off well at the start, however as the season progressed results and performances disappointed. Senior players were being left out of the squad, and the players declared open mutiny over AVB, after being unimpressed of his methods. Eventually, after a 1-0 loss to West Brom, he was sacked by Chelsea.
I blame this on Roman Abramovich. If a manager is offered to come to Chelsea, he definitely would take it. However, AVB's inexperience showed during his time in west London, as he tried to implement his ideas too early into his reign and should have spread them out over a longer time frame
Despite his reputation damaged after the abysmal six months at Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur appointed AVB as manager in July 2012, where he replaced fan favourite Harry Redknapp.
There, AVB seemed to have matured as a man, and as a manager, as results were extremely positive. He also struck a chord with the Welsh wizard Gareth Bale, and brought the best out of him after moving him to a more central role. Although Spurs were in a commanding position for their targeted top for finish, some poor results towards the end of the season meant they missed out on the Champions League spot by one point to fierce rivals Arsenal, even though they equalled their highest ever points total in the Premier League.
What made it worse was that Europe's top clubs were circling like sharks over Bale, and it seemed like he had his heart set on a move elsewhere. In the end, he moved to Real Madrid for a record £86million, and AVB tried to use the money by signing several players to improve the squad. However, these signings didn't fire, and after a promising start Spurs began to disappoint. All of the pressure was heaped on the coach and he was eventually sacked on December 16 2013.
I found this decision absolutely ludicrous. He had just brought in a lot of players from many different leagues from around the world. If Daniel Levy had any sense, he would realise that it would take time for these players to settle and show their true colours.
Just look at Oscar and Hazard for Chelsea, and how they are flourishing now after relatively quiet starts. AVB even rejected interest from clubs such as Real Madrid and PSG to remain with Tottenham, but in reply, Spurs showed nothing but disrespect to a promising manager. For these reasons, he has been labelled 'flop' many times, when in fact I think he should be labelled 'unfortunate' because he was not given time to rebuild, which is essential at any job.
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