Villas-Boas: We must copy Arsenal

Blues boss turns to Gunners' blueprint to end losing streak

Ben Rumsby

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has urged his players to take a leaf out of Arsenal's book as they attempt to draw a line under their week from hell.

Villas-Boas watched Arsene Wenger's men rip his defence apart on Saturday as the Blues conceded five goals at home for the first time in 22 years.

The 5-3 defeat capped a nightmare seven days for Chelsea captain John Terry, who is fighting to clear his name in a Football Association inquiry into allegations he racially abused QPR's Anton Ferdinand, something he categorically denies.

And back-to-back Premier League defeats have left the club nine points adrift of leaders Manchester City.

Chelsea are still a long way from being in the kind of disarray Arsenal seemed to find themselves in during their worst start to a season since 1958.

But the fact the Gunners have managed to recover to win eight out of their last nine matches has made them a blueprint for Villas-Boas' attempts to get his own side back on track.

"Arsenal have made a very good recovery, they are the exact example we are speaking about," he said.

"Arsenal were considered dead at the beginning and they were calling for Wenger's head, or the media were."

Speculation about Wenger's job arose because the Gunners had also gone six years without a trophy and Villas-Boas is highly unlikely to suffer the same fate after only two defeats.

The 34-year-old certainly had no such concerns, and said: "That means you are not cold-blooded in your analysis."

The Chelsea manager is certainly delivering the attacking football owner Roman Abramovich craves.

"It's a stance you have to take," he said.

"You have to reflect on what are the values of the English culture and British football. I think those values are well present."

But if he is to succeed in winning silverware this season, the Portuguese must solve the riddle of his side's defensive failings in big games.


He will waste no time poring over Saturday's defeat and his players may be made to do the same.

"I will watch the game as soon as possible," he said.

"It's up to the technical staff to decide if the players also watch the game."

Villas-Boas, whose side also conceded three goals in the first half of their match at Manchester United, added: "Even if we rule out Arsenal's last two goals, we still need to analyse the other three they scored.

"But, before this game, we were one of the three best defences in the Premier League.

"Nobody would bet on the results that have been happening in the Premier League this season."