AVB stands by his plans
Manager Andre Villas-Boas has dismissed suggestions he has tried to change too much, too soon at Chelsea as he ponders whether to stick or twist for Monday's crunch Barclays Premier League with Manchester City.
Some critics accused him of rushing Chelsea's transformation from a side who defend deep and rely heavily on power and pace to one who mirror the style of European champions Barcelona. Despite a run of five defeats in nine games, Villas-Boas has repeatedly insisted the Blues' new cavalier philosophy would not be abandoned.
It duly was during Tuesday night's Champions League win over Valencia, although Villas-Boas revealed that was down to events on the field rather than a deliberate ploy, rejecting the obvious implication Chelsea were not yet ready to fully implement his instructions. Asked if he had changed too many things, too quickly, he said: "No, I don't say that."
Yet, whether by accident or by design, the spectacular success of Chelsea's approach against Valencia has given Villas-Boas a dilemma ahead of another possible do-or-die game. The Portuguese has admitted his side must "find a way" to beat City, who are perfectly capable of holding onto the ball in the same way as Valencia.
Games between the Premier League top six have been nothing short of spectacular this season, but with Chelsea having lost all their encounters with Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool, a tighter affair might suit them.
"We don't know what is going to happen," Villas-Boas said.
"We know last year it was a difficult, tight game, solved in the last minutes with a 2-0 win."