Premier League - AVB wary of Ancelotti-style axe

Mon, 27 Feb 17:31:00 2012

Andre Villas-Boas is unsure if he has the backing of Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and wonders if he will be sacked in the same way as predecessor Carlo Ancelotti was last May, the Portuguese coach said on Monday.

Andre Villas-Boas - 0

"We are now in the exact same moment as last year," the under-fire Villas-Boas told Portugal's TSF radio.

"It is an exact copy, but with a less experienced coach. I know that, in the Abramovich era, we have the worst results but I think I have felt the confidence from the owner.

"Let’s see if he wants a change in the club or not.

"I think I have felt the confidence from Abramovich but ...the pattern of behaviour of the owner has led to a downfall (of coaches) in similar situations or even 'better' situations.

"What will be the reaction? It will be one of the two, a continuation of the project and full support or just the cultural pattern that has happened before.

"We don’t know. We don’t know if it’ll be tomorrow or in two years from now.

"It’ll depend upon what is your understanding of what is happening at the moment.”

Villas-Boas has come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks with Chelsea in a form slump and media reporting a rift with several players.

Monday's radio interview was the first time the 34-year-old had questioned his Stamford Bridge future.

Villas-Boas has previously spoken of Abramovich's full support, saying the two men were committed to the coach's three-year "project".

Asked by TSF if he would be interested in a move back to Porto, the club he led to a Portuguese League-Cup-Europa League treble last season, Villas-Boas said he was concentrating solely on Chelsea.

"I am fully motivated to what I am doing and am not considering a move to Porto because I am too involved with what I am doing now," he explained.

Chelsea's 3-0 win over Bolton Wanderers in the Premier League on Saturday was their first victory in six games in all competitions.

During that poor spell of results Villas-Boas was criticised for his tactics and his handling of players including vice-captain Frank Lampard who has been in and out of the team all season.

After scoring the 150th league goal of his career at the weekend, the England midfielder acknowledged his relationship with the coach has "not been ideal".

Chelsea, champions under Ancelotti in 2010, are fifth in the Premier League and in a fight with Arsenal, Newcastle United and Liverpool for the fourth spot in the table that earns Champions League qualification.

The Londoners also have their work cut out to reach the Champions League quarter-finals having lost 3-1 to Napoli in their first knockout round first leg last week.

Villas-Boas, the seventh coach Russian billionaire Abramovich has appointed since taking over the club in 2003, controversially left Lampard, Ashley Cole and Michael Essien out of his starting lineup at Napoli.

All three players returned on Saturday and the team produced a much better performance to see off Bolton.

Chelsea 3 Bolton 0

Reuters

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