• Premier League

Joao Moutinho backs Villas-Boas for Tottenham post

ESPN staff
July 1, 2012
Andre Villas-Boas is linked to a Premier League return © PA Photos

Andre Villas-Boas has been tipped to succeed at White Hart Lane by Porto midfielder Joao Moutinho, if Tottenham give him the opportunity to manage the club.

Villas-Boas is favourite to take over from sacked Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, according to widespread reports in the English press. If given the job, Villas-Boas is reportedly ready to launch a bid for Portugal international Moutinho, who insists his compatriot is ready to put his axing from Chelsea behind him.

"AVB is one of the best coaches I've worked with," Moutinho is quoted as saying in the Sun. "I'd work with him again tomorrow.

"I don't really know what happened at Chelsea - but when you employ a new coach you have to give him time."

The Portuguese parted company with Chelsea eight months into a three-year contract amid speculation his relationship with senior players had deteriorated.

Moutinho believes that with time he can succeed in the Premier League, comparing his former boss Villas-Boas to outgoing Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola.

"You can't always base his progress on results," he said. "If players are obstructive it makes the job very difficult. Perhaps in the end he was judged more on immediate results than he was on his long-term vision.

"All I do know is he did a fantastic job at Porto. He didn't win the league title and the Europa League by chance. But then he had a set of players who bought into his ideas and were enthusiastic and supportive.

"He was very much like Pep Guardiola was at Barcelona. He loved to deploy systems to bring the best out of the players.

"I remember talking to him about England when he was poised to leave. He was so enthusiastic, he was so determined to make a success of it. AVB isn't the type to want revenge, his only motivation is to prove to people that he can be a success in England."

Moutinho, who has also attracted the interest of Manchester United, has been valued at £25 million by Porto as the central midfielder nears a summer transfer to England.

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