Andre Villas-Boas: 'I am the group one'
Wednesday 29 June 2011
Andre Villas-Boas today anointed himself as 'The Group One' - but admitted it was he who would pay the price if he did not bring instant success to Chelsea.
Villas-Boas was officially unveiled this morning as Blues boss almost four years after leaving the club as part of Jose Mourinho's staff.
Mourinho famously arrived at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2004 declaring himself the 'Special One', a moniker he backed up by masterminding the most successful period in Chelsea's history.
Villas-Boas, who like his mentor quit Porto to take charge of the Blues, was far more humble today, insisting winning major trophies would take a collective effort.
But the 33-year-old - the youngest manager in the Barclays Premier League - was under no illusions failure would cost him his job, just as it did predecessor Carlo Ancelotti.
"What you expect from this club is to be successful straight away," said Villas-Boas, who broke several of Mourinho's records en route to leading Porto to the domestic double and Europa League last season.
"I expect to be successful. To win straight away, on a weekly basis.
"There's no running away from that challenge. That's what I face.
"I'd be surprised to be kept on if I don't win.
"I want to be a winner - that's the challenge I promote to myself and my technical staff.
"Most of them took this challenge to be successful, not to be passing time here because the city is good."
Despite signing a three-year deal and costing 15million euros to released from his Porto contract, time is something Villas-Boas is unlikely to be given by the ultra-demanding Roman Abramovich.
Abramovich is now on his seventh manager since buying Chelsea eight years ago, the billionaire Russian becoming increasingly impatient in his quest to win the Champions League.
As well as this demand, his last four managers have operated under the shadow of Mourinho's achievements and were inevitably asked upon their appointments if they too were a 'Special One'.
It was no different today for Villas-Boas, who said: "The title, I will wait for you guys to give it to me when I'm successful.
"I hope I am and you give me a good title in the end.
"This is not a one-man show.
"Maybe I should be called 'The Group One'. I want to group people together to be successful. That's my objective."
Chelsea's players can also expect a much stricter regime than that which departed at the end of last season, with Villas-Boas particularly strong on discipline.
But he denied he was a dictator, insisting his was an "open-minded" approach.
"There are many ways to be successful in football, being a dictator or not, training this way or not, but this is the way we believe in," he added.
"This is what we want to sell to our players, and, for sure, they will buy it.
"We want them to triumph as persons, as social role models. When they do that, they triumph as players as well."
But how will Chelsea's star-studded squad handle taking orders from a man barely older than them?
"It's normal for people to judge my age," Villas-Boas said.
"The players are responsible and professional enough to respect the position of the manager.
"I was 31 at Academica and it was never a problem, even with some of the players older than me.
"It was never a problem. And it won't be this time either."
The new Chelsea manager's youth will perhaps become most evident when first he faces the man he must topple at the Premier League summit.
Unlike Mourinho, Villas-Boas is not looking to pick a fight with Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson, who began his managerial career before his latest adversary was even born.
"I have the utmost respect for Sir Alex," Villas-Boas said.
"I'm not a confrontational guy."
He added: "It's not just a question of me taking on Sir Alex or the other Premier League managers.
"It's a question of a top club like Chelsea challenging for the title again.
"Last year, we ended on a very good run to threaten for the title in the last couple of games.
"I want us to be up there at the beginning."
But it is to Mourinho that Villas-Boas will ultimately be compared and, having followed in his former mentor's footsteps for a second time, he might have expected a congratulatory message from the Real Madrid boss.
However, the duo have not spoken since Villas-Boas quit Mourinho's Inter Milan two years ago.
Insisting there were "no hard feelings", Villas-Boas paid tribute to the record he must ultimately better to keep his job.
"It would be wrong for you not to mention a person who delivered so much for this club when he was here," he said.
"He did the same at Porto and was omnipresent in our press conferences, almost like sitting next to me.
"He is part of the history of this club. The trophies you see in this room were won by him."
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