• Premier League

Villas-Boas: All eyes on Mourinho

ESPN staff
June 24, 2013
Andre Villas-Boas believes next season will be intriguing © PA Photos

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has said compatriot Jose Mourinho's return to Chelsea means all eyes will be on Stamford Bridge when the new season kicks off.

Speaking to Portuguese sports paper O Jogo, Villas-Boas said Mourinho would play a big part in what he tipped to be an exciting title race.

He said the coach's second spell at Chelsea, and the arrival of new manager David Moyes at Manchester United after Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement, were changes that would add to the intrigue of the season.

"It won't be possible to take your eyes away from Mourinho," he explained. "One of his characteristics - and I don't say it in a negative way - is to deviate attentions, positive and negative, in such a way that the team is only worried about winning."

And he said he believed teams could adopt a different approach to playing United after Ferguson's departure.

"The fear that came from playing Alex Ferguson's sides made everything harder, and that may still continue if adaptation [to the change of management] is fast," he added. "That is something I am curious to see".

Villas-Boas guided Spurs to fifth last season, amassing a club-record Premier League points tally as they missed out on Champions League qualification to North London neighbours Arsenal.

He said he had learned to adapt to the English top flight after trying to impose a different culture during an ill-fated spell as Chelsea manager.

"The Premier League is guided by this dynamic: ball lost, ball recovered, ball lost again," he said. "That makes matches unpredictable. Teams must be objective and behave like that, because that's what excites fans.

"The aesthetics of the game come second to unpredictability, which is much more exciting than the predictability associated with possession football.

"I should have had respected that culture from the start. I thought it was possible to establish a different game pattern in a country with a radically different culture. I respect it now. I have become more versatile after the Chelsea experience."

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