Villas-Boas bites back at Hansen

Almost a week has gone by since the Blues’ controversial 3-1 loss

at Old Trafford but Villas-Boas was still smarting over the fallout

from the game. The former Porto boss, who had not lost a league

match as a manager for 17 months prior to Sunday, began this week

by venting his frustration at the performance of the officials in

Manchester, revealing he had made a complaint to referees’ chief

Mike Riley. Villas-Boas has now turned his guns on Hansen after

being branded “naive” in the former Liverpool captain’s newspaper

column on Monday. Describing Hansen’s assessment as “completely

false”, Villas-Boas said: “It’s just an unwillingness to make a

correct comment on the game by having pleasure in criticising

others.” He added: “People like that go against their own

principles. “They don’t know what to say and they basically just

live by lowering others, which I find quite extraordinary. “It

doesn’t annoy me because I respect to the fullness the opinion of

people. “It’s just when it’s football people, I find it really

strange.” Hansen accused Chelsea of being “wide open” at Old

Trafford, where they found themselves 3-0 down at half-time,

despite dominating in an attacking sense. Villas-Boas retorted:

“The fact that the three goals happened doesn’t mean that,

defensively, we were in chaos.” Chelsea had 19 shots at goal on

Sunday and their manager admitted they lacked “efficiency”. But he

added: “The other team had seven or eight opportunities and the

other team is United at Old Trafford. “The three goals happened

with two offsides and a ricochet, so where is the naiveness in

that? “Or is the person being naive when he’s writing the article?”

Villas-Boas’ first three matches in charge of Chelsea saw them

criticised for a lack of fluency, something they were hardly guilty

of at Old Trafford. The Blues boss accused the naysayers of wanting

it both ways, saying: “They judge it on the weekend basis based on

the result. They take the easy part. “Sometimes, you take the

option to criticise people who get results but get results with a

certain lack of flair. “When it goes the other way round, it looks

like people don’t know how to position themselves.” Villas-Boas

declared he would not waver in his attacking approach. “I would do

the same all of the season,” he said, admitting that was a risky

strategy at a club like Chelsea, where a failure to win trophies

has always seen the manager sacked. “We are here to take risks in

life, no?” He added: “You cannot be so closed-minded not to

understand that at a club like Chelsea, the most important thing is

to win trophies. “We aren’t putting the attacking path, the good

football path, ahead of the results but we’re trying to mix it

together. “It’s a more difficult path but you can win trophies as

well. “You can take various different ways in football and be

extremely successful.” On Saturday Villas-Boas will be reunited

with another manager who is wedded to his footballing principles in

Swansea’s Brendan Rodgers. The pair were both part of Jose

Mourinho’s coaching staff at Stamford Bridge and, highlighting the

“nobleness” in Rodgers’ approach to the game, Villas-Boas said:

“There is a dignity in the path that he chooses, because it’s a

difficult path for a team that needs points. “He privileges good

football and football well played and attacking football. “When you

try to that at a club like Swansea, it’s something that for me is

more prestigious.” Chelsea’s defeat at Old Trafford left them five

points behind United and on Saturday is an ideal opportunity for

them to put pressure on the leaders, who travel to Stoke in the

early-evening kick-off. The Blues’ game will be finished by then

and the Britannia Stadium is widely regarded as one of the toughest

grounds on which to get an away win. But Villas-Boas – who may

change all 10 of his outfield players following Chelsea’s Carling

Cup penalty shootout win over Fulham on Wednesday night – was

concerned about how Stoke would cope physically after their own

midweek cup tie with Tottenham went to spot-kicks. He added: “They

are in the Europa League as well, so those legs will be tired. “I

don’t know what’s going to happen but it’s a difficult game for

United, like we have a difficult game against Swansea.”