CHELSEA MANAGER ANDRE Villas-Boas has suggested that his side cannot compete financially with rivals Man City, and also says his squad is inferior to the one that Roberto Mancini has at his disposal.
Villas-Boas’ comments are unlikely to endear him to owner Roman Abramovich, who has spent over £1bn on the club, and the manager’s latest criticism could further affect the pair’s relationship, which is already rumoured to be under strain.
Speaking to reporters ahead of their trip to West Brom today, he said they were no longer on a level playing field with Mancini’s men:
“Not to the extent City have, with their financial power. Maybe in the past we had it. We like to promote talent, but I don’t think you can compare the two squads, to be fair. I think theirs is a lot better.”
The Portuguese manager also indicated that, in contrast with previous years, the amount of top quality players the club could buy was now restricted:
“We had it in the past and did build something extraordinary. But I don’t think you can expect Chelsea to buy from City and United now. When we bought Luiz and Torres, one came from a team in title contention in Portugal, the other from a team competing for the top four in the Premier League.”
Villas-Boas also gave a typically honest appraisal of his relationship with Frank Lampard, saying:
“Frank feels something is missing, but I don’t. Ask any player who doesn’t play every time if he has a good relationship with the manager and he’ll say the same. I think it’s an unhappy dressing room because we are fifth.”
The ex-Porto boss has struggled since taking over at the start of the season, with speculation mounting that he is unlikely to keep his job should Chelsea fail to progress in their upcoming Champions League second leg against Napoli.