Villas-Boas vows not to make big changes at Chelsea

AFP, Sunday 17 Jul 2011

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has told the club's established stars that he does not plan to make sweeping changes in his first season at Stamford Bridge

Andre Villas-Boas

Villas-Boas has been linked with a host of big-money signings since his appointment last month, but the former Porto coach plans to take his time assessing his current squad before deciding if major alterations are needed.

The 33-year-old has taken over a group of players with vast experience and plenty of silverware on their CVs, but critics claim the likes of Didier Drogba, John Terry and Frank Lampard are losing their edge as they move into the twilight of their careers.

However, although Villas-Boas is expected to bring in one or two new signings before the transfer window closes on 31 August, he is keen to keep the squad together and also promote from the youth academy.

"I am still evaluating things at the moment. It is not that I have to change things radically and I will take it step by step," he said.

"I think it is pretty obvious that we will go into the market at one time or the other but not with radical changes to the team. The team will keep itself (together) and most of the players.

"It is important for us to show the fans the future of Chelsea. Against Portsmouth we had a 16-year-old (Nathan Chalobah) on the pitch—that promises a lot.

"He is English, he has a future and these are all things the fans must see."

Asked if his players must feel as though they are on trial as the new coach gets comfortable at Chelsea, Villas-Boas said: "No, I don't think so.

"I think the opposite because I gave them that flexibility from the beginning.

"Normally people would expect you to arrive at Chelsea and make radical changes and we are taking everything on board and making the right decisions.

"Again our arrival is much more about freeing these players and finding their talent rather than making radical changes."

Villas-Boas has won both his friendly matches against Wycombe and Portsmouth and jets off with the squad for a pre-season trip to Asia this week.

During the tour, he will take a closer look at Daniel Sturridge before deciding if the young striker should spend another season out on loan after his successful spell at Bolton in the second half of the last campaign.

"This is one of the decisions we have to take," he said. "Daniel is a very, very interesting player with a tremendous future. The individual is highly regarded by myself.

"I have 15 days in Asia to make the best decision and I need those four games to continue to assess.

"When we get back from Asia we have a week running into the Rangers (pre-season) game and I think from then on a decision will have to be taken to be ready for the first game of the season.

"Then again it does not mean that we won't be active after that, because the market always gets very frenetic in the last days and you never know what will happen."

Search Keywords:
Short link: