Coach Andre Villas-Boas did not have to wait until the end of this season to find a new job as Russia’s FC Zenit came calling. The deal is for two years, and the job begins right after tomorrow’s Champions League second leg at Borussia Dortmund, against whom the Russian side trails 4-2 on aggregate after the home leg.
Villas-boas has to step in and save a rather talented Russian side that has actually won the UEFA Cup back in 2008. They had a solid team then, and are still led by Hulk and Axel Witzel in the midfield. These two players will be the heart and soul of AVB’s system if they listen to his every word and add a bit of their own magic.
Currently, Zenit sit second in the Russian top division with 41 points, just two behind Lokomotiv Moscow. This is after 20 games, which means that the new coach will have to keep things slightly similar domestically to keep things rolling.
Villas-Boas enjoys playing an attacking style of soccer that involves both crossing and hitting opponents down the middle. Possession is one of his strong suits, and he believes that this is a very important aspect when it comes to controlling a game. His exploited this to perfection when his FC Porto won the treble in 2011.
He will certainly have trouble when it comes to adjusting to the Russian game as he will be expected to respect their current game as well as add his own tactics to give that extra push towards glory. He may succeed domestically, but when it comes to Europe, there are too many good sides playing good soccer which will require him to add some new pieces in almost every position.