Four months after being fired by Chelsea, Andre Villas-Boas was given the opportunity to rebuild his reputation in the Premier League when he was hired as coach of Tottenham Hotspur yesterday.
The Portuguese manager’s appointment was confirmed on the London club’s official Twitter site. He joined on a three-year contract and will succeed Harry Redknapp, who was dismissed on June 14 after nearly four seasons in charge at White Hart Lane.
Having established himself as one of Europe’s most sought-after coaches following a stunning stint at Porto, Villas-Boas’s brief managerial career took a nosedive during a troubled eight-month reign at Chelsea, where he was criticised for his reportedly detached style of management.
However, he has convinced the Spurs chairman Daniel Levy that he is the man to take the club to the next level and will look to build on the work of Redknapp, who managed to threaten the dominance of England’s current four major powers – the two Manchester clubs, Arsenal and Chelsea.
Villas-Boas, 34 said he felt “privileged” to be the Tottenham coach. “For me, this is one of the most exciting coaching positions in the Premier League,” he said.
“This is a squad any coach would love to work with and together I believe we can bring success in the seasons ahead.”
Tottenham were fourth in the Premier League last season but failed to qualify for the Champions League because of the exploits of Villas-Boas’s successor at Chelsea, Roberto Di Matteo.
His departure and Di Matteo taking over sparked an upturn in fortunes at Stamford Bridge, culminating in a surprise victory on penalties in the Champions League final over Bayern Munich. That meant Chelsea, who finished sixth in the league, took Spurs’ spot in Europe’s leading competition.
Tottenham instead will play in the Europa League, one of four trophies won by Villas-Boas in 2011 at the end of his sole season in charge of Porto.
Levy said his new coach “has an outstanding reputation for his technical knowledge of the game and for creating well-organised teams capable of playing football in an attractive and attacking style.”
With the winger Gareth Bale recently signing a deal keeping him at Tottenham until 2016, Villas-Boas’s biggest task could be to keep the club’s other star player, the Croatia midfielder Luka Modric.
By taking over at Tottenham, Villas-Boas may be waiving Chelsea compensation that reportedly amounted to around £10 million pounds (Dh57.6m) to cover the two years left on his deal at Stamford Bridge.