Villas-Boas insists failure to land trophy will not lead to his sacking
Andre Villas-Boas declared yesterday that he had been given "assurances" that he will remain as Chelsea manager even if the club is knocked out of the Champions League next week and fails to win a trophy this season.
He defended his attacking style of play by boldly stating that "the philosophy is not a cancer of this football club" and, interestingly, revealed that he had agreed a radical "three-year plan" with club owner Roman Abramovich when he was appointed in the summer on a three-year contract.
Villas-Boas confirmed that he had been told by Abramovich that he has no intention of sacking him, despite a poor run of form, and that the Russian is offering his full support to him. Villas-Boas admitt- ed that "failure" would be "any season that you go without a trophy for a club of this dimension" but maintained that if that happened he would still be safe. "Yes, I think so," he said. "I have that assurance."
Indeed, it's believed that Abramovich has spoken directly to the manager this week and it does seem that Villas-Boas has more direct contact with the club's owner than any manager since the early days of Jose Mourinho.
Villas-Boas revealed that Chelsea's statement to "play good football" was something that he had discussed with Abramovich -- Carlo Ancelotti had a similar conversation without the same guarantees when he was appointed in 2009 -- as part of the three-year plan to overhaul an ageing squad and accelerate what he called a "natural evolution."
"It was something that we agreed between us," Villas-Boas said when asked whether this strategy was his idea or Abramovich's. "When you set out on a contract you believe in the evolution of a philosophy, of a style of play, of winning the most amount of trophies in that period. That is what we set out. Also there is an objective to invert (change) the way that Chelsea play the game. That is what we are trying to do."
Chelsea face Newcastle United away tomorrow and then Valencia in the Champions League next Tuesday before Manchester City visit Stamford Bridge the following Monday and although Abramovich is believed to be insisting there is a dramatic improvement in performances, it's thought that failure to win all the matches will not fatally damage Villas-Boas.
Villas-Boas insisted that what he now terms the "blip" (having called it, more dramatically, a "negative spiral" of results) will quickly end.
"Although we went into a blip in terms of results, we have played exactly the way that we want to play in previous games," he said. "It's just a question of inverting the results, continuing to believe and getting the self-confidence back." (© Daily Telegraph, London)