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EPL – Chelsea FC Summer UPDATE and Coach Andre Villas-Boas – VIDEO Interview

EPL – Chelsea FC Summer UPDATE and Coach Andre Villas-Boas – VIDEO Interview

Young and as you can see passionate Chelsea FC new manager Andre Villas-Boas. PHOTO Chris Brunskill / ISIPhotos.com

Young and as you can see passionate Chelsea FC new manager Andre Villas-Boas. PHOTO Chris Brunskill / ISIPhotos.com

Chelsea Summer Update by Tobias Robinson

UPDATE – July 9, 2011 – Chelsea suffered a significant blow on the first day of pre-season training when Michael Essien broke down with an injury. The Ghana international has had knee problems in the past and a brief statement on the club’s official website confirms that the injury is again a knee problem.

A repeat of the cruciate ligament injury Essien suffered in 2008 could see him miss the majority of the 2011/12 season and that would be a significant blow for the Blues. The dynamic, full blooded performances that the midfielder is famed for are not easy for any other player to replicate. The club will not know the full details of the injury, and subsequent recovery, until full scans are carried out over the next few days.

Chelsea remain uncharacteristically quiet in the transfer market. No new faces have arrived but two young players have moved on to aid their own development. England U21 internationals, Jack Cork and Michael Mancienne have left for Southampton and Hamburg respectively.

New faces have been seen within the Coaching setup however. After Roberto Di Matteo was appointed assistant coach to new boss Andre Villas-Boas, Michael Emenalo has been promoted to Technical Director. The Nigerian had previously held scouting and coaching positions within the club and takes on overall responsibility for global scouting and academy development.

OUT

Michael Mancienne – The gifted youngster has been a regular in England’s U21 team after successful loan spells with Wolverhampton Wanderers. He has been used in a number of different roles including centre half, full back and in a defensive midfield position. Despite his swift improvement, Mancienne has failed to break into the Chelsea team and has decided to broaden his horizons with a move to Hamburg in the German Bundesliga.

Jack Cork – Son of former professional Alan Cork, Jack is a product of Chelsea’s youth system but has failed to make the breakthrough to the first team. Having represented England at every level from U16s to the U21s, Cork has been highly sought after on loan, having spells at Coventry, Watford and Burnley. Championship side Southampton have secured his signature – another team who Cork previously appeared for on loan.

 

UPDATE June 30, 2011 – Chelsea have spent the summer not looking for players, but looking for a new manager. In Andre Villas-Boas, the Blues have appointed the hottest prospect in European football and may, at last, have found a long term coach.

Villas-Boas started attracting the attention of Europe’s biggest clubs last season, when his hometown club Porto, went through their entire domestic league season undefeated, they won both the League and Cup in Portugal, and also triumphed against Portuguese rivals Braga in the Europa League final.

It was a dream season for Villas-Boas and catapulted him to the top of list in terms of Europe’s most in-demand coaches. Chelsea have triggered a reported £13.3m ($21.25m) release clause in his contract – such a fee is unprecedented for a coach, even at the cash-rich clubs of the world’s footballing elite.

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has a long held dream of seeing his club lift the Champions League trophy, the premier club competition in the world. Almost all of the managerial dismissals from the London club have been made due to a perceived lack of success in European competition. Villas-Boas has been appointed on the back of his success in the Europa League last season and he will need to deliver similar levels of performance from his team to satisfy his new club.

Keen to distance himself from any comparisons to the self proclaimed ‘Special One’ -Jose Mourinho, Villas-Boas may find himself fighting a losing battle. Both men came to prominence after success with Portuguese giants Porto, Villas-Boas was also a scout during Mourinho’s reign at Chelsea, and of course, they are both from Portugal and neither had a significant profile as a player.

Villas-Boas maintains that his age should not be held against him – he is just 33, very young for an elite level coach. What he does boast however, is a long apprenticeship, having started working at Porto at just 17. He has also worked under some extremely influential managers, not just Mourinho, but also the vastly experienced Bobby Robson. It was Robson who first took Villas-Boas into the heart of Porto, and gave him the opportunity to forge a career in coaching.

Fans of the Blues will naturally hope the new coach is a success, but they will also hope that the new appointment brings with it stability, as the regular upheaval of staff has doubtless hampered the clubs progress over recent seasons. They will also be warmed by the new coach’s comments that he wants to win “with flair”.

Due to the managerial vacancy, Chelsea have not been particularly active in the transfer market as yet. Since the appointment, the Blues have inevitably been linked with the high profile stars at Porto, such as leading scorer Radamel Falcao. It has also been reported that Chelsea have had a bid of £40m ($64m) accepted – along with Manchester City – for the Santos ‘wonderkid’, Neymar.

As for the players already at Stamford Bridge, influential midfielder Michael Essien had been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge with his old boss, Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid rumoured to be hovering, but his agent has been quick to dismiss the stories and has assured Blues fans that he will be staying put. Didier Drogba is also continually linked with a move, with L’OM (Marseilles) seemingly leading the chase with Turkish giants Galatasaray also interested

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