Villas-Boas takes another swipe at Abramovich

 

Andre Villas-Boas has dug the knife deeper into his previous employers at Chelsea by describing Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy as more committed than Roman Abramovich with superior footballing knowledge.

A week into his new job, having swapped west London for north on a three-year deal, Villas-Boas, who has made no secret of his disdain for the way he was dismissed after eight months by Abramovich, says he has every faith his new boss will stand by him as he attempts to carry on where Harry Redknapp left off.

Insisting he has joined a more unified club with fewer factions, Villas-Boas said: "Since I met the chairman I've been impressed by the way he goes around his business. He's a person who knows what he's doing, he has football understanding and wants to build something. He is involved on a daily basis with his knowledge. That's the main difference. The structures that surround Tottenham are extremely good. Everyone knows they have to play a part in any success and are not looking for scapegoats."

No proper explanation has still been given for why Redknapp was shown the door after twice steering Spurs into the top four, their best finishes since the Premiership began. But Villas-Boas believes he can at least match Redknapp's achievements and, ideally, improve on them.

He is under no illusions about the expectations and has made it clear he wants Spurs, whose last silverware was the League Cup in 2008, to compete in four competitions, including the much-maligned Europa League. He admits, however, that winning the league title, at least in his first season, will be a tall order. "It's obviously a tremendous task due to the competition and a huge step to bridge the gap, but if we want to go forward we have to give it a go. Four years is a long time without a trophy given all the investment. The chairman wants continuous success and that means putting trophies in the cabinet."

The 34-year-old Portuguese may have been a surprise choice for many Spurs fans given his baptism of fire at Stamford Bridge. But facing the media at Tottenham's new state-of-the-art training ground last week, he displayed a steely edge, allied to hurt pride and a fierce drive.

He says he has thought long and hard about what happened at Chelsea, has learned from his mistakes – not least in terms of freezing out players – and, crucially, was "meticulous" in deciding his next step to make sure he was joining the right club. Tottenham, he argues mischievously, has far greater tradition than Chelsea and is more suited to his style of management.

"It was never in my mind to get back so quickly. Is Tottenham a better fit for me? Put it this way: I think there is more a sense of belonging here. The club is full of tradition and this is what I have to admire. Chelsea has its tradition too, but it has changed dramatically since 2003 when the club was bought."

And a sense, he acknowledges, that he is on trial. "The departure of Harry might leave some fans reluctant but that always happens when there are managerial changes because fans create empathy. But I have arrived much better prepared. All of us are emotional people. We all respond to sentiments of revenge but it would be a wrong step if I take things that way. This football club is far more important than myself. I want to make sure we move forwards not backwards but not make it some kind of personal mission."

Although he is convinced he is now in the right place to show what he can do, the former Porto boss must be aware of Tottenham's track record in sacking managers. He is their ninth in the last 15 years.

"This club has a reputation for the way they play. Okay you could never say they are the Barcelona of England but you can say there is a wonderful history regarding attractive football. I know there are responsibilities that come with this job and I will be the first to accept failure if that's what happens. Obviously Harry left the club with great success and it's understandable that to do better is what is demanded. Whether I can do that, we will see next May."

 



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
tvEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
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

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering