'Mourinho is envious of Villas-Boas'

Former Blues winger Pat Nevin also feels sympathy for out-of-favour Juan Mata as the two Portuguese prepare to face off as managers for the first time at White Hart Lane
By Russell Stoddart

Former Chelsea star Pat Nevin believes Blues manager Jose Mourinho is "envious" of Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas as the former friends prepare to face each other as managers for the first time.

Mourinho and Villas-Boas, who worked together for seven years at Porto, Chelsea and Inter, will face each other from opposite dugouts at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

5/1 Chelsea and Tottenham are 5/1 with Bet365 to play out a 1-1 draw
But the pair are no longer on speaking terms and ex-winger Nevin, who played for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge for five years in the 1980s, feels Mourinho will be jealous of the €119 million spending spree afforded to his former scout this summer.

"Every manager in the country would be envious of AVB (Villas-Boas) and that includes Jose," Nevin told Goal. "Who wouldn’t want to get enough money to build a new team?

"Of course, in an ideal world, he would have kept hold of Gareth Bale but he had a chance almost overnight to put his own imprint on the team and he’s made some fantastic signings.

"AVB has nothing to prove. He did fantastically well at Porto and didn’t really have a chance at Chelsea to show what he can do.

"It was tough going for him at Chelsea and I couldn’t believe the dogs’ abuse and the criticism levelled at him that he was naive."

Nevin also believes Mourinho is trying to emulate the style of Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona at Chelsea - and the Scot can understand why Juan Mata has been overlooked for big matches at the start of the current campaign.

He added: "Mourinho has looked closely at Barcelona’s high-tempo, pressing game when he was at Real Madrid but he isn’t looking to just copy it, he wants to improve on it.

"Mata doesn’t do enough off the ball and what Mourinho wants is his attacking players to press the ball whenever possible.

"Although I have a great amount of sympathy for Mata, the ball is in his court.

"One thing is for sure, Mourinho won’t change the style to suit individuals. If Mata doesn’t adapt, then he will be shipped out. Mata must realise that it isn’t personal."