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Sunday 31 August 2014

Villas-Boas hits back at Redknapp over 'real dope' Chelsea claim

Oliver Brown

Published 11/01/2013 | 05:00

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Andre Villas-Boas

Andre Villas-Boas took issue with Harry Redknapp's suggestion that only "a real dope" could fail to be successful at Chelsea, claiming: "Only when you manage a club are you going to find out. You have to be able to access a club like that to experience it."

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The Tottenham manager lasted a mere nine months at Stamford Bridge under Roman Abramovich, and does not take kindly to being reminded, by Redknapp or anybody else, of the one major blemish on his otherwise enviable CV.

"It's a club with different expectations," the 35-year-old said. " Chelsea are a high-profile club where media attention is high and everything is scrutinised. What happened over there happened and I think both clubs have moved on. Chelsea have been tremendously successful since then and for me it's the end of the story."

Redknapp, in an apparent sideswipe at Rafa Benitez, had argued that "you would have to be a real dope to mess it up" with Chelsea's team of Champions League winners. But Villas-Boas tried to correct that assumption, indicating that life as an Abramovich manager was far more demanding than perceived.

"It's a different type of club," he said. "You just have to experience it and to survive it."

The Portuguese confronts Redknapp at QPR tomorrow and it is no wonder the two have never even exchanged pleasantries.

Villas-Boas could hardly be a starker antithesis of the 65-year-old, whom he replaced at Tottenham last summer, if he tried.

"I've never spoken with him," he said. "We shook hands at the start of Tottenham against Chelsea."

Villas-Boas also intimated his displeasure with Emmanuel Adebayor, who had disputed his public remarks that he was happy for the striker to travel to the Africa Cup of Nations. "That is what he said to the press but not what he said to me," the Togo star argued.

The manager responded: "There is no friction... I would never stand in the way of the player. Probably the expression he used wasn't the correct one but if he goes and represents his country it is fine for us." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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