Bold choice demands a bold response
IT GOES without saying that Chelsea have made an extremely bold decision in paying a world record sum to hire a 33-year-old with less than two years’ management experience.
But what fascinates me about the appointment of Andre Villas-Boas is how bold he is going to be in putting his stamp on a Blues set-up that has begun to look tired and predictable.
There has to be a re-think of the first XI and the whole squad. Key players are getting on and the tactics looked a little stale last season.
But who better to sweep away dead wood than a young manager who has his own ideas and is eager to implement them at a new club?
It’s certainly a big ask for Villas-Boas, who is one of a growing band of career coaches – men who have not played the game at a high level but have succeeded by devoting time to studying theories and methods.
Because as well as being charged with masterminding a new era at Stamford Bridge, he will surely have to win the Premier League or Champions League to survive.
Earning the trust and respect of the players, some of whom are older than him, will be key, and his excellent English will help immensely with that. He will now be calling round the squad, introducing himself rather than waiting until they report for training next month. Especially important will be getting John Terry onside.
I’m sure he’ll bring a swarm of staff with him from Porto, and perhaps some players. The path between Portugal and Chelsea has become well worn, but having familiar faces will help him acclimatise.
If I was a Chelsea fan now I’d be excited, because they have appointed the man of the moment. Villas-Boas represents a fresh start; now it’s up to him to freshen up the rest of the club.