by ‘Ifreke Inyang
Andre Villas-Boas has spoken out for the first time about being sacked at Chelsea, just eight months into the job. The new manager of London rivals, Tottenham Hotspurs, claims that Roman Abramovich, gave up on him too soon.
“The decision to terminate what was going on at Chelsea was not mine, it was the owner’s. It is all very well that you cut the project short and Chelsea go on to win two trophies and [you] say how wonderful the squad was, but at the beginning nobody believed in that squad when we put it together.
“It was a tremendous learning experience, which I am grateful in some ways to have gone through because it makes me a better coach and a better person at this time. But the decision to cut it short was not mine and for Chelsea to have won the Champions League and the Cup was because we were still in those competitions. I had the opportunity to win them cut short and I had cut short the opportunity to qualify for the Champions League when I was just three points off the fourth position. This is what I recall from the day when I was sacked.”
Villas-Boas, who was fired after a run of poor results, however said he had learnt his lessons in man-management and eso-massage – some of the issues he had with senior Chelsea players in the dressing room.
“I am always a person who defends certain principles that were never understood in England and it requires much more adaptability from myself,” he said. “I am a person who always puts the team in front and I do it publicly. I’m not a guy who is able to criticise anyone in public but I am not a guy who promotes individuals in public. I understand now that certain things can be done better and you evolve in different ways. Hopefully, I can apply the different things I have learned properly.”
Ironically, the 34-year-old Portuguese, says that the Russian’s decision, proved vital as the club eventually went on to win the FA Cup and the Champions League.
“On the day of my dismissal, I told Roman that eventually, you can win these two trophies because the emotional impact is extremely strong,” Villas-Boas said.
“I was able to benefit from it when I went to Académica [in Portugal] and they were rock bottom. Players free themselves, a burden of pressure is taken off them. That is exactly what happened at Chelsea. I don’t see what they achieved as part of what I left there. What I had to do is put that squad together to be able to play those finals and to win them.”