Tottenham v Chelsea: Result will not be pivotal to final Premier League standings, says Andre Villas-Boas
The Spurs manager looks to play down the significance of the hotly anticipated encounter at White Hart Lane
Friday 27 September 2013
Andre Villas-Boas insists the result of Tottenham's meeting with Chelsea will have little bearing on the race for the top four this season.
Villas-Boas and Jose Mourinho will lock horns for the first time on Saturday when Chelsea visit White Hart Lane in the Barclays Premier League.
Spurs have had an excellent start to their season, registering eight wins out of nine games despite the loss of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.
The clash with Villas-Boas' former mentor provides Tottenham with the opportunity to prove that they can cut it with the best this year, but the Spurs boss insists little can be judged from the outcome of the match.
"This game won't have any significant impact," the Tottenham manager said.
"It's normally in the games against the other teams that can affect your position a little more dramatically.
"This is a big clash between two teams that competed hard for the Champions League spots last season.
"Whatever happens in this game, I'm not sure if it's going to have a great impact on the classification at the end of the season, but we want to do well, build our confidence and win a game against a team that has won the European Cup two seasons ago, won the Europa League that we wanted so much last season."
The meeting of master and apprentice adds extra spice to what was already a mouth-watering prospect.
For seven years Villas-Boas and Mourinho were close, working together at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan, but the Tottenham manager made clear on Thursday that he and his compatriot are no longer friends.
There is a feeling among Spurs fans that, after over £100million worth of investment this summer, their team could end up challenging for the title, rather than just a place in the top four.
Villas-Boas has played down such suggestions, but he does admit the title race is wide open.
"I think we could have the tightest Premier League in years," Villas-Boas said.
"We just have to continue getting the most amount of points as possible
"It can change very quickly. At the moment I think we're on a good run.
"No team is on maximum points so it means this year it will be very tight at the top. Manchester United are struggling for points but on the other hand they have played all of the top teams."
Tottenham drew and lost in their two games against Chelsea last season, but the north London club's recruitment drive this summer gives Villas-Boas a much better chance of overcoming his old team on Saturday.
The likes of Christian Eriksen, Paulinho and Roberto Soldado have all impressed since joining the club, but it was one of the old guard who impressed on Tuesday night as Tottenham swatted aside Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup.
Jermain Defoe scored his third brace of the campaign at Villa Park and he is now pushing for a starting place for the London derby.
"Jermain is doing extremely well," Villas-Boas said.
"He's been excellent every time he's been given his opportunity.
"He is scoring goals for fun, which is what he has done throughout his career and he is ticking all the right boxes.
"He's competing for that position with Soldado but he's been doing very well and I'm very happy with him."
With seven new players added to his squad this summer, Villas-Boas admits his management skills will be tested to keep them all happy.
He is not complaining, though.
"I think every manager's idea is to have players two players per position with similar qualities," the Portuguese said.
"We have done that, so that you are able to rotate. Obviously it requires man-management skills (to keep them happy)."
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Mario Balotelli takes 50 per cent pay cut to join Liverpool as Samuel as Eto’o waits in the wings if deal falls through
Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
Click here for the full story." title="When a youngster asked for an autograph outside Manchester City's training ground, Balotelli demanded to know why the boy was playing truant. After the child revealed he was being bullied, Balotelli drove the boy and his mother to the school in question so he could tackle the bully himself. He demanded to see the headmaster to make him aware of the issue and then mediated between the two boys to resolve the problem. A source said: 'Mario feels strongly about bullying.' Click here for the full story." width="88" height="52" />Mario Balotelli: The funniest stories
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
- 3 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile