Andre Villas-Boas believes the painful lessons of his disappointing spell in charge at Chelsea will help him succeed at Tottenham Hotspur. The Portuguese was the surprise choice to replace Harry Redknapp at White Hart Lane following a turbulent period at Stamford Bridge that ended with him being sacked after just eight months.
At the time of Villas-Boas's dismissal, Chelsea were a club in crisis following reports of rifts between the manager and a host of senior players including Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Nicolas Anelka. But the Blues improved to such an extent after his exit that they were able to win the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup. The 34-year-old acknowledges he made mistakes during his time at Chelsea, and he is determined to avoid falling into the same trap on his return to London.
"You always learn from experience," Villas-Boas told Sky Sports News. "The Chelsea experience was maybe not so gratifying in terms of success, but very gratifying professionally for me. I learned a couple of things that maybe I've done wrong, and I've learned in a club you have to trust the right people at the right time."
Despite winning four trophies in his only full season in charge of Porto, Villas-Boas still has plenty to prove after such a damaging spell at Chelsea. He is happy to have a second chance to impress in England, but insists bringing success to Spurs is more important than restoring his own reputation.
He said: "It is not a mission of restoring my reputation; it's a mission to put Tottenham back on track with titles. Since 2008 we haven't won anything. It is right we take the club forward, mixing it with titles and with success. Hopefully I can bring them to this football club.
"It is a massive opportunity for me, and I am extremely pleased to be given that opportunity. I am pleased to come to a club with such high ambitions for the future, and I hope to repay the trust of the chairman with success."
Villas-Boas, who was linked with the Liverpool and Roma jobs, revealed he had held talks with other clubs before joining Tottenham. But he opted for Spurs after deciding the structure at White Hart Lane would suit him best.
"Since I stopped there has been a couple of discussions with other clubs, a couple of them have even been made public, but I was always willing to wait for the right opportunity at the right time," he explained. "After Chelsea it was important to be surrounded by the right commitment and the right people, and I think I have found that."
Villas-Boas hints at Modric departure
Villas-Boas also admitted Tottenham would consider selling Real Madrid and Manchester United target Luka Modric if they get a big enough bid for him. The north Londoners turned down offers of around £30m for the Croatian from Chelsea last year, and it would take an increase on that fee to land the 26-year-old.
"The interest that we have from various different clubs shows the importance of the player and what he's done for Tottenham," Villas-Boas said. "It's fair to say that the club respects Luka's ambitions and his willingness to move on, and he respects the fact that he's an important player for the club and can help us move forward. Ongoing discussions will continue with these clubs until we reach an agreement which is acceptable for each party."