Hasselbaink warns against Mourinho comparisons

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The Independent Football

Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has appealed for new manager Andre Villas-Boas to be allowed to be his own man.

The 33-year-old Portuguese was today confirmed as Carlo Ancelotti's successor on a three-year deal, rekindling memories of compatriot Jose Mourinho's eventful reign at Stamford Bridge.

Villas-Boas, who worked under Mourinho at Chelsea, will be the latest man to be handed the challenge of bringing the Champions League trophy to west London by owner Roman Abramovich, but Hasselbaink insists comparison with the Real Madrid boss are unfair.

The Dutchman said: "Yes, everybody is going to look at him and say, 'You have learned it [from Mourinho]' or 'You are the same as Mourinho', and he is going to be the example.

"But I don't think that's fair on him. It is only more pressure because everybody is going to compare him to Mourinho.

"Yes, he is only 33, but I think we should look at him just as a man on his own, a different manager - yes from Portugal, but a different individual, and just give him a chance to succeed.

"It is going to be very important for Chelsea - Chelsea are at a very important stage.

"They are not going to be able to keep on letting managers come and go. They will have to give somebody faith, and luckily it is somebody young, so somebody who can grow with the club and put his stamp on the Premier League and also the club."

Hasselbaink warned Villas-Boas that he will need to spend if he is to bring the success Roman Abramovich craves.

The 33-year-old Villas-Boas was today named as Carlo Ancelotti's replacement with the former Porto coach being handed a three-year deal at Stamford Bridge.

Villas-Boas will hope to succeed where the likes of predecessors Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari and Ancelotti have failed in winning the Champions League, although Hasselbaink believes he will need to restore the flair to the squad if he is to do so.

The Dutchman said: "Whoever was going to come in, Chelsea need new blood and they need younger blood.

"They need a number 10, they need wingers, they need players who can beat other players, who can create.

"It has been a little bit predictable at a lot of stages and it has been a little bit difficult for Chelsea to break teams down.

"They need players like they used to have - Arjen Robben, the Gianfranco Zolas, the Damien Duffs - they need those kind of players back just to give it a little more flair."

Villas-Boas has already been linked with a series of potential transfer targets, including his former Porto players Falcao and Joao Moutinho.

But whatever he does during the remaining months of the summer transfer window, Hasselbaink is convinced his main aim should be to provide £50million January arrival Fernando Torres with the ammunition he needs to rediscover his lethal best form.

He said: "Obviously, Torres wasn't fit [during the second half of last season], but I am a great believer that Torres will succeed.

"The only problem is, if you play with Torres, you will have to play differently, you will have to have a number 10. You cannot play without a number 10 with Torres because he is not that kind of player.

"If you play with [Didier] Drogba, you can just leave him on his own up front and you just say go and terrorise defences; Torres is not that kind of player, he needs somebody close to him.

"If Torres, as I think, is going to be the number one, you will have to buy players, you will have to buy the number 10 and the wingers for him."

Drogba's situation has been a topic of debate for some time, and Hasselbaink does not expect the pair to play together.

He said: "It didn't work last year, did it? Drogba is not the kind of player who is at his best in a 4-4-2 or in a two-striker system.

"He has always terrorised defences when he has played by himself up front and had a little bit of support coming.

"That's when he is at his best and that is how Chelsea won their games in the past."

In the meantime, Villas-Boas, who worked under Mourinho at Chelsea, will re-acquaint himself with the club and start the process of establishing himself in a dressing room where he will be little older than many of the players - in the case of both Drogba and Lampard, just a few months.

However, Hasselbaink insists the newcomer's age should not be any bar.

He said: "He will need a little bit more help than other managers, but he is a smart man and he knows what he wants and he knows what he has signed for.

"He knows that it is not going to be easy and that he will have to work maybe harder than lots of the others, but in a way, that's a good thing.

"He is very determined and yes, he is young, but Chelsea are looking to have a younger squad as well and Abramovich is also a young owner and we don't have that many young owners in the Premier League.

"I have got a good feeling about it."

Hasselbaink was speaking at a coaching course for schoolchildren in Middlesbrough under the Home Team Heroes project, a £2million community initiative which is part of npower's three-year sponsorship of the Football League. More details available at http://www.npower.com/Campaigns/home_team_heroes/index.htm.