Tottenham vs Chelsea – It is fascinating to see how this fixture has grown in recent years to the position where this could be considered as a match between title rivals. It always had the feisty edge because of location, but Tottenham’s growth in recent years has made them be considered as one of the contenders for the title. This season, though, there is even more at stake because of the two managers.
Jose Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas will be coming up against each other for the first time since parting ways in 2009. Villas-Boas worked under Mourinho, but this will be the first time he will come up against his mentor as a manager.
It has almost become customary for Mourinho to be involved in mind games before the matches. This season, the Villas-Boas factor has added more spice to it.
Villas-Boas said explicitly that Mourinho was not his friend anymore and that their relationship had broken down completely. Speaking ahead of the match to Sky Sports, Villas-Boas said,
We had a great personal and professional relationship before that we don’t have now.
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.
It is not surprising to see that the Mourinho and Andre Villas-Boas relationship broke down. Both are similar in many aspects starting even with their country. They are extremely meticulous in their preparation for matches, and even more when it comes to attention to detail. They are prepared to make a substitution if things do not work out well.
There was a suggestion earlier that Villas-Boas was trying to copy Mourinho in trying to create a career, but that can be ruled out. Villas-Boas is a far more attacking minded manager than Mourinho and he sees Guardiola as his inspiration (more reasons for Mourinho falling out with Villas-Boas!).
Mourinho reacted to Villas-Boas’ comments by saying that the Tottenham manager was childish to talk about personal relationships to the media. Mourinho said,
I don’t discuss this with the media, it’s a personal thing. I don’t care what he says. I’m not here to do that. I’m not interested.
Mourinho also gets a little bit naughty trying to show Villas-Boas the way. He continued,
I managed in a Champions League final against a manager who was important in my career and taught me to grow up and I did it in a professional way. And that is a way you have to do it.
The last sentence is just classic Mourinho. He has taken the spice to another level. Will it have the necessary reaction from our ‘title rivals’? Let’s wait and see.