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Football | Barclays Premier League

Harry 'not qualified' to talk about Chelsea



Tottenham Hotspur coach Andre Villas-Boas has taken issue with his predecessor Harry Redknapp's remark that only a "real dope" could fail to make a success of the Chelsea manager's job.

Villas-Boas was appointed Chelsea coach in June 2011 but lasted only nine months before being sacked in March last year after a poor run of results left the Blues in fifth place in the Premier League table.

He subsequently resurfaced at Tottenham and on Saturday takes Spurs to Loftus Road to face Redknapp's new club, Queens Park Rangers.

Shortly after taking charge at QPR, Redknapp told reporters that only a "real dope" could fail at Chelsea due to the resources at the club's disposal, but Villas-Boas said that the Englishman was not in a position to comment.

Asked to respond to Redknapp's remarks, Villas-Boas said: "Only if you manage a club you are going to find out.

"You have to be able to access a club like that to experience it. It's a different type of club. You just have to experience it and to survive it."

Villas-Boas also admitted that he has never had a proper conversation with Redknapp, either before or after his appointment at Spurs.

"I've never spoken to him," Villas-Boas said.

Chelsea lifted the Champions League trophy two months after Villas-Boas left Stamford Bridge but his successor, Roberto Di Matteo, lasted only eight months in the job before being dismissed.

Di Matteo's interim replacement, Rafael Benitez, has faced outright hostility from Chelsea fans over his Liverpool connections.

The Spaniard was barracked by supporters after Chelsea lost 2-0 at home to Swansea City in the first leg of their League Cup semifinal on Wednesday and Villas-Boas said he was not surprised.

"I was booed. It's a consequence of the demands of the job," said the former Porto manager.

"Chelsea is a high-profile club where media attention is high and everything is scrutinised and it's a different type of environment.

"This (Tottenham) is a high-profile club but with different circumstances, different players, and different objectives, and not so much media attention."

Speaking later on Friday, Redknapp said he had "no problem" with the man who replaced him in the White Hart Lane dug-out.

"I don't have a relationship with Villas-Boas, but then I don't have a relationship with any other manager in the Premier League," he said.

"I don't socialise with him. He's gone to Tottenham and done a great job. What's the problem? I've got no problem with him at all.

"Good luck to him, he's doing a fantastic job there. Long may it continue for him.

"I'll shake his hand after the game and invite him in for a drink, whatever the result. I don't have any problems with him. He seems a nice guy."

Redknapp also said that his comments about the Chelsea manager's job had been taken out of context.

"I was asked a question about Rafa Benitez and I said he's gone in there and done very well, but you'd have to be a dope to mess up with that squad of players," he said.

"I said Rafa Benitez is not a dope, he's a top manager who will do very well there. I never mentioned anyone else, so why people have started relating it to the manager at Tottenham, I don't know."

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