André Villas-Boas' managerial merry-go-round had temporarily ground to a halt, but don't worry people because my word the Lord loves a tryer, and yes AVB has managed quite literally to get himself re-ememployed after being presented with his most recent P45 only last December.
So as not to disappoint his 'fans' in Coimbra, Porto, West London and North London, and in order to give newspaper writers more column inches he continues to deliver an unrivaled rollercoaster of 'excitement' - this time by taking his mobile home and footballing managerial expertise to Russia. Following a three month sabbatical 'footballing giants' Zenit Saint Petersburg have unveiled AVB as their new manager in what will be the Portuguese's fifth managerial appointment at a fifth different club in as many years, and he is still only 36 years-old himself - quite an achievement!
As the song goes: "I get knocked down, but I get up again, you're never going to keep me down, pissing the night away, pissing the night away.......!"
André Villas-Boas spent eight months as manager of Académica de Coimbra from October 2009 to the Summer of 2010, then one year as manager of Porto where he was very successful, before resigning, and a further nine months as manager of Chelsea before being relieved of his managerial duties.
On 3rd July 2012, it was announced that Villas-Boas had been named as the new Tottenham Hotspur head coach. On 16th December 2013, after 17 months at Tottenham it was announced that Villas-Boas had left the club "by mutual consent" (in layman's terms, he resigned before being fired), and just yesterday he signed a two-year deal with Zenit Saint Petersburg, replacing the sacked, but wonderfully named Luciano Spalletti, who obviously felt that his Italian tenor voice would be appreciated more in a theatrical setting in the Provincia di Firenze than in the dugout at the Petrovsky Stadium in Northern Russia, located at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea.
André Villas-Boas footballing beliefs mean that in his opinion he has the knowledge to redesign a club structure from the top down, using a blueprint derived from footballing first principles. In London this was not possible as he failed to show enough respect for the parameters within which he was working. In a footballing sense, this meant he was intent on imposing a style of play that didn’t account for the strengths of weaknesses of the players at his disposal - 'the opposite of the point of tactics.'
The result was an ongoing montage of Jan Vertonghen and John Terry lying on their back somewhere near the halfway line as an opposition forward(s) raced clear to score.
He failed to appreciate the need to keep the media, fans, and players on side. It’s unfortunate that Chelsea’s players were so resistant to change, and that Spurs’s best striker was such a notoriously difficult character, whilst he was in charge at least. But dealing with these problems is a part of the hugely financially rewarding job.
Roman Abramovich paid Porto £13.3million in compensation in order to appoint Andre Villas-Boas as the man to succeed Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea.
|Leaked: Terry's letter to Abramovich that got AVB sacked!|
After his sacking Andre Villas-Boas said he was naïve to try and introduce a new style of play at Chelsea and spoke about how he "should have respected" English football culture after his arrival in the Premier League from Porto.
"Chelsea were a counter-culture team, constructing play from the goalkeeper onwards.
I should have respected that culture from the start. I thought it was possible to establish a different game pattern in a country with a radically different culture."
In otherwards he believed he new best and went into West London all guns blazing in an attempt to completely change a club, that ultimately only needed tinkering with. Did he have to remove his head before walking in and out of any doors or just widen them on his arrival at Stamford Bridge!
At Tottenham his position became untenable not just because of a run of poor performances, which in part was due to his apathetic back-room staff, but AVB also demonstrated a streak of stubbornness that hindered him. His appalling eye for a picking a good player and thus blowing his Gareth Bale transfer budget on what can be best described as a bunch of insipid and at best pretty ordinary players was pivitol. But were they poor players or was he simply unable to manage and motivate them into a single and more effective cohesive unit - square pegs in round holes spring to mind!
Also his failure in controlling popular perceptions of him was central to a huge divide within the club and in particular among the fans. He seemed paranoid about an "agenda" against him by the media, which may have had a hint of truth given some of the things written about him. But he brought this cock and bull situation upon himself by continually sending out mixed messages through post-match conferences and confusing and conflicting interviews.
If the point of the media from a manager's perspective is to communicate his message with the fans, then it is unclear at what AVB was trying to achieve.
So AVB latest venture see's him try and revive the flagging fortunes of another wealthy club, who are having a poor season by their standards, but have a recent history of success. Zenit were the 2007, 2010 and 2011–12 champions of the Russian Premier League, runners-up in 2012-13 and the winners of both the 2007–08 UEFA Cup and the 2008 UEFA Super Cup.
Alexander Valeryevich Dyukov, the President of Zenit is also Chairman of the Management Board of Gazprom Neft, a subsidiary of Gazprom. Gasprom Neft are the fourth largest oil producer in Russia and are amongst one of the largest oil companies in the world by proven reserves.
On 1st January 2007 Gazprom also became the sponsor of the German Bundesliga club Schalke 04 paying up to €25 million a year for the privilege. On 23rd November 2009, the partnership was extended for a further 5 years. The sponsorship is worth $150m (USD) spread over the 5 years.
On 9th July 2010 Gazprom became sponsor of Serbian SuperLiga football club Red Star Belgrade.
On 9th July 2012 Gazprom became sponsor of UEFA Champions League and UEFA Super Cup for three season until 2015.
On 17th July 2012 Gazprom also became the official Global Energy partner of the UEFA Champions League 2012 winners Chelsea for three seasons, lasting until 2015.
According to the BBC: "Mr Villas-Boas will be presented in St Petersburg as Zenit's new head coach on 20th March 2014."
I don't know who has the harder job, Zenit or André Villas-Boas?
Time will tell!