AVB makes 'balance' priority

BY foxsports • August 27, 2011

Villas-Boas declared a commitment to attacking football when he was appointed Blues boss this summer, something billionaire owner Roman Abramovich is said to want to see more of at Stamford Bridge. The club's summer signings certainly reflect this, with Valencia winger Juan Mata this week joining Barcelona midfielder Oriol Romeu and Anderlecht striker Romelu Lukaku in moving to Chelsea. Luka Modric and Alvaro Pereira are the Blues' two other main targets, all of which could add up to a more expansive game being played under Villas-Boas. But the new manager insisted that would not come at the expense of the defensive solidity for which Chelsea have become renowned. "It's not by bringing in extra forwards or forward-thinking players that you become more offensive," he said. "Maybe in the end you are punished at the other end and you could become exposed defensively if you do. "You just have to create a balance." The squad Villas-Boas has inherited are still searching for that balance judging by their opening two games of the Barclays Premier League season. "What we are trying to achieve has reflected itself in both second halves at Stoke and against West Brom," Villas-Boas said. "We are trying to find that 90-minute performance and consistent performance. "But it takes time in the beginning because there is a radical change in the way you train and play. "You can try to expect it in the first games of the season, but it's difficult to get it." Abramovich is said to be a huge admirer of the brand of football played by Barcelona, so the Russian would have been pleased to hear Villas-Boas cite them as an example to be followed. "In football, there are more spaces than one can think of," Villas-Boas said. "The game looks pretty frenetic, but one of the virtues of Barca is that they slow the game down in their heads and choose better. "Although it looks as if it's happening very, very quickly in their brains, it's the right choice at the right time." In contrast, Villas-Boas felt Chelsea's players were paralysed by anxiety in the first half of last week's win over West Brom and has been attempting to get them to translate their more relaxed mentality during training into Saturday's clash with Norwich. The 33-year-old may struggle to practise what he preaches if he continues to patrol his dugout in the manner that is becoming one of his trademarks. But Villas-Boas, who spends much of the game crouched down by the touchline, insisted he used to be even more animated, saying: "I used to be so emotionally into the game that I used to run down the touchline during the game. "Now I'm able to control myself." If Chelsea's players once again fail to live up to expectations tomorrow, it would highlight the need for further reinforcements before the transfer window closes. "We know that we need one more number in midfield, but if it doesn't happen it's because we trust in these people," said Villas-Boas, who admitted some players could leave. "It depends. We have very valuable players up front, so we have our own interest in defending the value of these players. "So anything can happen but, at the moment, nothing is happening." Villas-Boas was confident he would not have an excess of players in the 25-man Premier League squad he needs to submit at the start of next month, revealing the injured Michael Essien would not be in it. "We'll only register him in January, as he knows," said Villas-Boas, who claims he cannot wait for the transfer window to close. Indeed, the Portuguese will travel to his first Elite Club Coaches Forum at UEFA headquarters next week with the intention of proposing that it shuts before the start of each season in future. "It looks pretty stupid but maybe it makes sense because it gives tranquility to the managers to address their team building and I think it's fair," said former Porto boss Villas-Boas, who acknowledged he signed Mata and Lukaku after the start of the season. "I know Porto's manager is of the same opinion because Porto is a targeted club for the biggest talent and lives in an uncomfortable situation as well. "At least one other manager is on my side, so at least I won't look ridiculous."