During Andre Villas-Boas Friday press conference, the Chelsea manager produced a laminated chart to show the press his club’s current points compared with other teams of years gone by.
“Chelsea, at the moment, have the same points as the champions last year and the same points as the champions three years ago,” he said. “And they have two points less than the champions four years ago.”
Hmmm. It will be a while before “He’s cracking up, he’s cracking up, Andre’s cracking up” does the rounds in the stands, but in just a few months in England, A V-B has had his moments, and his latest breakdown has been prompted by our very own Gary Neville…
September 20th 2011: Following Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat at Old Trafford.
“I’m very, very unhappy with the poor performance from the referees which had a decisive role in the result, I don’t take it very lightly because it’s on those two first goals, and you expect the linesman to do his job. I have already gone further ahead with the situation by speaking to the correct people. I wouldn’t like to extend it publicly because I don’t think I should do it. But we are all very down when the referee has such an impact.”
October 23rd 2011: Following Chelsea’s 1-0 defeat to QPR.
“The ref was poor, very very poor. And it reflected in the result. I spoke to him at the end and I was very aggressive to him. I don’t care if he’s okay or not. A couple of decisions are right, yellow cards for sure, but I think he [Foy] lost it before and was card happy towards the team. I’m not happy with the difference of treatment. I don’t think the same treatment was applied. Apart from the fourth official, the other three were led by the emotions of the crowd and couldn’t deal with a game like this. Three of the games played by Chelsea were influenced by the referee, and this is not Premier League level. You have to trust human error, but it’s a big pattern for us. Things are not going our way. Conspiracy theories can lead to bans and lead to you calling us crybabies, and we’re not. But it keeps happening.”
December 3rd 2011: Following Nicolas Anelka and Alex being asked to train separately from the first team, reports suggest the fall out originated from Andre Villa-Boas laying in to several players about their recent performances. Anelka and Alex went on to submit transfer requests which were accepted.
December 7th 2011: Following Chelsea’s qualification to the next round in the Champions League.
“We see a Manchester United defender who says he doesn’t want to be in a team like Chelsea. There has been a continuous persecution of Chelsea, continuous aggression for one club. Manchester City are the only team in the country at the moment and I sincerely hope they qualify for the next round of the Champions League. But the attitude is ‘If they qualify, they qualify, if not they don’t’. That’s not the same as with us. We have become your target and tomorrow is difficult for you guys because now you’ll have to write about Chelsea.”
December 9th 2011: Continuation of his row with the press.
“A lot of things that were said, most of the things, were wrong. One day I will open the doors of training for you guys for a couple of days and you will see the players have the talent and ability and want to compete. That’s what we hold on to during extreme criticism. It’s fair for you guys to admit that the media darlings of the press are blue collar and not Chelsea. We were unfairly treated a couple of times, and fairly by yourselves in the beginning. It’s a love and hate relationship.”
December 9th 2011
A Chelsea spokesperson said in The Sun: “The manager has asked the players to look across and recognise him and his staff on the bench after a goal. He believes that by celebrating together it shows we are all in it together. That’s the players, the manager, the subs, the staff, the medical people – everyone working and celebrating together.”
December 10th 2011: In response to Neville claiming he wouldn’t want to be in the Chelsea dressing room following another defeat to Liverpool and that David Luiz played as though he was controlled by a child on the PlayStation.
“Comic criticism, and lack of in-depth criticism from top ex-professionals, when they take the route to the ridiculous, I think I have a word to say. Most people don’t even bother with what they say. But if they opt for the ridiculous, I have to defend myself and my players. I have to be aggressive, I think that is fair. Most of these people have a past related to a single club, their favourite club, which in the end brings a likely biased position in their opinion-making. When they take the option of the ridiculous, it is unfair. You cannot approach a top Brazil central defender saying he is commanded by a kid with a PlayStation. That is ridiculous. Be careful what you are saying. They are the most important team in the world. He is one of the best central defenders in the world. I know Chelsea have these people – maybe fewer – but you cannot be a top defender like he was, a top Manchester United defender like he has been, and take a ridiculous route. I would say this to his face with pleasure. You cannot speculate about Chelsea’s dressing room. What does he know about our dressing room? Does he even know how to get here [to Cobham]? Does he even know where Cobham is? You cannot speculate or invent, based on informants or speculation. I was watching television [when he said it]. I was gobsmacked.”
Still, I hope the crazy bastard can inspire his team to a win tonight.