Ghost of Old Mentor Looms Large

by admin

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

It was on the isles of Eire, that André-Villas Boas tasted his finest sporting achievement, guiding Porto to the hallowed treble. Indeed, the only other time this feat had been achieved in the long, illustrious history of Porto, was by a certain José Mourinho, mentor to Villas-Boas for many a year. It was at this precise moment where he finally breathed a sigh of relief – his years of chasing Mourinho to clubs across Europe, with a sack of footballs in one hand, and a clipboard in the other, were over. Villas-Boas had finally made it – having studied management since the tender age of 16, he had finally thrust himself into the limelight, announcing himself to Europe as a promising, young manager. Within three weeks of that UEFA Cup success, Villas-Boas was accepting a call he may have overhead seven years earlier, when José was being seduced from his Porto hotseat.

André Villas-Boas – José Mark II. Blessed with dashing good looks, an inaudible amount of experience beyond their years, and a delicately seductive Portuguese accent – it is easy to pinpoint the similarities between this former double act. Having had his faith crushed on three separate occasions since inexplicably firing José, Roman Abramovich has long since regretted his decision, and seemingly came to the conclusion that the best man to finally fill Mourinho’s shoes was the man with an almost identical early-career record.

While there is breath in his lungs, the ghost of José shall forever shadow Stamford Bridge. With every failed substitution, and every underwhelming performance, murmurs of ‘Mourinho! Mourinho!’ ring throughout the 33,000 Chelsea faithful. Villas-Boas has not found it easy, having been thrust into the hotseat and forced to deal with the famed Chelsea dressing-room cliques. Landed with getting the best out of 50 million pounds worth of zero confidence up front, staving off a media crucifixion of his club captain, and dealing with contract-stalling egos, Villas-Boas has been dealt quite a challenge. Throw in the fact that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy thwarted his plans to add a fresher, attacking dimension to his midfield last summer, it is no wonder he is beginning to snap at reporters questioning him about his future as Chelsea boss.

Mourinho is no stranger to calling quits whilst at the pinnacle of his achievements, and with Real Madrid looking increasingly more likely to finally beat Barcelona to the La Liga title, speculation has been rising throughout London that Abramovich may be willing to rekindle the love affair that began in the summer of 2004. While Villas-Boas might have felt the burning pride throughout his soul, upon finally setting up camp on the bench his former master had previously inhabited, he should have remembered how even the inordinate success of Mourinho was eventually deemed dispensable for the Russian tycoon. To make matters that much bitter, do not be surprised if Villas-Boas is to be stabbed in the back by the man he once followed across Europe, upon his inevitable return from Spain.

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