The days of football managers having time to create a team and develop a football club appear to be long gone. André Villas-Boas became Chelsea manager a mere 6 months ago, yet he is already under severe pressure to quit. Surely the positive attributes that got him the job have not simply vanished within his first 18 games in charge?
The arrival of Villas-Boas, a man who learned his managerial skills from none other than “the chosen one” himself, brought a new sense of optimism to Chelsea and some genuine belief that this man would be the future of the club.
His managerial record at Porto was nothing short of miraculous, winning the league, Portuguese Cup and Europa league last year, with an overall win percentage of 84%. With this impressive CV and his reputation as one of the best young managers in the game, Roman Abramovich paid the £13 million to release him of his contract with Porto.
Surely that kind of money for a manager deserves time to pay off?
André Villas-Boas was Chelsea’s answer to Pep Guardiola, albeit not with Pep’s handsome good looks or superior dress sense, however the difference was Villas-Boas had won major titles already in his short career as a manager.
Despite a promising start to his tenure at Chelsea recent results have been far from good enough with 4 defeats in the last 5 games, including a stuttering Champions League campaign, however is it any wonder! Every few months John Terry makes the front page headlines instead of the back, and the latest Terry scandal engulfs the British media. How can a team concentrate and develop when there is such controversy surrounding their club captain?
The enigma that is Fernando Torres is doing nothing to help his manager either, the boy couldn’t buy a goal and with his huge price tag weighing him down. It heaps more criticism on Chelsea for paying the ridiculous £50 million in the first place.
However these were things Villas Boas was aware of when he signed. This young manager is still learning and still has the potential to be a highly successful manager. This Chelsea team is getting old and needs change; the teams around them have evolved into top class teams, whether it’s at Tottenham under the experience of Harry Redknapp, or at Man City with their bottomless pit of money. The point is Chelsea must raise their game and advance as a club in order to remain title contenders, but this was precisely the job André Villas Boas was brought in to do.
Alex Ferguson recently celebrated 25 years at Manchester United. Has he had his tough spells in that time? Of course he has, none more so when he first took charge, but he was given time to implement his vision for the club and develop the team for the future. Arsenal is another club who have stuck with their manager and allowed him to improve the club over a sustained period of time.
Stability and continuity breeds success – not immediate success perhaps, but a longer-term progression, which is essential in order to take a modern day football club to the next level. Villas-Boas is the 8th Chelsea manager in 7 years. How can Mr. Abramovich expect Chelsea to win both domestically and in Europe when he doesn’t give a manager time?
There have only been 12 league games this season, surely the end of the season is the best time to judge a manager and not before a certain Mr Clause has delivered Fernando Torres a much needed new pair of shooting boots!
Villas Boas will know the weaknesses of the team and have a plan for the future development of the team, it’s now down to Roman Abramovich to show his support for the manager, stand by him and give Chelsea a chance to focus on matters on the pitch instead of controversy and speculation off it.
To coin a phrase from a well known manager from Lurgan:
“This isn’t the end, it’s just the beginning”
You can follow Louis on Twitter @McCaffrey14.