Cold war in prospect as Mourinho faces Villas-Boas

2013-09-28 09:35

London – All eyes will be on Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas as the former friends meet in a bitter grudge match today.

Any derby between Spurs and Chelsea offers the potential for an explosive encounter, but Mourinho’s dysfunctional relationship with his former pupil Villas-Boas makes the London rivals’ latest clash at White Hart Lane even more flammable than usual.

Mourinho was infuriated this week when Villas-Boas lifted the lid on the simmering tensions between the two Portuguese coaches, who have gone from close colleagues to feuding enemies in the space of four years.

“We had a great personal and professional relationship before that we don’t have now,” Villas-Boas said.

“I don’t think we need explanations. But our relationship broke down.

“I think we have the mutual respect for each other and we understand what we have been through cannot just disappear but it’s not like it was before.”

Mourinho responded by attempting to take the moral high ground, saying: “I don’t describe (the relationship), because I’m not a kid to discuss relationships with the media. It’s a personal thing.

“I don’t care what he says. I’m here, not to comment on what he says or what to know what he says. I’m not interested.”

The enmity between the two grew slowly over the years.

Villas-Boas, who worked as a scout compiling dossiers on opponents, was a trusted member of Mourinho’s backroom staff at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan.

But the first fracture in their relationship occurred when Mourinho rejected Villas-Boas’ request for more involvement in coaching, a decision that prompted Villas-Boas to quit Inter to go it alone as a manager in Portugal.

When Villas-Boas eventually took over at Porto and credited legendary boss Bobby Robson, rather than Mourinho, with his rise to prominence, the rift grew wider still.

Now they will face off for the first time since their separation in 2009 and there have been enough barbs between the pair over the last few months to suggest the bench at White Hart Lane will be as closely watched as the action on the pitch.

Meanwhile, leaders Arsenal, unbeaten in eight games in all competitions, visit a Swansea City side smarting after their League Cup defence was ended by second-tier Birmingham City.

Manchester United reacted to their 4-1 derby humiliation at Manchester City last weekend by eliminating Liverpool in the League Cup and the champions will hope to get back to winning ways in the league by defeating West Brom.

The crushing loss to City left the champions five points below Arsenal in eighth place, but centre-back Jonny Evans says he has known darker days at Old Trafford.

“I have been on the training ground where the atmosphere has been worse than it was when we came in the day after the (City) game,” Evans said.

“We had no complaints at the weekend. Everyone was honest in their assessment that we didn’t apply ourselves the way we should have.

“It is hard for the fans, the players and the manager as well. We just had to move on from it quickly.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.