Andre Villas-Boas has trodden the same path as Jose Mourinho by progressing from Porto to Chelsea, but the current Tottenham manager rejects all comparisons to the current Chelsea boss ahead of Saturday’s London derby.
Villas-Boas, 35, was once part of the coaching staff of the self-titled “Special One."
However, AVB told L’Equipe that Mourinho was not prepared to listen to him—leading to their eventual split.
Ian Holyman of ESPN FC provides the translation:
I was never his number two. I was part of his staff, but I was never his assistant. That's one of the reasons we went our separate ways. I thought I could give him a lot more, but he didn't feel the need to have someone next to him.
Jose Mourinho’s coaching style is extremely self-driven, often creating a siege mentality around his club that turns each match into a personal war. The post-match focus, more often than not, is on the manager—relieving pressure from the team.
When Mourinho won the Champions League with Porto in 2005, he removed his winner’s medal immediately. Later, at Chelsea, he threw a Premier League winner’s medal into the crowd. Both times, the headlines belonged to him.
Although as well groomed as his mentor, Villas-Boas covets less media spotlight. He, too, has won a Europa League with Porto, but insists his management style is nothing like that of Mourinho.
The comparisons are difficult to accept for different reasons … I'm completely different to him in terms of personality, way of working and communication. We have different philosophies. […] We had a super working relationship, we won, but as soon as we parted ways, I started doing things my way. The comparisons come from the media. And the first difference is our personalities.
Saturday brings an intriguing contest to White Hart Lane, where both sides face another test of their title credentials.
Tottenham can go five points clear of Chelsea with victory, but defeat would raise question marks over their ability to win big games after the recent loss at Arsenal.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have suffered defeats to Everton and Basel this season, so Mourinho is facing early doubters upon his return to Stamford Bridge.
Villas-Boas is right to reject comparisons; his style is based on player development, technically gifted footballers, and an intrinsic understanding of what each player’s role should entail.
Mourinho places much more emphasis on the standards the club sets. He often picks a fight with the club’s top player to show who is boss, as he did with Iker Casillas at Real Madrid and, more recently, with Juan Mata at Chelsea.
Both coaches clearly do not leave a single detail overlooked and have been extremely successful in their young careers, but as Andre Villas-Boas says, the similarities end there.