Sunday, 11 December 2011
Villas-Boas on Man City and Gary Neville
Chelsea are finally showing some sort of form, posting 3-0 victories in their last two Premiership matches and beating Valencia by the same scoreline last Tuesday at Stamford Bridge to advance to the knockout stage of the Champions League. The acid test arrives at the Bridge tomorrow night though, in the form of Manchester City, the Premier League leaders who are 10 points ahead of the Blues. Speaking at his regular pre-game press conference at the weekend, Andre Villas-Boas admitted defeat to City would effectively end Chelsea's title hopes. "There is no quitting and there will be no quit belief, but 13 points will be a massive gap," he said.
Villas-Boas, 34, had used the opportunity to launch an extraordinary attack on the club's critics, and said that his team's qualification for the last 16 of the Champions League would be a "slap in the face" for them. He maintained his theme as he prepared for the home match against City. In an emotional seven-minute critique, Villas-Boas dismissed remarks made by players who have become pundits, singling out former Manchester United and England defender Gary Neville, in particular. Recent Chelsea performances have been criticised by the likes of Alan Hansen - who said their defending was 'catastrophic' - Mark Lawrenson and Graeme Souness, all former Liverpool players.
Villas-Boas, however, seems to have been angered most by Neville. The former United star, who now works as an expert analyst for English cable giants Sky, said David Luiz's performance against Liverpool was that of a man 'being controlled by a 10-year-old on a PlayStation'. "I'm nobody to criticise (Neville's) opinion, but when he takes this ridiculous route I have to defend (my player)," said Villas-Boas. "You cannot be a top English defender like (Neville) was, and a top Manchester United defender like he's been (and say this), and I'd say this to his face with most pleasure. You cannot approach a top Brazil central defender, a player of tremendous aspirations and talent, saying he's commanded by a kid with a PlayStation. That's ridiculous."