T*ttenham manager Andres Villas-Boas claims a share of the credit for Chelsea’s Champions League success
Andrea Villas-Boas believes he is entitled to some degree of satisfaction for helping set Chelsea on the way to Champions League glory, but is now fully focused on transforming T*ttenham into genuine title contenders.
The 34-year-old was sacked just eight months into his Stamford Bridge ‘project’ by Blues owner Roman Abramovich in March, with the team outside the top four of the Barclays Premier League.
Under the guidance of then interim coach Roberto di Matteo, Chelsea went on to win both the FA Cup and then becomes kings of Europe following a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over Bayern Munich.
Villas-Boas insists there were some positives from his short tenure, and is determined to learn more at Sp*rs after taking over from Harry Redknapp.
“For Chelsea to have won the FA Cup and the Champions League, it means we were still present in those competitions at that time [of sacking],” Villas-Boas said at Sp*rs’ new multi-million pound training venue at Enfield.
“The squad was being put in place towards the future and the owner took the decision, which I have to respect, but I never accept it.
“I was very honoured that I was able to put that team together.
“You could say part of what they achieved is also down to that squad being put together by myself, but what was done after was down to Robbie’s work and the work of those magnificent players.
“It is never a one-person failure and I will never take it like that.”
Villas-Boas added: “You always learn from experience. Chelsea was not so gratifying in terms of success, but it was very gratifying professionally for me.
“I have learned from a couple of things I did wrong, and also you have to trust the right people at the right time.
“This gathering with T*ttenham gives me even more stability towards the future.”
The Portuguese coach is in no doubt at Sp*rs he has joined a club going places.
“I was always willing to wait for the right opportunity at the right time,” he said.
“After Chelsea it was important to choose somewhere I was surrounded with the right people and commitment.
“It is fantastic to come to a club with such high ambitions of the future and I want to respond well to the trust the chairman has put in me with success.
“It is not a mission of restoring my reputation, it is about putting T*ttenham back on track for titles.”
For the first half of last season, Sp*rs kept pace with leaders Manchester City and Manchester United, only to then fade badly and eventually be overtaken by north London rivals Arsenal as they finished fourth.
Chelsea’s European victory subsequently consigned them to the Europa League.
Villas-Boas insists it will be more a case of evolution at Shite H*rt Lane.
“We just have to continue with the quality of work Harry has left us. Not to do so would be a mistake,” he said.
“Last season was the first we saw T*ttenham so openly talk about the title, and that is where we want to go.
“The club and myself are grateful for getting a squad which is so well organised and structured.
“Now we just have to bridge the gap towards success, that will be our main focus.
“Champions League football is of big importance to this club and we have to accept that is our responsibility, but we also want to try to win something.”
Sp*rs have signed Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen and Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, while a permanent deal for striker Emmanuel Adebayor also appears on the cards following his successful loan spell from Manchester City, with Villas-Boas admitting the Togo frontman was “on their list”.
However, the future of playmaker Luka Modric’s remains in some doubt for a second successive summer.
“Luca is a tremendous player at this club. The interest that we have from various different clubs shows that,” Villas-Boas said.
“We respect his ambitions and willingness to move on. I think Luca respects as well the fact he is an important player and can help us move forwards.
“Discussions will continue until we reach an agreement which is sensible for each party.
“The willingness is there from the player .125 to leave. 375, but a player of this importance is not easy to part company with.
“The chairman is a person who respects the values of the football club and with the right offer, we will take that step.”
Villas-Boas, however, played down reports they were going to move for France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
He said: “We are happy with what we have got at the moment.”