AVB- A renegade who deserves time

A simple abusive tweet or maybe an offensive profanity are the usual choices for fans who don’t agree with their club’s manager. Football phone-ins and armchair pundits also go into overdrive at 5pm every Saturday.

This was not the case for a young Andre Villas-Boas however. Back in 1994, a 16 year-old Porto mad AVB couldn’t believe his luck when the club’s head coach, Bobby Robson, unloaded his belongings into the same apartment block as him. Another thing he couldn’t fathom was why the Englishman was restricting goal-scoring machine Domingos Paciencia to a few substitute appearances in the first team.

It was at this point that the unseasoned Iberian teenager wrote a few words down on a piece of paper that would change the entire direction of his life and future career.

Too shy to confront the legendary English boss to his face, AVB wrote a letter outlining his displeasure of Robson’s team selection and stuck it through his letterbox, an action which as he sealed up the envelope, effectivley also sealed the fate of his life.

So impressed by the young Portuguese boy’s piece of writing and ideas, he confronted and then told him to back up his theories with stats. The pubescent lad duly obliged, with an in-depth analysis of the club’s next few games.

The sheer attention to detail and knowledge shown by Villas-Boas overwhelmed the future Knight Bachelor, who then offered him a job as a trainee with the club’s youth team. He then encouraged him to go and take a coaching course, where he eventually obtained a UEFA Pro Licence.

AVB’s career was a constant upwards trajectory from then on, as he worked his way up the hierachy in the coaching sytem at Porto, before becoming a mainstay in Jose Mourinho’s backroom teams at Chelsea and Inter Milan, which were then followed by successful managerial roles and Academica and Porto.

This all leads up to his current job in West London, his only real sticky patch in what has been a meteoric rise so far. There is no doubt the 34 year-old has a grand plan, a plan that involves a vast re-generation of the Chelsea squad that supporters need to understand and allow him time for.

If he still in charge 18 months from now, don’t be surprised if the Blues are back to being one of the most potent sides in Europe.

Paul Hill @paulhill3

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