The rivalry between Chelsea and Tottenham just heated up a little as former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas called Roman Abramovich a promise-breaking “quitter” during his introductory press conference as Chelsea manager.
Here are some of AVB’s comments:
“It was the owner who dismissed me and the owner who decided to cut short the project.
“Chelsea was a tremendous learning experience. You have to admit that.
“But you also have to understand that the decision to terminate what was going on at Chelsea was not mine, it was the owner’s.
“I’m not sure if I can make public what he said but the reasons don’t go along or can’t be applied to the fact that I was dismissed.
“It was the putting together of different ideas towards the future. The fact that people quit on me, I have nothing to say any more.”
The Spurs boss continued:
“It is all very well that you cut the project short and Chelsea go on to win two trophies and you say how wonderful the squad was, but at the beginning nobody believed in that squad when we put it together.
“It was a tremendous learning experience which I am grateful in some ways to have gone through it because it makes me a better coach and a better person at this time.
“But the decision to cut it short was not mine and for Chelsea to have won the Champions League and to have won the FA Cup was because we were still in those competitions.
“I had the opportunity to win them cut short and I had cut short the opportunity to qualify for the Champions League when I was just three points off the fourth position, this is what I recall from the day when I was sacked.”
AVB lost the Chelsea dressing room, especially Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole and he added:
“It is all very well that you cut the project short and Chelsea going on to win two trophies and say how wonderful the squad was but at the beginning nobody believed in that squad when we put it together.
“What I am saying is that I respect the decision of the owner of Chelsea but I will never accept it.
“I told him that for me it was him quitting on me when he had been so much involved in the beginning in bringing me in and he was the one also who was not putting up to the things he promised.”
AVB then turned his attention to his new employer and admitted that Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor was “on their list”.
AVb then turned his attention to playmaker Luka Modric, whose future at White Hart Lane remains in some doubt for a second successive summer.
“Luca is a tremendous player at this club. The interest that we have from various different clubs shows that,” Villas-Boas said.
“We respect his ambitions and willingness to move on. I think Luca respects as well the fact he is an important player and can help us move forwards.
“Discussions will continue until we reach an agreement which is sensible for each party.
“The willingness is there from the player [to leave], but a player of this importance is not easy to part company with.
“The chairman is a person who respects the values of the football club and with the right offer, we will take that step.”
Villas-Boas, however, played down reports they were going to move for France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.
“We are happy with what we have got at the moment.”