Chelsea: The 10 Secrets To Andre Villas-Boas' Success

Porto went the whole season unbeaten in winning the Portuguese league, and won the Portuguese Cup and the Europa League. If Chelsea allow AVB to follow his formula then the good times will roll at the Bridge...
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Porto went the whole season unbeaten in winning the Portuguese league, and won the Portuguese Cup and the Europa League. If Chelsea allow AVB to follow his formula then the good times will roll at the Bridge...

Porto went the whole season unbeaten in winning the Portuguese league, and won the Portuguese Cup and the Europa League. If Chelsea allow AVB to follow his formula then the good times will roll at the Bridge...

Andre Villas Boas

The Mourinho disciple has won everything in his first season as a first-team coach: Portuguese league, Portuguese Cup, Portuguese SuperCup and Europa League. All that on a tight budget. Imagine what he could do with money to spend.

Villas Boas is just as meticulous and well organised as Mourinho and is equally close to his players. But he gives them more freedom to attack and his team entertains more with its free-scoring approach – something which would appeal to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

Stability

They’ve got through a few coaches since Mourinho left. But Jesualdo Ferreira had a good couple of years and now Villas Boas has brought further stability. There’s a 15 million euro buy-out clause for anyone who wants to snatch him away. The club is determined to hang onto its in-demand coach as well as its star players, yet Abramovic isn't shy of spending to get what he wants at Chelsea.

Organisation

The club is run efficiently from top to bottom. From its magnificent Dragao stadium to its training ground and youth academy, to scouting, player recruitment, coaching, and organising everything for the players from travel to shelter from the intrusions of the press, the club has thought it all through. Many of these things are Mourinho’s legacy. But it’s also in the nature of the club.

Pinto da Costa

The Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, 29 years in his role and going as strong as ever. He oversaw the successful eras under Sir Bobby Robson, Antonio Oliveira and Jose Mourinho and, although ruthless in his pursuit of success, he stands by his coach when he believes in him.

Mourinho says he’s the best president he ever had because he stands up for the club and takes some of the heat off the coach. Most rival presidents hate him because he is so outspoken. He cleared his name after being accused of bribing referees in the ‘Golden Whistle’ scandal.

The Mourinho disciple has won everything in his first season as a first-team coach: Portuguese league, Portuguese Cup, Portuguese SuperCup and Europa League. All that on a tight budget. Imagine what he could do with money to spend.

Signings

Every season Porto sell at least one of their best players. Yet they have a way of keeping the momentum going by bringing in equally good players for less money. Many of those players come from South America where they have a strong scouting system.

After they sold striker Lisandro Lopez to Lyon they brought in Colombian Falcao from River Plate of Argentina and his goal scoring record has been remarkable.

It’s been the same with defenders. After Fernando Couto came Jorge Costa, then Ricardo Carvalho, Pedro Emmanuel, Bruno Alves and now Rolando. Just when it seems a player can’t be replaced, they pull another rabbit out of the hat. Chelsea are eyeing Rolando. Could he be next out the door?

Falca0

Scorer of 73 goals in 85 games in two years for Porto, including breaking the record for Europa League goals in one season, Radamel Falcao has been attracting the attention of top clubs around Europe.

Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are both particularly keen and he could end up playing in the Premier League next season. His current buy-out clause in 30 million euros and that’s bound to be matched by incoming offers. His headed winner in the Europa League final was further evidence of his sense of where the goal is and of the brilliance of his finishing.

Hulk

Plucked from the relative obscurity of Japanese football three years ago, Hulk has become a trump card in Porto’s attack. He has calmed down a bit from the times when his rages led to him acquiring his nickname, but retains the powerful physique that makes him hard to stop.

His speed and powerful shooting, especially when cutting in from the right, have helped him become the Portuguese league’s top scorer with 23 goals, reaching 35 goals in all competitions this season. No wonder a host of teams including Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea are said to be keen to sign him.

Siege mentality

The ‘everyone’s against us’ approach has helped Porto enormously. Whipped up by Pinto da Costa, there’s a feeling that teams from the capital Lisbon get favoured treatment. Mourinho enhanced this with his rhetoric and got the players behind him. Villas Boas is less spikey that Mourinho, but still does his bit, laying into opposing coaches. The club also strictly control outside access to the players, so that the training ground becomes a sort of fortress.

Winning mentality

Nothing breeds success like more success. Porto have now won a record number of Portuguese titles, overtaking Benfica’s record. They have also won the most European trophies of any Portuguese club. Everyone at the club knows that trophies are expected every season and players go into games always believing they can win.

Attack, attack, attack

Whereas the team was more rigorous in its tactical discipline and had a more defensive approach under some of his predecessors, especially Mourinho, Villas Boas’ philosophy is one of throwing caution to the winds and seeking to outscore opponents. If they score we’ll score more.

Keeping a very high defensive line leaves them vulnerable to counter-attacks. But it also puts pressure on opponents and pins them back. They’ve got the attacking players to produce moments of brilliance to score the goals and swing things in their favour.

Roma Abramovich are you listening? This is how to make Chelsea a force to be reckoned with.

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