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Another protégé of Bobby Robson - André Villas-Boas

By Kevin
Tuesday 21st June 2011
The transfer window is upon us once again and it's not just players that are making the headlines, but also the managers are enjoying their very own merry-go-round. This week the big talking point is that of the possible appointment of André Villas-Boas to the vacant Chelsea managerial position. At the mere age of 33, Villas-Boas has had an astonishing rise through football. Recently Villas-Boas has become the youngest manager in history to win a European title.  Many questions still remain about his credentials, but hopefully this short piece will let people see why there is so much hype surrounding the next managerial inspiration.

André Villas-Boas found his first real managerial post at Académica de Coimbra in the Primeira Liga of Portugal 09/10 season.  The job at hand was no easy task ,with the club languishing bottom of the table without any wins. After a hard fought season, Villas-Boas instilled his very own attacking style of football and successfully helped Académica achieve the safe position of 11th that season, and reach the semi-final of the Portuguese League Cup only to be knocked out by FC Porto. In such a short space of time the change was obvious, resulting in wide range admiration from surrounding clubs. The fact of the matter is that it wasn't just what Villas-Boas had achieved, but the manner and style he produced with it.

On 4th June 2010 André Villas-Boas was presented as FC Porto manager for the oncoming season, and what a season it turned out to be.  By 7th August 2010 Villas-Boas had won his first trophy, the Portuguese Super Cup. This was merely a stepping stone to the other three he acquired by the end of the season, totalling in four. FC Porto went on to win the league and smashed  several records on route. On April 3rd 2011 the club won the league with five matches to go and followed that up by achieving the most points in a 30-game Portuguese league season finishing on 84pts. On the 18th May Villas-Boas made European history against fellow Portuguese side Braga winning 1-0 in Dublin, to lift the UEFA Europa League. The treble was completed four days later with another victory to lift the Portuguese Cup on the 22nd May. That season André Villa-Boas achieved a new club record for the most matches across all competitions unbeaten of 36. Previously held by a certain José Mourinho.  The club had the most wins in Europe in one season by a Portuguese club. Another record was made with the highest number of consecutive wins in the Portuguese league at 16. The season ended with the biggest margin over the second placed team in the leagues history an outstanding 21pts.

What you might not know about Villas-Boas is that he has no actual footballing experience. When André Villas-Boas was 16 years old he lived in the same apartment block as the great Bobby Robson. Being an avid Porto fan he often debated with Bobby and had a great understanding of English from his Grandmother who was English (Do I hear the FA's ear prick up?) and was given a place as part of the observational department at Porto. By 17 he had achieved a UEFA  C coaching license and at the age of 21 he was managing the Virgin Islands national team. Soon enough Villas-Boas changed careers to an assistant under the management of one José Mourinho, who in turn had also studied under Bobby Robson. Mourinho went to Chelsea and Inter Milan with great success with Villas-Boas in company.

So now time will tell what is next for André Villas-Boas and his future achievements. But one thing is for sure if he uses any of the influence passed on from Bobby Robson and Mourinho he'll not go far wrong in what's sure to be a long career.

Kevin McKenna






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