x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Villas-Boas finds 'sense of belonging' at Spurs

The former Chelsea manager is still bitter of his stint at Stamford Bridge but is all praise for new owner Daniel Levy.

Andre Villas-Boas is still sore about the way his time at Chelsea was “cut short” by Roman Abramovich, the club owner.
Andre Villas-Boas is still sore about the way his time at Chelsea was “cut short” by Roman Abramovich, the club owner.

Andre Villas-Boas, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, is confident his new project can succeed at White Hart Lane with the full backing of Daniel Levy, the chairman.

The 34-year-old Portuguese coach came to Chelsea last summer full of ambitions to take the club forward.

However, he was dismissed by the owner Roman Abramovich just eight months into the job, with his team outside the top four of the Premier League.

Under the guidance of then interim coach Roberto di Matteo, Chelsea went on to win both the FA Cup and Champions League.

Villas-Boas, however, has no doubts his fresh relationship with Levy will allow their plans for Tottenham to flourish.

"I met the chairman, and saw the way he goes about his business at the club. He knows what he is doing, approaching the market in a different way, is a person of great football understanding and he had the effect of giving me the assurances I wanted in terms of building something," said Villas-Boas, who has agreed a three-year deal at White Hart Lane to replace Harry Redknapp.

"Tottenham are linked with great football in the past. It is something they have always valued highly. There is a wonderful history of attractive football, and Bill Nicholson [a former manager] left these messages of football well played and doing things in style, which is what I want to achieve as well."

Villas-Boas added: "With an owner that is involved on a daily basis at the football club, with his knowledge, that is the main difference. The structures that surround Tottenham are extremely good. There are competent people in and around the football club. The club is driven towards success, and everybody knows they must play a part in achieving that success.

"They are not looking for certain scapegoats, and when so many people are striving forward, it makes your job easier."

The manner of Villas-Boas's dismissal at Stamford Bridge in March continues to sit uneasy with the former Porto boss.

"The thing is that what we were doing [at Chelsea] in terms of the project, words did not meet the actions, so I think I was cut short," he said.

Villas-Boas is determined to make a success in the English game the second time around.

"I arrive here much more prepared and a much better manager than I was before and it is these experiences that I will use to take it forward," he said. "Here, there is more of a sense of belonging to a club. This is a club full of tradition, which I am still learning about and have to admire.

"Chelsea has its own tradition that has changed dramatically since it was bought in 2003, and there is a sense of belonging here at Spurs which I want to use in a different way.

"I am the one who has arrived, the new one, and I have to get into the flow of the club's expectations for the future and take it in the right direction."

While Luka Modric is likely to leave when Spurs receive the right offer, Villas-Boas maintains Rafael van der Vaart is an integral part of his plans. "With Van der Vaart, at the moment I am absolutely counting on him," he said.

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