Embattled Manager of the Week: Andre Villas-Boas

Andre Villas-Boas
Andre Villas-Boas: Embattled (Img: Vladimir Maiorov)

Saturday’s meek 1-1 draw at home to Championship side Birmingham City renewed the pressure on Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas, the Portuguese now odds-on to be the next boss to lose his job and thus become the latest casualty of Roman Abramovich’s revolving door managerial policy at Stamford Bridge. Join Football Burp in casting a keen eye message board-wards as we name Villas-Boas as our Embattled Manager of the Week!

Stands accused of…

AVB’s Seven Deadly Sins: 1) Calling for an evolution and not revolution. 2) Trying to force his style of high line with a team not build for such a style. 3) Mismanagement of some great servants like Anelka and Alex. 4) Lack of youth integration into the team. 5) Continued support for Torres. 6) Arrogant towards the help of others. 7) And stating he needs no support from his team but only the owners.

– Justin_3d, Talk Chelsea 

Why does he persist on this 4-3-3 rubbish? We don’t have natural wingers so why F******g play a system that relies heavily on them! Mata is not a left winger and sturridge is not a right winger! Get 2 up front with mata in behind and essien and ramires behind them with romeu guarding the defence when we play a team that our defence needs protecting against (Not birmingham city at home ffs). Our defence I am reasonably pleased with ivan and bertrand/cole at full back and jt with luiz at centre back. Avb we can all see it so why the f**k can’t you. If you want to get rid of these players at the end of the season to play your 4-3-3 do so but whilst they are here play to there strenghs and get the maximum out of the players that are here. What is with peoples blind faith in this guy when he has shown a clear failure to change tactics and personel?

– Bluehatter, The Shed End 

It is pretty much evident that he trusts the Portuguese more.. I think I have alluded to it a couple of times myself too..I mean other than that I see no reason to keep playing Meireles especially since he has been poor in so many games..For me AVB missed a big trick when he came here.. he could have used the players “influence ” to his advantage.. just as every successful manager apart from Fergie does.. Mourinho always has his “enforcers” he had them at chelsea .. he had them at Inter he has tried o cultivate them at RM.. The problem with AVB was this was his first real team with big names and for me he failed in handling that part of his job.. form the very first day he talked about there being no untouchables.. now every player deep inside knows that.. but when a new manager comes in states this in one of his first interviews it really may not send the correct signal.. AVB has tried to dodge the bullet on a couple of big decisions regarding Lamps and Drogba.. more so in case of Lamps.. Lamps is Vice-Captain and yet it feels like every game he is playing he is having to prove a point.. Drogba he needed to decide who would be his no1 striker .. for me he tried to build a sort of a competitive rivalry but it only alienated the two strikers again..For me the tactics are not the biggest problem but AVB’s man management skills have let him down .. managers cannot ignore this part of their Job because it is something which directly impacts the outcome on the field..

– jangz, CFCnet 

We need a manager who isnt afraid of upsetting players.Benching them if theyr’e shit regardless of who they can be..but no doubt for that we need an owner who will also understand the reason for the manager benching such players.I mean Lampard got benched…got a bit funny about it then starting playing every single game despite the fact he needed a rest.Torres.Been shite yet seems to start every game..either down to a hope he’ll become better or feeling the need he needs to be started due to the 50m cost. And we also need players to get over their issues and play like they mean it!No point going into games with the ‘its only so and so attitude’ every game a cup final and play how we used to!

– Laylabelle, Talk Chelsea 

On paper with the squad he has this team should be trouncing teams from a lower division especially at home, and they should be winning comfortably any teams outside the top 10, both home and away. How many millions of pounds worth of players does this squad have? The fees paid for them was because they have talent, ability and skills that players in lower leagues and players in lower teams in the PL don’t have,( if not then why bother scouring the world for the best players when we can just as easily get them from the lower divisions). Those teams are deemed inferior yet they have things we don’t have…motivation,hunger and committment, why because that stems from the manager whose job it is to devise a plan to beat the other team, implement the plan by selecting the combination of players with the skills to execute it on the field and communicate the plan to them. If he believes his recent selections of Boswinga, Malouda et al are his best players to execute his plan then so be it….he lives and dies by his decisions and if he gets fired in the process then he can blame no one other than himself.

– CFCCAN, The Shed End 

I may have had some sympathy for him if AVB had shown a bit of humility and not what appears to me to be an arrogant and dismissive view of things or people who don’t agree with him ala his handling of Alex and Anelka, who may have wanted to leave to play more frequently but they still should have been dealt with without the need for him humiliating them and/or have been consistent. By consistent I mean if he has player’s openly dissenting with him, deal with them in exactly the same manner he did with Alex & Anelka. I sincerely hope that things turn around for him but I don’t think they will, he’s come into a job at a stage in his own career that he is just not capable of doing. That combined with some personal traits of his behaviour have made an already difficult job a toxic mix that only a major change can solve. Better to face the music and deal with it, painful that this may be then bury our heads in the sand, trying to convince all and sundry that “it’ll all turn out OK in the end” – It’s only my opinion, but I think things can still get an awful lot worse if we do nothing – And I assure you that I really hope I’m wrong and he does turn things around.

– East Lower, CFCnet

In his defence…

AVB picked the team 99% of us would have against Birmingham. Again, he cannot guide their feet into the right position, it’s not playstation or XBox, the players are letting themselves, the support, and the club down. AVB has rocked up to a club who thought they were better than they were, who’s owner meddled about behind the scenes spunking great wads of money on players the squad didn’t need for his own vanity, the money men behind the scenes chipped away at the players bonus scheme because they were trying to balance the books and it’s all AVB’s fault. AVB’s fault that Malouda is a dick, AVB’s fault that Torres is a dud, AVB’s fault that Spurs didn’t roll over and have their tummies tickled for Modric so we had to get Mereiles on the cheap, AVB’s fault that the once peerless Drogba, Essien and Lampard are shadows of their old selves. AVB’s fault that Arnesen wasted a kings ransome on rubbish.

– Mark Kelly, CFCnet 

Fully behind him. Sack the players that aren’t. Simple. AVB could be our SAF, given time to build his own team without the selfish spoilt brats in our dressing room poisoning the club from the inside. Or watch him go somewhere else and in a couple of years they will be a force. A bad manager doesn’t win the Portugese league title, respective domestic cup and the EUROPA League… Think about it. I have no doubt in my mind that AVB is the future of our club and I am more than happy with that. I’m less than happy with the fans that think we’re playing a game of Football Manager on the PC and want instant success. We’re going to have to rebuild and it’s going to take some time, we need to be realistic about this and get behind the club.

– Gianfranco_Z, Talk Chelsea 

Second half there was a massive improvement and the players showed a lot more interest, ok still not a fluid performance and not enough in the way of chances but I’ll give Birmingham a bit of credit as well for the way they defended, they are a form team at the moment even though its in a lower Division and they were organised and obviously knew it was a great time to play Chelsea with the pressure wound right up. I hope Romans knees hold out whatever happens and AVB gets a chance to do some changes in the Summer, I don’t know who could come in now and make sure of fourth and I wouldn’t give anyone much higher chances than AVB of getting through to the next CL round now Hiddink isn’t availlable. It wasn’t good but there wasn’t (second half) so many players not appearing to try which is as much as I can take out of it but I think we’ll win there and although we don’t need more games I think we could probably do with the practice.

– Chippy, The Shed End 

It’s also worth pointing out that AVB was NEVER brought in because he is the finished article. He is learning his trade and his POTENTIAL was enough to convince RA to splash out. Like players, potential isn’t always fulfilled, but many here are calling for younger players to be given a chance, given time to settle and show what they’ve got. Well the same applies to AVB except it must be viewed in terms of management. He needs time, support from the board and his own players brought in that can play the more technical game that he wishes. Only when he’s had that is it fair to say he hasn’t lived up to the potential he showed.

– Russ, CFCnet 

I think AVB has tried his best to revoloutionise the squad with what he’s got. We have to give to him give him credit for doing something, not many managers had the balls too give in and demote Lampard to the bench and stuff. I think you can’t really have a revolution without trying to enforce a new style too. But I do agree, we need a plan B until the seasons completion, then we can fully implement AVB’s philosophy. Afterall You can’t make a Lamborghini with rusty parts. Alex and Anelka were probably two players that should’ve remained over others. But they wanted out so what can he do? I think he’s done well with playing Sturridge, but Mceachran should’ve been used better. He’s still made bigger steps in half a season that most previous managers in the youth department He’s shown a lot of guts but dropping Torres would be a difficult task for anybody. The £50 million price tag virtually guarantee’s him a spot.

– Eviltwinz93, Talk Chelsea 

I have decided to take a more positive approach to AVB for the rest of the season!! I may not be his biggest fan, and I still think theirs lots of rough edges to smooth out, however he is our manager, and I do believe he has got the clubs best interests in mind. So failing him naming a team for an important match that includes Hilario, Bossy, Mikel, Malouda, Kalou or Lukaku (and I mean all of the above) I am going to see how it all turns out. Just in case he does secretly log in to the site, AVB could you please give youth a try, maybe look at the opposition before deciding the formation and please please please play Mata in the ‘hole’ where he has done his best work this season!

– shedpensioner, The Shed End

So, How Does Andre Villas-Boas Measure Up On The Embattled-O-Meter?

Unpopularity rating…


Derisive nicknames…

None as of yet

Estimated number of games left to save his job…


And those games would be?…

Napoli (a), Bolton Wanderers (h), West Bromwich Albion (a), Birmingham City (a)

Andre Villas-Boas of Chelsea is Football Burp's Embattled Manager of the Weeksays…

Although there have been suggestions that Villas-Boas won’t survive defeat to Napoli tomorrow night, we imagine that he’d at least be given the chance to put things right with two eminently winnable Premier League games and an FA Cup replay at St Andrews.

His Chelsea side’s performances of late could politely be described as "sub-par", but as unpalatable as it might be for the Stamford Bridge faithful, much of the chaos has supposedly stemmed from certain senior players (we all know who that means) undermining the manager’s authority, perhaps as some kind of misplaced raging against the dying of the light of their careers.

The team went on a rotten enough run under Carlo Ancelotti last season to suggest that the troubles did not begin with Villas-Boas, and he should be given the chance for them to end on his watch.

Andre Villas-Boas – in or out? Have your say in the comments section below…