AVB claims share of Chelsea credit
Andre 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 Tottenham 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 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 Spurs after taking over from Harry Redknapp. Speaking at Spurs' new multi-million pound training venue at Enfield, he said: "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]."
He continued: "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 Tottenham gives me even more stability towards the future."
The Portuguese coach is in no doubt at Spurs he has joined a club going places.
"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," he said. "It is not a mission of restoring my reputation, it is about putting Tottenham back on track for titles."
Spurs have signed Jan Vertonghen and 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.