It's no secret that many of us here at 7,500 to Holte are big fans of former Porto and Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas. Things didn't work out in his stint with the Blues, but that says a great deal more about the very high-pressure culture of that club than it does AVB; he was never the right man for that particular job, and though I have little doubt that he'd have ended up succeeding had he been given more time that simply wasn't an option. There's no taking away from what he accomplished at Porto, and even his fiercest critics will admit that he possesses tactical creativity unmatched by most of his peers. In short, AVB is the perfect manager for any club with time and money to spare for a project.
And therein lies the problem; for one thing, Aston Villa don't have a lot of money to spend. The board has been consistent over the past year about the need to reduce the wage bill and Randy Lerner is a significantly less wealthy man now than he was before the collapse of the real estate market.(He's still fabulously wealthy, to be certain, and I don't think there's any reason to believe his ownership poses Villa any significant financial danger. He's just not the kind of wealthy where he's likely to be spending untold millions re-building Villa from the ground up a second time.) Lots of other clubs in need of a manager do have money to spend, however, and they're clubs with quite a bit more cachet than Villa at the present. Roma is one example of such a club, and the links between i Giallorossi and AVB are well established.
And let's say just for the sake of argument that AVB was, for whatever reason that defies all logic, open to coming to Villa to work under similarly tight financial conditions as imposed on Alex McLeish; how well would that really turn out? Well, try and picture Hutton, Dunne, Collins and Warnock playing a high line and involving themselves in the attack on a regular basis, or the Villa midfield playing an intricate passing game designed to control possession. That sounds like an absolute disaster. Some managers are great managers because they're capable of tailoring their approach to the players at their disposal; other managers are great managers because they've developed a very specific and inventive tactical approach. Villas-Boas is quite certainly in the latter camp.
So, to recap:
- Andre Villas-Boas is a highly in-demand manager with what seems like legitimate interest from some very big clubs prepared to spend large sums of money.
- Aston Villa is in a bit of a shambles and do not have very much money to spend.
- Andre Villas-Boas trying to implement his system with the players currently on Aston Villa's squad would likely result in an unmitigated disaster.
- Given the above, we can assume that:
- There is a snowball's chance in hell that Andre Villas-Boas will be the next manager of Aston Villa.
Simply put, if defies all logic. What's more, the entire rumor seems to have been spawned by one of those dodgy "ITK" Twitter accounts that Andrew so eloquently tore to shreds just a few days ago. Unless you believe Randy Lerner just forgot about a few billion he had stashed away somewhere and is fully prepared to do a Citeh, this isn't going to happen. At this point, the only tangible connection between Aston Villa and Andre Villas-Boas is that they kind of share a part of their names.