Andre Villas-Boas has opened up on his short-lived tenure as Chelsea manager and revealed several issues that led to his dismissal.
The Portuguese coach was headhunted by Chelsea in the summer of 2011, having guided Porto to a treble the previous season.
This included a Europa League triumph with the then-33-year-old becoming the youngest manager to ever win a European competition and at the time he was viewed as one of the most promising young coaches in the world.
Andre Villas-Boas was appointed as Chelsea manager in 2011 after impressing at Porto
Former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich paid £13.3m to Porto to secure Villas-Boas’ services
Chelsea paid a staggering £13.3million to secure his services with Villas-Boas returning to the club where he previously spent time as a scout while Jose Mourinho was in the Stamford Bridge dugout.
However, he struggled with the Blues, as he failed to coax performances out of a star-studded but ageing squad.
He was dismissed in March 2012, following a dismal 1-0 defeat to West Brom which left Chelsea in fifth, hanging on to their hopes of securing a Champions League place for the following season.
However, after Villas-Boas’ departure, Chelsea went onto remarkably win the Champions League, defeating Bayern Munich in the final on penalties under caretaker manager Roberto Di Matteo.
And, reflecting on the end of his tenure more than 10 years on, Villas-Boas admitted he made mistakes while at Stamford Bridge.
The Portuguese coach struggled at Stamford Bridge and was sacked after just eight months
‘Chelsea was something that happens to a lot of people who have been through there,’ Villas-Boas told The Telegraph. ‘Sometimes you get lucky, you win a trophy and at least you leave a mark. I wasn’t that lucky.
‘We thought that we wouldn’t need as many changes as we predicted when we planned to start, OK? So that was a managerial mistake.’
However, the Portuguese coach pointed to issues being out of his control that led to his struggles, including failed transfer activity at the club.
He said: ‘Of course, we missed the (Luka) Modric deal at the beginning of the season.
Villas-Boas claimed Chelsea missed out on signings such as Luka Modric and Joao Moutinho
He also revealed the west London club almost signed Radamel Falcao and Carlos Tevez
‘If the Modric deal was not to be done there was the (Joao) Moutinho deal to be done. That was the promise of Roman at that time.
‘Moutinho joined the Premier League years and years after I tried – proposing to both Chelsea and Tottenham – and everybody has seen the player that he is. So that denial of him was a failure that you can’t (blame on) a coach.
‘I thought that we had the Modric deal done and he ended up in Real Madrid the season after. Then the Moutinho deal was to be done with Porto but the problem was the deal (for Chelsea) for the left-back of Porto, Alvaro Pereira, fell through.
‘Roman felt p***ed off. So, no Modric, no Moutinho…(Radamel) Falcao is another one that was about to come in but then you had (Didier) Drogba who couldn’t decide whether he wanted to leave or not in January.
‘He was about to go to Shanghai, then he isn’t any more and then Marina (Granovskaia, former Chelsea director) she wanted Carlos Tevez and suddenly she doesn’t want Tevez any more.’
Villas-Boas opened up on his relationship with former Chelsea director Marina Granovskai (R) – pictured with Eden Hazard (L)
However, Villas-Boas refused to criticise the hierarchy at Chelsea that oversaw so much success.
He said: ‘So, you know, managements and mismanagements that are typical within that organisation.
‘But Marina evolved to one of the greatest CEOs at that time (at Chelsea). I am nothing compared to what she has achieved.
‘Listen, this time was sensitive because Roman was in the middle of… a case he had against his partner (the Russian businessman Boris Berezovsky) so he wasn’t available most of the time.
Villas-Boas has since gone on to manage clubs such as Tottenham, Zenit and Marseille
‘There are a lot of things about that season that deserve one of those shocking autobiographies in England that reaches number one in WH Smith!’
Villas-Boas has since gone onto manage Tottenham, Zenit Saint Petersburg, Shanghai SIPG and Marseille.
Despite the miserable ending to his tenure at Chelsea, with Villas-Boas leaving Stamford Bridge with the worst win percentage of any manager during Roman Abramovich’s ownership of the club, he is resolute when looking back on his spell on west London.
He said: ‘I have no problem speaking about my failures. People (say) to me: “Oh, he was a stupid boy who went into management and it didn’t go well at Chelsea because he was too stubborn, too blah, blah, blah and then the release clause and he got his £10 million, his £15 million”.
‘There are so many lies that are present in this game that people want to relate to me… I am curious and I investigate and I dwell in detail and I read and I prepare.
‘But sometimes things go well, sometimes not well. How many coaches have been fired by Chelsea?’