December 6 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent
Thursday, September 26, 2013
Andre Villas-Boas says his ambition forced him to separate from Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan and pursue his own managerial career as the pair prepare to go head to head on Saturday.
Villas-Boas was a member of Mourinho’s staff at FC Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan, but he outgrew his role as an opposition scout and left his mentor in 2009 to take his first managerial post at Portuguese side Academica.
He went on to enjoy a successful year at Porto and then had an ill-fated spell as Chelsea boss before taking the helm at Tottenham – and now he is gearing up to face his former boss as Villas-Boas’ Spurs host Mourinho’s Chelsea in a much-anticipated London derby at White Hart Lane on Saturday.
“My relationship [with Mourinho], professionally and personally, was excellent as you can imagine because we worked for so many years together,” said Villas-Boas. “Our break-up point was because I was full of ambition to give him something extra and I wanted further involvement than the job I was doing at that time, which was scouting and match preparation.
“I felt I could give him much more, so my initial idea was to keep on working with him. But he didn’t feel the need for somebody near to him or in another position as an assistant, and because of that it was decided that it was time, after Inter Milan, to continue our careers [apart].
“I don’t think there’s anything to prove [this weekend]. Jose’s career speaks for itself and I’m very proud of what I’ve done so far and what I’ve achieved. I hope on the day that I quit that I’m able to look at it in the same way.
“Do we still have a relationship? We talked at the Premier League managers’ meeting when we were there at the start of August, but not since then.”
While Villas-Boas admits that Mourinho has been a key figure in his career, he insists that he has developed his own ideas and is his own man.
“I think there is always an influence because, when you’ve worked so closely together for seven years, you learn methods that not only brought Jose so much success but you want to get to know those methods and apply them as well,” said Villas-Boas. “There are probably lots of things in my organisation I do similarly to him, of course.
“The professional relationship was outstanding, but then you always want to put your mark into the things that you do.
“My first job was very difficult, it was a completely different reality to the one that I had with him [Mourinho] at Inter Milan, Chelsea and Porto because I went to manage the bottom team in the league at that time.
“Everything changes – the way you handle the players, the objectives, fighting for survival in the league rather than fighting for trophies, so all that requires a different leader and a different person. There are things that I applied and things that I didn’t.”
Mourinho has endured a mixed start to his ‘second coming’ at Chelsea, with his side making their worst start to a season in the Roman Abramovich era – but Villas-Boas expects his former boss to turn things around at Stamford Bridge.
“I think this Chelsea team is still being built around Jose’s ideas,” he said. “There have been dramatic changes since he left.
“A couple of the players are still the same but they have so many creative players now, so much technical flair – not so many of the players that we were able to recognise in the first years under Jose from 2004-07.
“The type of [deals] that they have done in the market is a bit different through these years. I think they’re still bonding together as a team and, with all of Jose’s abilities, he will be able to fine-tune the team to become a winning team because he has done that through most of his career.”
Spurs will be without the injured Aaron Lennon and Etienne Capoue, while Younes Kaboul’s involvement is in doubt - but Danny Rose is in line to return at left-back.
“[Aaron] is due to come back to training tomorrow, hopefully,” said the head coach. “There was the possibility of him coming back today but he’s making great progress and we should see him back in first-team training next week, definitely.
“[Nacer] Chadli has come back very strongly, as you saw in the game against Villa, so he’s in with a chance. Younes is not yet 100 per cent so he’s in doubt. With Danny Rose, there is a 90 per cent possibility that he can play.
“Etienne will probably make his return one more week down the line. He’s not in a condition to face Anzhi and West Ham so we will see him back after the international break in October. By then he will have trained with the team and be ready for the games.”
Asked whether Emmanuel Adebayor is now training with the development squad, Villas-Boas replied: “He hasn’t trained with the reserves because he has felt dizziness in the last week and he was sick. He is due in first-team training on Monday.”
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