London: Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has rarely ventured pitch side and believes in letting his players drive the ball without fussing too much about the outcome.
At Fratton Park, when Chelsea recorded a 1-0 victory against Portsmouth on Saturday, Villas-Boas spent the entire 90 minutes glued to his seat in the dugout, only venturing pitch side once to deliver instructions, reports a daily.
During the match, Villas-Boas stayed true to the 4-3-3 formation that has served Chelsea so well since it was introduced by Jose Mourinho seven years ago.
The only surprise was the lack of change in personnel, style and tactics. Some of the problems of last season were also still there – a lack of width, insufficient accuracy when exchanging passes, and another unconvincing performance from 50 million pound striker Fernando Torres.
Villas-Boas, who cost 13 million pounds to poach from Porto, is just taking stock of his assets. He has not come to Stamford Bridge to shake things up and stick a rocket up collective backsides. Instead he talks of learning from the players, and giving them freedom to play, which in itself is something new if not particularly sexy.
“It`s not about taking my ideas, it`s about expressing themselves and finding new ideas and new spaces, and taking better decisions,” he says.