Andre Villas-Boas would have succeeded at Chelsea, says Owen Coyle
Thursday 08 March 2012
Owen Coyle is certain Chelsea would have prospered if they had allowed old friend Andre Villas-Boas to finish the job he started at Stamford Bridge.
The pair have been firm friends since they did their coaching badges together and Coyle spoke to Villas-Boas on Sunday as news of his dismissal by Chelsea became public.
Coyle described Villas-Boas as being disappointed "but not shocked" at the decision, which followed a particularly poor sequence of results.
However, despite being asked to step into such a pressurised role at just 34 years of age, Coyle insists the former Porto coach had already proved he was up to the task.
And, whilst he might have had difficulties getting a number of the Blues' senior stars to buy into his ideas, Coyle feels Villas-Boas would have eventually proved Roman Abramovich had been correct to hire him in the first place.
"I spoke to Andre briefly on Sunday after the news had broken," said the Bolton boss.
"I won't say he was shocked because he has worked at Chelsea before and knows how it works. But he was disappointed.
"I have no doubt if he was given the time to see it through, Chelsea would have reaped the rewards and been stronger for many years to come.
"The job he did at Porto was there for everyone to see. But people don't realise what he did at Academica.
"He took a huge risk leaving Inter Milan for a club that was bottom of the league. But he had belief in his own abilities, saved them from relegation and went to the semi-finals of the cup.
"That was an unbelievable achievement for a young man.
"Chelsea are looking for trophies, who is to say they wouldn't have won one if they had persevered with him?"
That Chelsea have reached the FA Cup quarter-finals this week and are now England's only representatives in the Champions League - even though they face an uphill battle to overturn Napoli's first leg advantage next week - shows Villas-Boas must have been doing something right.
And Coyle is convinced he will prove his worth again elsewhere.
"Andre is an outstanding manager and an outstanding man, which is more important in the big scheme of things," he said.
"He will bounce back.
"We all come into this job with our eyes open, as Andre did. He knew the risks were huge, but so are the rewards.
"He will bounce back bigger and stronger and better for the experience.
"You have to go through these circumstances to become better."
Abramovich's trigger-happy approach contrasts sharply with the relative stability at Bolton, where Coyle's position is currently safe despite the Trotters spending most of the season deep in relegation trouble.
Saturday's crucial home encounter with QPR offers a way out, with even Coyle describing it as a six-pointer in a depressing campaign.
"If people are giving me stick, all I would say is that nobody puts me under any more pressure than I do myself," he said.
"I don't take the job lightly. As much as I put a brave face on things, deep down I am really hurting when we lose.
"I love this football club and of course there will be frustration from fans. But they know what we are trying to put in place.
"This was always going to be a season of transition because of the squad we inherited and the injury situation we had.
"It is not rocket science to understand why we have had such a slow start. But we are not getting too low because we know what is at the end of the tunnel.
"We have the vision. Now we have to achieve it in the last 11 games."
Latest in Sport
Kevin Garside: Manchester United may have history and tradition but, as David Moyes never realised, a big-time manager always bends such things to his will
Louis van Gaal denies problem with Wilfried Zaha despite Manchester United forward being given no game time
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
Arsenal transfer news: Versatile Calum Chambers is a 'gamble', admits Arsene Wenger as Arsenal spending passes £50m
Tour de France 2014: Vincenzo Nibali confirmed as champion as he puts Italy back on the map with triumph
- 1 Secret Cinema: Why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
- 2 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 3 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 4 Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
- 5 The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia