Finally Chelsea football club can start planning for the future after Andre Villas-Boas was finally confirmed as their new manager today. The Portuguese manager enjoyed a quite phenomenal season at Porto last season and emerged as the hottest managerial candidate in Europe.
It will be his third managerial role (not including a brief stint as manager of the British Virgin Isles when he was 21) but it is certainly the most high profile and the most challenging. Recent history suggests that he will have to continue his success if he to remain in the job longer than his predecessors. Indeed, many still belief Carlo Ancelotti was incredibly unlucky to lose his job after winning the double in his first season in English football.
There are a number of things Villas-Boas will need to address if his team are to improve and challenge for major honours next season. Firstly he must sort out Fernando Torres and ensure that his star striker begins to repay the huge transfer fee laid out in January. It seems that Didier Drogba will be moved on and it could be a wise idea; he holds far too much sway in the dressing room and it would represent a statement of intent from the new manager.
In order to get the best out of El Nino they must surely look to bring in a top class playmaker. It appears that Luka Modric has already been identified for this role but Chelsea need to act quickly and ensure they get the Croatian sooner rather than later. The Chelsea midfield was too pedestrian last season and they need to ensure they add someone who can link effectively with Torres.
The squad at Chelsea is an aging one and more emphasis has to be placed on youth development. Villas-Boas will already know several of the long term players after working under fellow countryman Jose Mourinho whilst learning his trade. His assistant manager Vitor Pereira has opted to fill Boas’ shoes at Porto rather than following him to Chelsea. He will need to ensure he can get a reliable and trustworthy number two to support him at Stamford Bridge.
Rumours of disharmony are far too common at his new club and he one would hope he has received assurances from Roman Abramovich regarding how best to take the club forward. A few big investments will stand them in good stead and with the likes of Josh McEachran waiting in the wings he has some talent to work with. After playing and aggressive style at Porto it will be interesting to see his approach. There have already been links to Falcao whose physical attributes and power in the air would be beneficial.
Chelsea should be very happy with their new manager. However, as we have seen on numerous occasions before he must be given time. Next season is really taking shape already.