Glenn Moore: 'Whatever your age, you need to be able to lead players,' – Boothroyd

Earlier last season, in the wake of the Wayne Rooney transfer saga, Sir Alex Ferguson preached the virtues of experience. "I don't think Manchester United could ever go down the road of having a young manager," he said. The 69-year-old, who was 44 when he took over at Old Trafford, and 32 when he began management at East Stirling, added: "It's a job that needs a lot of experience at the top end of the game."

Clearly Roman Abramovich does not feel the same way about Chelsea, but if Andre Villas-Boas is to end the Russian's quest for a Champions League success he will have to break yet more records. At present the youngest manager to win the European Cup is also the first to do it, Jose Villalonga, who was 36 when he steered Real Madrid to success in 1956. Since then Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola have won the competition in their 30s but the nearest Villalonga's mark has come to being lowered was seven years ago when a 34-year-old Didier Deschamps lost the final with Monaco (to Mourinho's Porto).

Indeed, in the 19 seasons of the Champions League only two managers younger than Villas-Boas have even competed: Viktor Goncharenko, 31, of BATE Borisov in 2008, and Ricardo, 32, of Paris St-Germain in 1997. Both failed to escape the group stages, which will not be permitted at Chelsea. But age, said one of the Premier League's youngest-ever managers, should not prevent Villas-Boas being successful.

Aidy Boothroyd was 35 when he took Watford into the top flight five years ago, having been appointed at Vicarage Road a year earlier. "I never had a situation where someone said, 'you're only 34, 35, 36' or whatever," he said yesterday.

"He's had an incredible start to his career but if you are bright enough you can fast-track a lot of things. Obviously working with Jose Mourinho will have helped enormously. He will have seen all the good things Jose does, and maybe learned from some of the mistakes, and added bits of his own.

"His track record with Porto will stand him in good stead when he meets the players for the first time. He'll know the big personalities, like John Terry and Frank Lampard, from being there before, which will help."

Watford lasted one season in the top flight and Boothroyd left after the club failed to bounce back from relegation. He then managed Colchester United and Coventry City before being sacked from the latter last season. With the benefit of that experience he does have some reservations regarding Villas-Boas.

"Older managers make mistakes as well as young ones, but you should become a better manager as you get older because you've learned from the occasional knock-back," said Boothroyd. "Maybe you've been sacked once, you learned to see what's around the corner. He's not had that, but he has worked with Jose and he'll have learned from seeing them at close hand."

Boothroyd is unworried about Villas-Boas's lack of a playing background. A lower-league player himself, he noted: "There is no set route into management. We are all different. Some have been great players, others have more modest backgrounds. Sometimes top players expect players to be able to do the things they could do, and get frustrated when they cannot, whereas people who have not played at a high level often have better training methods because we cannot do those things. Arsène Wenger, Mourinho, Rafa Benitez, Roy Hodgson, none of them were top players.

"Whatever your age and background you need to be able to lead players. The days of carrot and stick are over, these guy are millionaires, or heading that way. They are not going to be motivated by a win bonus. A good manager gets the players, who are all different characters, to focus on a common goal. You want to get players to go above and beyond, to play for you.

"It's going to be interesting. You can't win every game, and you can't win every trophy, but he's going to a club where he will be expected to do both. But judging at his track record he's as good a chance of success as anyone."

Premier League's youngest managers

32yrs 2 months Attilio Lombardo, Crystal Palace, March-April 1998

32yrs 10 months Chris Coleman, Fulham, 2003-07

33yrs 7 months Gianluca Vialli, Chelsea 1998-2000

33yrs 8 months Andre Villas-Boas, Chelsea 2011–

33yrs 11 months Ruud Gullit, Chelsea, 1996-98

34yrs 11 months Paul Jewell, Bradford City, 1999-2000

35yrs 4 months Dave Watson, Everton, 1997 (caretaker)

35yrs 6 months Aidy Boothroyd, Watford, 2006-07

35yrs 10 months Glenn Hoddle, Chelsea, 1993-96

35yrs 11 months Gareth Southgate, Middlesbrough, 2006-09

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
News
Pistorius leaves Pretoria High Court to be taken to prison
news

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

Life and Style
tech

Company says data is only collected under 'temporary' identities that are discarded every 15 minutes

News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Life and Style
health

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album