Tuesday 28 February 2017

Villas-Boas demands Chelsea players be 'social role models'

Mark Fleming

New Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas (right) was unveiled at Stamford Bridge yesterday alongside assistant boss and former Blues player Roberto Di Matteo
New Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas (right) was unveiled at Stamford Bridge yesterday alongside assistant boss and former Blues player Roberto Di Matteo
Andre Villas-Boas nails his colours to the mast at Stamford Bridge yesterday
New Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas (right) was unveiled at Stamford Bridge yesterday alongside assistant boss and former Blues player Roberto Di Matteo
Andre Villas-Boas nails his colours to the mast at Stamford Bridge yesterday

NEW Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas yesterday declared himself 'the Group One' because of his desire for team unity, but he left nobody in any doubt as to who was in charge.

Since the departure of 'Special One' Jose Mourinho, the Stamford Bridge dressing-room has been perceived as a place where powerful players ruled the roost and undermined several of Mourinho's successors in the dugout.

However Villas-Boas, who at 33 is the same age as players Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard and who has just 20 months' experience as a manager under his belt, is to tighten up discipline at the club's Cobham training ground -- and even demanded that his players be "social role models".

Given the levels of adverse attention which the likes of Ashley Cole and John Terry have had in recent years, such an aspiration might seem a tougher task than winning the coveted Champions League but Villas-Boas cut a determined figure at his unveiling yesterday.

"We want them to triumph as persons, as social role models. When they do that, they triumph as players as well," said the Portuguese.

He also confirmed that Terry -- who, like Cole has been embroiled in front-page sex scandals in the recent past -- would remain captain but added the caveat "as long as he can perform to the utmost of his ability".

Villas-Boas also stated he would not be building his team around £50m striker Fernando Torres. "We have to fine-tune the whole organisation of the team," he said.

The novice manager insisted he has the final say on transfers but said he wants to judge the players after they return for pre-season training on July 6 before deciding who might be moved on, and who to buy.

"There are no players imposed on me. With the top quality you can get at this club, you can move for the best players in the world. That's what we do if we have the necessity. The main thing first is to consider and value what we have at the club," he said.

Villas-Boas revealed his back-room staff yesterday, and confirmed the appointment of the former West Brom manager Roberto di Matteo (41) as his No 2. Villas-Boas has signed a three-year deal worth £4.5m a season, but claimed he could have earned more money staying in Portugal.

"I can assure you that Porto could beat that offer. They were ready to make a competitive offer for me to stay, but I took the challenge," he said. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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