Villas-Boas to impose 'radical philosophy' on Marseille

Marseille (AFP) –


Andre Villas-Boas made a bold start to his reign as Marseille coach by declaring on Wednesday he wants to impose a "radical philosophy" on the fallen French giants.

Marseille handed Villas-Boas a two-year contract on Tuesday, giving the former Chelsea, Tottenham, Porto and Zenit St Petersburg coach the chance to revive the fortunes of a club that has slumped again this season.

The 1993 European champions missed out on qualifying for European football next season after finishing fifth in Ligue 1 despite a team comprising Italian striker Mario Balotelli and France international Florian Thauvin.

"There will be victories, there will be defeats and we are going to struggle to get to (qualify for the Champions League) but we have the capacity to do it," Villas-Boas said in his first press conference.

"I will lay down my life to get Marseille back to their best level. I will let the results do the talking but I'm confident because this team is capable of it."

The former protege of Jose Mourinho admitted he did have a tendency to want to "control everything" and said he was "a little bit obsessed by the organisational side of things" but he stressed he wanted his players to play with a smile on their faces.

"My philosophy is to be radical but we must strike a balance, based on this culture in French football of technical excellence, but blend it with speed and creativity," he said.

Villas-Boas was Mourinho's assistant at Porto and became the youngest coach to win a UEFA competition, lifting the Europa League trophy.

A move to the Premier League and Chelsea followed but he was sacked after just seven months and later took over at Tottenham.

After 18 months at Spurs, Villas-Boas resurfaced at Zenit St Petersburg in 2014, winning the Russian Premier League title and cup during a two-year spell.

A stormy spell at Shanghai SIPG followed before a period out of football during which he took part in last year's Dakar Rally, withdrawing with injury after an early crash.

Villas-Boas said it was possible that Ricardo Carvalho, the former Portugal defender, could become his assistant on the Marseille coaching staff.

Carvalho played at Ligue 1 club Monaco from 2013 to 2016.