David Moyes believes Andre Villas-Boas is a welcome addition to the Premier League’s management fraternity – and has tipped the 33-year-old to be in the title hunt in his debut season.
This summer the Portuguese became the youngest manager in the history of the Premier League when he took the reins at Stamford Bridge.
He did so off the back of an almost unfathomably triumphant record at Porto, where he won the Portuguese Supercup, Primeira Liga title and the Portuguese Cup before becoming the youngest boss to ever taste continental success by winning the Europa League.
That near unparalleled glory of course brought him to the attention of Roman Ambramovich and the power-brokers at the Bridge – something that came as no surprise to the man who will now try and outwit him.
“He deserves to be at a big club because of what he did at Porto,” Moyes told a press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to West London.
“If you get to cup finals and win leagues and you are that successful, then you deserve the opportunity to get a big job and he has got one at Chelsea. He knows the situation, he has been there before and he earned his stripes at Porto.
“He is a student of the game, he has been around it, he found himself a job at Porto and made it look easy – but that is because of the hard work he has put in.”
Moyes and Everton are the proud owners of the longest running current unbeaten streak at the home of the West London aristocrats.
Five consecutive league draws at the Bridge is no mean feat – but the Blues manager believes continuing that will be harder than ever against what he feels is a stronger Chelsea team than in recent seasons.
“I think there has been an improvement and they will be close to the Premier League come the end of the season,” added Moyes.
“A lot of people have maybe written them off as there is so much focus on Manchester with what United and City are doing, but I see a freshness in what is a younger team coming up through Chelsea at the moment with a young new manager who is keen to impress.”
Indeed, Moyes believes Villas-Boas’ appointment has been key to their improvement and he feels more and more Premier League teams could turn to younger managers in the future.
He said: “It is a theme that clubs are trying to bring in younger players and maybe it is the same with managers. Clubs want that stability – like I hope we have had at Everton – maybe they want a young manager who can stay the course and give them that longevity and I think the Chelsea manager could do that because, well, I thought I was one of the younger ones, but he is about half my age!"