When Andre Villas-Boas took the reigns as manager of Chelsea this summer, there was a large sense of intrigue and excitement around Stamford Bridge. The Portuguese coaching prodigy had just led Porto to four trophies in his only year in charge, and also became the youngest ever manager to win a European competition. Having already spent time on the coaching staff at the Bridge, it seemed to be a perfect fit.
Was Villas-Boas really ready to take on the challenge that lay ahead? Chelsea fans, along with the clubs famous owner, expect glory and the departure of Ancelotti showed just how high the bar has been set at Stamford Bridge, and whilst ‘AVB’ proved in his time at Porto he has the ability to succeed in management, the pressure and challenge of Premier League football is on another level.
His task is made even harder by the fact that Manchester City look destined to be within the challengers at the very least this season, and some of his results show that maybe he has taken this job a little too early, such as Sundays 2-1 home defeat to Liverpool and the catastrophic capitulation at Stamford Bridge versus Arsenal.
And let’s not forget, that Chelsea shelled out £13.3 million for their new man in charge. A hefty sum for a man who is yet to manage in the Champions League – the competition that the club longs to win so much. Of course, this is the beauty of hindsight. When the former Porto man took over, he was lauded as the new Mourinho and as his new side cruised through pre-season unbeaten.
The signings of Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata amongst others looked to be promising additions, and with a young vibrant coach signing young, talented players, it appeared Chelsea were ready to take on the challenge that lay ahead. It is still relatively early in the season and Villas-Boas’ men may simply need to gel, before they start to beat their title rivals.
It is much too soon to say that Andre Villas-Boas is under fire at Chelsea, and he has picked up some decent results thus far. However, Roman Abramovich is hardly the most patient of Chairmen, and with the form of the two Manchester clubs, coupled with Spurs, Liverpool and Arsenal who continue to pick up impressive results, Chelsea may find themselves in a battle for a Champions League spot, never mind the league title itself.
There is still plenty of time for their boss to prove himself, and as it stands, he’s still very much in a title race, but if the Blues continually fail to pick up points against the teams around them at the top, Villas-Boas may find himself fighting for his job.
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