Andre Villas-Boas: Everything You Need to Know About Spurs' New Manager
In just eight days on the job, Villas-Boas has led Tottenham's charge into the summer transfer window, signing Icelandic wonderkid Gylfi Sigurdsson and then former Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen.
They both represent a departure from the last few years of strategy that saw Spurs merely dip their toes into the pool of transfer windows, opting rather for a dependence on squeezing the last little bit out of veterans and training up the best prospects in their youth system.
But who is Andre Villas-Boas? Is he a spoiled little kid who's been handed toys he doesn't deserve? Or is he the most humble of prodigal sons, returning to London, a few miles away from the fanbase that ran him out of town less than six months ago?
Join me as I take you through everything you need to know about Harry Redknapp's replacement—Andre Villas-Boas.
He's Never Played Professionally
It may come as a surprise to some, but Andre Villas-Boas is perhaps the most decorated manager in all of football to have never played professionally.
That doesn't mean Villas-Boas never played for a top-flight club, or even that he never played for a club you've never heard of—he's never played a professional match in his life.
On its own, that's quite the shocking statement, but not when you factor in that...
He Was 16 When He Started Working at Porto
Villas-Boas took an unorthodox route into management—and it started with the writing of a letter.
According to FIFA.com, Villas-Boas was a 16-year-old "Porto-supporting teenager" who was unhappy with then manager Sir Bobby Robson and his habit of leaving "free-scoring striker Domingos Paciencia...on the bench."
Villas-Boas wrote a letter to Robson (who lived in his same apartment block) stating that the Porto manager should play Paciencia more often. Robson invited Villas-Boas to make a case for Paciencia by scouting the next few Porto matches.
It turned out Villas-Boas impressed Robson so much with his analysis that he was invited on as a trainer for Porto's youth team.
...and 21 When He Got His First Managerial Gig
Just five years later, Villas-Boas was invited to manage the British Virgin Islands national team.
At the time, he was just 21 years old and in charge of the country's World Cup 2002 qualification hopes.
According to The Independent, he failed miserably, suffering a 14-1 loss on aggregate to Bermuda and getting eliminated after just the second round of CONCACAF qualification.
He Saved Académica from Being Relegated
Years later, at the age of 29, he was given the keys to Portuguese club Académica after manager Rogério De Sousa Gonçalves departed.
When Villas-Boas took over the club, Académica was in last place and without any wins. But with a new man at the helm and a new set of tactics, the club finished 11th in the Primeira Liga table and reached the semifinals of the 2009-10 Portuguese League Cup.
His impact at Académica was immediate, setting him up to be considered for the managerial position at Porto, where he became...
The Youngest Treble-Winning Coach in Porto's History
Due to a tireless work ethic, a history of scouting and a maddening stubbornness to the 4-3-3 formation—89 percent of Porto's matches during his reign used the 4-3-3 formation—Villas-Boas is considered to be the greatest manager in the Portuguese club's history.
In the 2010-11 season, he won the Portuguese League Cup, went undefeated and won the Primeira Liga table and won the Europa League—all before he turned 34.
His Winning Streak Came to an End at Chelsea
The honeymoon (if there ever was one) didn't last long, as Villas-Boas suffered his first defeat in a league match just four weeks into the 2011-12 season.
The English winter wasn't kind to the 35-year-old, who lost control of a club ultimately ruled by veteran players who acted oftentimes as though they could do whatever they pleased.
He didn't finish out the spring, earning a pink slip from trigger-happy Blues owner Roman Abramovich on March 4 after an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to the same West Bromwich Albion club over which Villas-Boas earned his first win in the Premier League.
How Will Villas-Boas Do at Tottenham?
The most recent chapter in Villas-Boas' managerial career takes place at White Hart Lane, mere miles away from a Chelsea club that couldn't wait to get rid of him.
How will this part of the story unfold?
So far, the man of Porto and Chelsea fame has made sure any failure for Spurs won't be because he didn't spend enough. Already, Villas-Boas has brought midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson and defender Jan Vertonghen from Hoffenheim and Ajax, respectively.
Can he tweak his tactics to fit a Spurs team that has lacked consistency? Will he continue to spend his way to the top, rivaling the free-wheeling ways of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea?
These questions and more will start to be answered in less than five weeks. Until then, Spurs fans have nothing to do but sit back and watch it all unfold.