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
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Sport
Louis van Gaal watches over Nani
transfers
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
transfersColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
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

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn