If there’s a league table for first impressions, you know where Andre Villas-Boas would be. The man’s come in and taken us by storm and the season’s not even started yet. Here are some of the perfect moves he’s managed so far:
Sorting the backroom: He’s made it quite clear that he wants his men and the backroom staff would be his appointments. He’s got rid of a couple of them and also replaced with his men. His view seems to be ‘I have a philosophy and objective. In order to deliver my objectives through my philosophy, I need my team and hence I’d hand-pick them’. Sounds about right!
Messages to players: Boas cancelled the first friendly because he wants to meet the players before getting on to the pitch. How cool is that! He has said that there won’t be any activity in the transfer market until he meets every single player in person. He’s also conveyed through the press what he expects of his players. He even went to the extent of saying ‘John Terry will continue to be captain as long as he continues to fight for his place’. He’s given very clear messages that he’s a strong manager and also a considerate one. He’s created quite an impression before he could even shake hands with the players.
Playing to the media: Boas has been very careful with the media. He’s carefully avoided comparisons with Jose Mourinho. He has clearly stated what it takes to be a Chelsea manager and the expectations and the consequences. He’s not said anything controversial yet (apart from the ‘social role models’ which is okay). And, going by the reports so far, the media seems to like him. Of course, we all know that when he’s winning, he’s ‘a young manager’ and when he’s losing, he’s ‘an inexperienced manager’. That’s media for you.
I’m ‘the Boas’: The one thing he has done very cleverly, subtly and sometimes explicitly is displaying his authority. He’s made us believe that he has full control over his support staff, the transfer market and also who plays and how Chelsea would play. Make no mistake, he looks like a very strong manager. He knows where he wants to be. And he also knows how to get there.
He’s created great first impressions and he’s shot up the excitement levels of Chelsea fans to dizzy heights. I’ve never felt this excited about our manager since Jose Mourinho.
It’s a cliche among the Chelsea fans now: I can’t wait for the season to start!