Andre Villas-Boas will take on his fifth management job in as many seasons when he officially takes charge of Russian side Zenit St Petersburg this week.
After failing to hit the heights of his brief reign at Porto in the Premier League, AVB has dusted himself off to once again prove himself as one of the best young managers around.
Our man Michael Da Silva thinks AVB's had a rough ride. Here's five reasons why he remains a world class coach...
1. He adopts innovative tactics and modern formations
AVB favours a 4-2-3-1 formation and values keeping the ball, pressing high up the pitch and creating plenty of chances. Tottenham’s pass completion rate under Villas-Boas was 85%, but 83% under Redknapp. He plays a high defensive line and likes all of his players - even his goalkeeper and central defenders - to be comfortable on the ball. With AVB, the focus is on the group rather than an individual, and Spurs were gradually benefitting from the system.
2. He converted Gareth Bale into a prolific striker
Before Villas-Boas was at Spurs, Gareth Bale was an out-and-out left winger, having moved up the pitch from left-back under Harry Redknapp. It was only under AVB’s tutelage that Bale was unlocked as a striker, a position in which he became prolific and eventually attracted a world record bid from Real Madrid.
3. He deserves respect for what he achieved at Porto
After just one season at Porto, he was feted as a coaching wunderkind. At the age of 33, he guided Porto to the Portuguese League, Europa League and Portuguese Cup and Chelsea paid an astonishing $20 million in compensation to his old club when they hired him. Management in England may not have worked out, but Zenit offers him a challenge that may suit him better.
4. He’s had to work under difficult circumstances
When he took over at Chelsea, AVB was the man tasked with rebuilding the team and replacing the old guard of Lampard, Cole and Terry with a new generation – only to be sacked 291 days later. Talk of Villas-Boas’s demise at Spurs was rife after just three Premier League defeats. Roman Abramovich and Daniel Levy are not exactly known for their patience, and AVB deserves greater patience from his new Chairman at Zenit, Alexander Dyukov.
5. He’s an intelligent coach
When Spurs started to lose points due to last minute goals against Everton and West Brom, the media were on his back. AVB handled this pressure well and started a different way of coaching, by putting the squad through rigorous training routines near the end of the training period. This was done to improve the focus when they are tired. It paid rich dividends. Spurs not only stopped giving away last minute goals, they started netting a few themselves.
AVB's new club Zenit are 9.50 to overturn their 4-2 deficit at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League - bet now!