/ Soccer

Villas-Boas wants Chelsea 'untouchables'

Updated: Monday, 18 Jul 2011 17:22

Andre Villas-Boas and Chelsea assistant Roberto Martinez -The new boss wants his players to demand a place in the starting XI
Andre Villas-Boas and Chelsea assistant Roberto Martinez -The new boss wants his players to demand a place in the starting XI

Andre Villas-Boas has challenged his Chelsea squad to make themselves 'untouchable' as he looks to deliver Champions League glory.

Chelsea jetted into Malaysia today ahead of the Barclays Asia Trophy, with Villas-Boas continuing to preach a sermon of evolution rather than revolution after succeeding Carlo Ancelotti.

The 33-year-old former Chelsea scout returned to Stamford Bridge as the man charged by Roman Abramovich with bringing European success, a feat he achieved at Porto in the Europa League last season.

Villas-Boas, though, knows it will ultimately be down to his team to deliver on the pitch.

'Untouchable is a person who continuously performs at a high level,' said Villas-Boas, set to make young Genk goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois his first new signing.

'Based on the trophies these players have won before and the success they have had, aren't these the players you want in the end? Could be, no?

'As long as people are able to perform in training and the expectations of the fans and to a level of performance that is high and enables them to be in the starting 11 continuously, I don't see why it shouldn't happen.

'The most important thing for a leader is to be coherent in the decisions that he takes and it's a principle I cannot let go.

'As long as people are able to perform to the highest level as top players, which they are, and the past also shows, then I have no problem with that.'

Villas-Boas also sees no reason why the Champions League success which eluded predecessors Jose Mourinho, Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Ancelotti should not follow.

'In the next years, for sure, the trophy will arrive in this club,' Villas Boas said.

'Chelsea have been in a couple of semi-finals and also one final in recent times. I don't see why we can't go on to win it.'

He added: 'I have to keep the standards high. Any person who sits on the manager's job at Chelsea is expected to win. I cannot run away from that.'

Chelsea play a Malaysian XI on Thursday, before games against Thailand All Stars in Bangkok and then taking on Hong Kong First Division League champions Kitchee, followed by either Aston Villa or Blackburn in the Asia Trophy at the end of the month.

When they return for a final warm-up game at Rangers ahead of their Barclays Premier League season-opener at Stoke, there could well be a couple more new faces, with Chelsea expected to push through their pursuit of Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric and increase interest in Belgian starlet Romelu Lukaku of Anderlecht.

However, Villas-Boas - set to be without injured Ghana midfield enforcer Michael Essien for several weeks - will not let himself be distracted from the purpose of the trip to the Far East.

'We are trying to build on a new way of playing and getting together ideas, and hopefully by August 7, we will be already almost with the experiences we need to bring us to success against Stoke,' he said.

'There is plenty of talent in this squad. I want to believe the players can still find new things in them to exploit.

'It's always them that offer to me rather than myself offering to them.'

There had been some suggestion as a former Chelsea scout, the young manager would have difficulty commanding respect over such a seasoned dressing room.

England midfielder Frank Lampard, just eight months younger than the new Blues boss, insists there are only positive vibes from the group.

'The fact that Andre is young is irrelevant,' Lampard said.

'There is a nice freshness, a new style and new training methods compared to last year. His quality is important, however. You saw that for yourselves at Porto and we know his ideals are similar to what we had at Chelsea before.'

Lampard added: 'On the training ground it has been a bit different to what we are used to. It has always been fast and intense and there has not been one session where people can relax or be sloppy.

'There is some discipline and some rules that are important to him. He doesn't want to lay down too many laws, but he expects us to understand the laws without having to tell us.

'He has a good bunch in our squad.'

Powered by NewsWhip