AVBack?

French giants Marseille have appointed former Porto, Chelsea and Spurs coach Andre Villas-Boas on a two-year contract. The Portuguese man has been out of work since leaving Shanghai SIPG in November 2017, refusing to sign a contract extension in the money-fuelled East.

He replaces Rudi Garcia at the helm at Les Phocéens, who led them to a fifth placed finish last season and a Europa League runners-up medal in 2018.

The 41 year old is still in his managerial infancy having taken the reins at Porto aged just 32.

He led them to a Europa League triumph over Braga in Dublin, thus putting him on the managerial hitlist of a number of European giants.

Having worked under Jose Mourinho for a while at Porto, Inter Milan and Chelsea, it was ideal for him to take the route of his professor. Chelsea paid a reported record £13.3m to the Portuguese giants to free AVB from his contract.

After facing tactical inquests from senior players at Chelsea and losing ground in the race for top four, Villas-Boas was relieved of his duties and replaced by Roberto Di Matteo. We all know what happened in the May of that year!

In the July however he returned to Premier League football earlier than expected, with Tottenham Hotspur. He had a successful first season, guiding Spurs to fifth and being approached by Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain for their vacancies.

But for the first time in his career he would attempt to fulfil a second season at the same club. The sale of Gareth Bale though caused activity in the market which is fabled as some of the worst in modern history.

Yes, they signed stars such as Eriksen, but coupled them with the likes of Soldado and Paulinho, both for hefty fees.

He left the club that December after a 0-5 defeat to a rampant Liverpool side who embarrassed them in their own backyard. He was replaced by Tim Sherwood.

A two year spell in Russia with Zenit heralded three trophies, including the Russian Premier League in 2015 and their FA Cup equivalent a year later.

He wouldn’t return to management until late 2016, joining Shanghai SIPG for a year but picking up no honours.

In an interesting turn of events last year AVB decided to compete in the Dakar rally in which he retired after four laps. He did compete in another, the Baja TT do Pinhal, in March.


AVB has a point to prove. Was it all beginners luck at Porto, or does the handsome Portuguese have a misunderstood image? He has youth on his side and I back him to get Marseille back into Ligue 1’s top three.

AVBack, or AVBad? Thus will conclude in the near future.

Chris Stonadge

An aspiring sports journalist looking to gain as much experience as possible before heading to Uni! Massive Liverpool fan but as unbiased as possible!

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