With Villas-Boas impressing at Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea now run by yet another manager, did they make the right decision?
Chelsea and Spurs seem to have developed a more intense rivalry in recent times. The situation over the signing of Willian – where Chelsea seemingly signed the Anzhi Makhachkala winger in order to prevent Tottenham from challenging the Blues in the top four this season – seems to have exacerbated matters, with many of the feelings stemming from Andre Villas-Boas' exit from Stamford Bridge and subsequent arrival at Spurs.
Add in the frayed relationship between Villas-Boas and his old mentor Jose Mourinho, who returned to Chelsea in the summer, and the fractious situation continues to simmer in London.
With Spurs in the midst of progression under Villas-Boas after Harry Redknapp's reign and Chelsea on their third manager since the former Porto manager was sacked, have Chelsea made the right decision?
It's just over 18 months since Villas-Boas was fired by Roman Abramovich after a 1-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion, but the 36-year-old has repaired his reputation at White Hart Lane, and his 55% win percentage ranks him second in all time Spurs managers, though he did miss out on a Champions League place last season despite seeming like they had it sewn up.
Meanwhile, Chelsea's search for stability and lasting success brought them back to the last man who gave them both things, as Mourinho returned to Stamford Bridge after a volatile ending to his spell with Real Madrid. His second spell in charge has got off to a shaky start, with surprise defeats away at Everton and at home to Basel, but the Blues are in second place in the Premier League, just two points behind leaders Arsenal.
The Chelsea fans are now delighted to have “The Special One” back in West London, after a turbulent spell under Rafael Benitez, and whilst Villas-Boas may have encountered a tough dressing room, there is still cause to believe that Villas-Boas could've engineered a long term project at Chelsea, his current surroundings at Spurs have given him the ability to work with a group of players that want to learn under him, and with expectations slightly more conservative than they were at Stamford Bridge.
Of course, Chelsea have won the FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League since Villas-Boas departed, and fans would argue that if they keep winning trophies, they don't need stability – particularly having seen neighbours Arsenal struggle to win anything over the last few years.
With Chelsea embracing the return of their hero, and Spurs progressing nicely under Villas-Boas, you have to feel that the right decision was made for all parties, but the way AVB has but this Spurs side together makes you wonder what he could've done with time at Chelsea.
image: © Vladimir Maiorov