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Friday, September 7, 2012
AVB left Burnley bamboozled

Kevin Palmer

Andre Villas-Boas blew his the chance to become Burnley manager in 2010 after officials from the club were left "confused" by the Portuguese coach following an extravagant interview.

• Hughton: Give AVB time

Villas-Boas, 34, was keen to get a break in English football two years ago and viewed the Burnley job as his ideal platform following the departure of Owen Coyle to Bolton.

In the end, the relatively unheralded Brian Laws was viewed as a safer option to Burnley in their ultimately doomed attempt to cling onto their Premier League status, with Villas-Boas forced to wait for his chance to establish himself as a top tier manager.

In his new book Magical: A Life in Football, ex-Burnley chief executive Paul Fletcher reveals he was left bamboozled by the complexity of Villas-Boas' vision of the game and feared the Burnley players would be equally confused.

"He sent a very detailed and lengthy application for the job," Fletcher said. "His CV and PowerPoint presentation was amazing. If you'd showed it to some of our old managers, they'd have said, 'Blazes, what the hell does it all mean?'

"Even by today's standards there was some complicated stuff in it, with some things that I didn't understand. With hindsight, we might have appointed him, but at the time it would have been too big a risk.

"The language and jargon of football gets worse by the day. Villas-Boas uses a lot of it. Would Burnley players have ever understood what he wanted if he'd told them to 'solidificate' or some of his other terms?"

Villas-Boas recovered from the setback of missing out on the Burnley job to enjoy huge success at FC Porto, and is currently at Tottenham Hotspur after a disappointing spell with Chelsea last season.




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