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Tuesday, 13 December 2011 13:19

Andre Villas-Boas hits back at critics – on and off the pitch

Chelsea become first Premier League team to beat Manchester City

Andre Villas-BoasAndre Villas-Boas has delivered a sharp rebuttal to what he perceives as unfair criticism, both through his recent declarations and the performances of his Chelsea team over the past eight days.
Just over a week ago, AVB was under increasing pressure after an indifferent run of results, but successive wins over Newcastle, Valencia and Manchester City have got the London club back on track.
The 3-0 victory over Valencia was particularly crucial, given that it resulted in the Blues booking their place in the last sixteen of the Champions League as group winners, when defeat by the Spaniards would have put them out of the competition. In the aftermath of that match Villa-Boas hit out at the press, saying Chelsea had “delivered a slap in the face” to their detractors.
The outburst served only to fuel further stirrings of a mischievous nature, as stories emerged in the English press detailing a supposed dressing-down of senior players on the training ground by the Portuguese coach, and the insinuation that he had instructed players to celebrate their goals with him and his staff near the bench.

Meireles on the mark

Despite the hullabaloo surrounding the club, Chelsea, with Raul Meireles and Jose Bosingwa in the starting XI, produced a fine performance last night at Stamford Bridge to beat Manchester City 2-1. Premier League leaders City took an early lead and outplayed the hosts for the first half hour, but a Raul Meireles goal on 34 minutes signalled a revival from Chelsea. With the visitors reduced to ten men after Clichy’s red card, Frank Lampard scored a late winner from the penalty spot.
“It was a good win and it changes our challenge for the Premier League. Seven points [the gap between Chelsea and leaders Manchester City], in this Premier League with so many teams competing for the title, is nothing. After our bad run we found confidence which grew game after game and we put on a very good show against the record-breaking league leaders,” said Villas-Boas after the match.
The former Academica and FC Porto coach went on to vehemently deny reports he had insisted his players celebrate with him when they scored: “I am not arrogant. I have never asked my players to come and celebrate a goal with me. Goal celebrations are for the players. It is incorrect and unfair.”
by Tom Kundert

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Comments (16)
Re: Mario/Canada
16 Thursday, 15 December 2011 11:36
Let me put it this way amigo, perhaps "attack" is not the correct term to use to describe what I'm trying to say....let me rather put it as "dominating the proceedings of a match"...dominating possession of the ball and creating most of the play. The same way the Spanish seleccion plays, and indeed the way our own seleccao used to play (and is lately showing signs of returning to)...very much a traditional Iberico style of play (if I can generalise it like that!), that is positive in approach and always attempts to keep the game "free-flowing" and fluid! None of Mourinho's formers teams really played this way (certainly not Chelsea or Inter), and it has been different at Madrid for reasons I have highlighted already....positive, attacking play is in the nature of that great club.

But I must reiterate, as strong as Real Madrid are looking this year, I still believe Barca are the strongest team in Europe and still the team to beat...and the result at the Bernabeu proved that without any doubt for me. They are the only team in Europe who will dominate the play in virtually every match they play, the only team who never change the way they play, home or away! Let me add too that I don't favour either of the 2 teams over the other, and they are both great clubs, and I would like to see Madrid challenge Barca more this year, as I don't like to see one team dominating too much in any league or competition...but looking at it objectively, I still think Barca are quite a few yards ahead...and Madrid will have to improve even more than they have done to catch up with them.
More talk with Andre / Uk
15 Thursday, 15 December 2011 02:16
What is someone supposed to believe when you refer to Mourinho as a practitioner of negative football and finish your assertions with 3 exclamation points, no less.

"Barca, the true attacking team"

In the last World Cup, Germany destroyed Argentina 4 to 0, when they came up against Spain which has a core of Barcelona players the German players barely touched the ball and they lost 1 to 0. Does that mean that Spain (Barcelona) is the true attacking team?

Just because Barca has had success against Madrid doesn't mean that Madrid is not a powerful attacking team, if that were the case then there is only one attacking team on the planet, that being Barca. Real Madrid is a young team whose players don't have the amount of experience playing together that the Barca players have; Messi believed that they would win the latest Clasico for that very reason.

I was disappointed with Madrid's performance but I am not discouraged or dissuaded in my belief that Real Madrid will win La Liga this year and the Champions league. What I saw was a group of players that were nervous and had doubts about their ability: I also say a Barca team with defensive weaknesses that have already been exploited this season by teams who finished their chances unlike Real Madrid on Saturday.
More thoughts..
14 Wednesday, 14 December 2011 22:57
Since he's been at Madrid, Mourinho has played more attack minded than he has done in the past, but much of this is due to the attack minded players in the squad and the attacking philosophy that's been part of the club since the days of Di Stefano & Co. Mourinho is naturally a more defensive coach though, disciplined and counter-attacking approach, it was the same with Inter and Chesea...and even with Porto. Much of Porto's success in 04 was due to a solid defensive unit, and quick counter-attacking. Real has dominated against lesser talented teams in the Mourinho era, but in all the Classicos against Barca, the true attacking team dominated the attack in all of them. By "negative" I just meant.. more defensive, a more disciplined no risk-taking approach. It wasn't meant as a criticism. It's just another way of winning I suppouse, and has been very succesful for him and his teams.
13 Wednesday, 14 December 2011 18:58
It was always going to be tough for AVB. Chelsea not only has big egos that have the owners ear, but they're aging badly egos.
Terry and Lamps are nowhere near of what they were, and Essian will never be the same.
Has a player in his prime has fallen as hard and fast as Torres as. Without injury. Torres could be left out of the Euro Spain squad.
Drogba is older, but I could see him and Chelsea ride out his deal. I believe he's got one more year.

With Villa apparently on his way out of Barca, I could see him at Chelsea. Especially after Suarez and Kuns success in the epl.

Meireles has proved me wrong. He was great for Liverpool last season as he is now for Chelsea. The Sellecao most consistent performer.

Luiz is the same player he's always been. It's just that in the epl, those moments of craziness really hurt a club.
Last time I checked, Benfica has already cashed that check.

Quaresma would fail miserably in the epl. He's only good in small ponds.
Andre/uk, something I don't agree with.
12 Wednesday, 14 December 2011 18:43
Andre, you mentioned that Mourinho plays a negative style of football, and I totally disagree with that statement. Mourinho plays the type of football that is best suited for the players he has and the opposition he is facing. Take Real Madrid for example, they have one of the most exciting teams if not the most exciting team in the world. The team averages about 4 goals a game. They get the ball and they quickly transition into attacking football. It's one of the reasons they have less difficulty than Barcelona when facing teams with less points in La Liga. The style that Barcelona plays invites the opposition to congest their goal area due to Barcelona's methodical build up when they face lesser opposition.

I believe that the reason many people still hold the notion that Mourinho plays negative football, comes from Inter's performance against Barcelona in the Champions League in that second leg. However, people forget that in the first leg Inter handily won 3 to 1 playing attacking football and that in the second leg, due to Mr. Busquet's histrionics, Thiago Motta was wrongly sent off forcing Inter to play with ten men for most of the game and thus adopting a defensive style which was a work of art in itself. What Mourinho did with Inter was miraculous just look at the depths Inter has sunk to at present.
Chelsea will be better next season
11 Wednesday, 14 December 2011 17:47
A third place finish and a deep run in the champions league will be a huge accomplishment. AVB is trying to turn Chelsea into a offensive, technical, possession based team and at the moment he doesn't have the personnel to utilize these tactics. However, AVB has definitely made the midfield much better technically with Meireles and Romeu coming in for Lampard and Mikel.

Mata and Sturridge have been playing very well, but they could use another talented player on the wings. Drogba is aging and Torres has been a disaster so a world class center forward should be the primary target over the summer.

Their center backs on paper aren't that bad. John Terry, Ivanovic, and David Luiz (still improving) are all great center backs. They are just having with the high defensive line. The full backs, however, are not as good. Ashley Cole is no longer on of the best left backs in England so Chelsea should consider a future left back (maybe Alvaro Pereira) and Bosingwa, excellent going forward, is very poor defensively.

Next season, with some new players, Chelsea will be a real title contender.
David Luiz is on the way out of Chelsea
10 Wednesday, 14 December 2011 17:02
I predicted he'd flop and here we are LOL
@Carlos SLB
9 Wednesday, 14 December 2011 15:55
LOL you just made my day... Torres is "chelseas most prized assets and game savers." LOL
Do you take yourself seriously?
Chelsea and AVB
8 Wednesday, 14 December 2011 12:51
AVB has done well to turn around the dreadful little period they were going through recently, and is a very talented manager who sticks to his principles of attacking football whatever the consequences. His absence at Porto has clearly been felt, and I think he is another great candidate to coach the seleccao in the future...we have quite a few now don't we?...perhaps it won't be as easy as Mourinho seems to think - that he will just decide whenever he wants to coach the seleccao...personally I much prefer the more positive style of football that both AVB and JJ play than the more negative style Mourinho plays!!!

However I seriously doubt Chelsea will be winning either the Premier League or the Champions League this season. And AVB will probably have to wait until next season for big success. He has inherited a slightly ageing squad (Terry, Lampard, Drogba), while others like Torres, Cole and Cech just don't seem like the players they were a few years ago. Also (as a Benfica fan) the more I see David Luiz play for Chelsea, the more I think we got a good deal for him in the end. He plays with a lot of heart, but takes big risks way too often. I think by next season when AVB has had more personal influence on the team, they will look more likely to win the big trophies...
Quaresma back to chelsea?
7 Tuesday, 13 December 2011 20:14
Guys is it true?or u're suggestin' that?please update us! I'll be happy seeing Quarema playing under Villas-Boas in a chelsea jersey!!
6 Tuesday, 13 December 2011 18:50
Torres is 27 now, he will be 28, March next year.
Raul Meireles
5 Tuesday, 13 December 2011 18:34
I'm glad that Raul Meireles is starting to prove doubters wrong. I have read many articles and blogs from Chelsea fans and many doubt Meireles' talent. He proved last season that he is one of the best midfielders in the premier league. He just isn't a player that makes headlines. At the beginning of the season, AVB utilized him as a defensive midfielder and Chelsea fans criticized his poor tackling. He has also been criticized for lacking a cutting edge in the final third.

Raul Meireles is neither a defensive midfielder nor an attacking midfielder. He doesn't have the quickness and skill of David Silva or Samir Nasri, and he is far from a tough tackler. Raul Meireles, however, is the heart of his team.

He works tirelessly off the ball and dictates the tempo of the match with his passing. Probably his best asset is the danger he provides with his runs from deep (like Lampard). Your not going to see Meireles score 20 goals, but he has a powerful shot with both feet and his runs from deep are essential to every team he plays on.

Lampard is aging and while he will still be important in the short run for Chelsea, Raul Meireles currently gives more to Chelsea than Lampard. A midfield trio of Romeu, Ramires, and Meireles is a nice mixture of techique, tackling, and tireless running.
Chelsea & Manchester City
4 Tuesday, 13 December 2011 18:08
I don't think Manchester City is going to win the league this year despite their fine start. The next game for Man City is against Arsenal and I can see them losing points once more. The Epl is the most competitive league in football; any number of teams can win it this year;Arsenal, Manchester United and City, Chelsea, even Tottenham.

The Chelsea defence is still a major issue, and they weren't pressured as much in this game against Man City because they played against 10 men for most of the second half.

Bosingwa had a decent game. Although, he got away with a penalty in the first half against Silva and he gave the ball away which almost led to a goal. In the second half he and the other defenders weren't pressured because they were playing with an extra man.

I've been critical of Bosingwa but he is not the only one at fault for the past poor performances . Ashely Cole is a shadow of the player he used to be and Terry isn't getting any younger.

Obviously, the team needs some overhauling, new blood has to be brought in, hopefully it won't be the likes of players such as Quaresma who had his chance at Chelsea. Torres is still a young player he turns 27 this coming March. I think he will overcome his psychological problems and greatly help Chelsea this year. Just Imagine if Ronaldo had been playing badly for the length of time that Torres has been playing, they would likely lynch him and the Portuguese fans would sadly take the lead in that endeavour.
lol that made my day
3 Tuesday, 13 December 2011 17:57
drogba and torres must go? there chelseas most prized assets and game savers..Drogbas their goal machine and torres is one of their hardest workers. It may not seem like hes the goal machine that he was in liverpool but he contributes a lot towards attack and defence.

As for quaresma on chelsea LOOOL i wont even comment on that,

And Lisandro is a nice forward but not EPL material...
Old Porto team
2 Tuesday, 13 December 2011 17:36
@ Paul/Romania, if you bring in Lisandro and Quaresma to this current Chelsea team which already includes Meireles, you basically have the core of the old 07/08/09 Porto team, all you need to add are Lucho Gonzalez, Bruno Alves and Helton!
Quaresma,again at Chelsea
1 Tuesday, 13 December 2011 17:02
I think that Drogba and Torres must to go.And came Lisandro Lopez and Quaresma.Chelsea will be a fantastic team with Quaresma,Lisandro,Meireles and Mata!

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