The Andy Gray Column: Chelsea job came too early for Andre Villas-Boas

Summary: ambassador Andy Gray was talking exclusively to South West Londoner.


WHEN YOU look at Andre Villas-Boas you have to say the job probably came too early for him at Chelsea.

He would have been better off in Portugal with Porto for another 18 months just learning his trade but if Chelsea come calling it’s very difficult to say no.

Any manager and I don’t care how experienced he is, would have had trouble with Chelsea this year because they are an ageing side and there is lots of work to be done.

The players who are ageing like John Terry, Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole have big personalities and hold a lot of weight around the dressing room so any manager going in there would have had a problem.

There is nothing that cannot be sorted on the training pitch with hard work and organisation. Villas-Boas has got Robert Di Matteo there with him – I don’t know how much power he has with regards to coaching but I hope he’s given certain licence to influence things because he’s a decent coach.

I just think a more experienced manager would have handled it better. There are ways of losing players – it happens, it’s natural, but you have to deal with it the right way.

Of all of them I think Frank’s the one who’s maybe been the most hard done by, because you can’t argue with what Frank’s done for that club. He hasn’t been any problem off the pitch and he’s been magnificent for the club off it and maybe Villas-Boas could’ve treated him a little differently. That’s his biggest mistake that I can see.

He’s a manager who looks like he’s looking for friends and I’m not quite sure how many he’s got. But if you spend all that money to get a young manager in and then you want to get rid of him after five months, sometimes you just have to accept you’re going to have a bad season.

You have to say, ‘the manager will learn from this, the club will move on, we can spend money in the summer and get rid of others’.

If he gets another year, I would start to judge Villas-Boas next season. He may not get that time – if he loses against Bolton at home and then they go out of both cups against Birmingham and Napoli, who’s to say he would be there at the end of the month?

I’d like to see him given the chance because I don’t like to see people who are doing a difficult job being hammered the way he is, but it’s the society we live in sadly.

Everyone wants to hammer everybody. Nobody talks about the good things in football. It’s always the negatives because negatives make good headlines.

Andy Gray is an official ambassador for – Football’s Social Network. Available now for FREE online or at the App Store;

Related Articles