Chelsea

Look at him now: Andre Villas-Boas and Chelsea

Look at him now: Andre Villas-Boas and Chelsea

Andre Villas-Boas was once considered the Special One II, now he has left the game completely.

It boggles the mind when we try to process how many players, managers, coaches and other such personnel pass through the footballing world, and the unknown circumstances that befall them shortly after. Indeed, in much the same way thinking about the infinite diameters of space sends one into a state of cognitive meltdown, so too does sifting through each individual case of wonderkid turned flop, star ruined by injury, or coach/manager disappearing into obscurity.

Could you honestly say what Ken Monkou is doing? Maybe you’ll have more luck with Paul Furlong, Frank Sinclair, Scott Minto, David Lee, Kevin Hitchcock, or John Bumstead?

Fortunately, the well-documented and frankly bizarre career trajectory of former Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas has spared us all the brain cells.

An impressive start to coaching saw him take winless minnows Academica from bottom of the table to ten points clear by the end of the campaign. It goes without saying that such an achievement does not go without notice – and giants FC Porto were the next in line to secure his services.

Though we do not necessarily agree with Andre Villas-Boas’ decision to leave Portugal so early into his career, we can hardly blame him for doing it. Indeed, as a young, relatively inexperienced talent – who was never a player, might we add – he had done remarkably well to bypass the trials and tribulations of regular managerial progression and earn himself a spot among the European elite, aged just 33. The Premier League was surely just the logical next step – right?

Wrong.

For all the benefits of fast-tracking stardom, of which there are many, we’re sure, one huge disadvantage, at least in the coaching profession, is that a candidate has scant little time to develop a reputation – and Andre Villas-Boas most definitely didn’t manage that. Instead, he came to be known as an extension of Jose Mourinho, the special one II, if you will – and with this came unreasonably high expectations (as per BBC Sport).

In his first game in charge, Chelsea lumbered to a goalless draw with Stoke City – which is hardly an inspiring result, and though things improved for a brief stint after, a 3-1 drubbing at the hands of Manchester United brought fans back to earth. Just four games later Queens Park Rangers dispatched the Blues in shocking style, before Arsenal netted five to claim victory in a Stamford Bridge thriller.

If his long-term prospects at the club weren’t looking bleak enough, Chelsea’s defeat at the hands of a Liverpool, a team consisting of Charlie Adam and Glen Johnson, certainly didn’t help. Nor did the series of endlessly poor Premier League results; including six wins, six draws and three losses.

Villas-Boas was eventually put out of his misery in February 2012 following a 3-1 shaming in the first-leg of their knock-out Champions League tie at Napoli. We all know what happened next in that particular competition.

In the proceeding years, Andre Villas-Boas has managed at Spurs, where he managed to lead the club to a 5th place finish, Zenit St Petersburg, winning the Russian League in his first full season, and Shanghai SIPG – because why not, everyone else was doing it. You know, that kind of cavalier reasoning that generally precedes every bad decision ever.

The Portuguese has since left football to pursue a career in motor racing (as per The Guardian) and competed in the world-famous Dakar Rally before crashing himself into an early retirement (for the second time).

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