Former Chelsea star Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink wants the club’s new manager Andre Villas-Boas to be given the time at Stamford Bridge to enable him to emerge from the shadow of Jose Mourinho.
Villas-Boas’ achievements in management to date have repeatedly attracted comparisons in the media to Mourinho.
The 33-year-old worked under the 'Special One’ at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan before establishing himself as a top-level coach last season with the Portuguese giants, just as his mentor did back in 2002.
But Hasselbaink, who scored just under 90 goals in four years with the Blues, believes the constant comparisons between the two Portuguese tacticians are only creating an unfair level of pressure on Villas-Boas to succeed immediately at Stamford Bridge.
"Yes, everybody is going to look at him and say, 'You have learned it [from Mourinho]' or 'You are the same as Mourinho', and he is going to be the example,” the Dutchman told reporters.
"But I don't think that's fair on him. It is only more pressure because everybody is going to compare him to Mourinho.
"Yes, he is only 33, but I think we should look at him just as a man on his own, a different manager - yes from Portugal, but a different individual, and just give him a chance to succeed.
"It is going to be very important for Chelsea - Chelsea are at a very important stage.
"They are not going to be able to keep on letting managers come and go. They will have to give somebody faith, and luckily it is somebody young, so somebody who can grow with the club and put his stamp on the Premier League and also the club."
At 33 years and eight months, Villas-Boas has become the youngest manager in the Premier League with his big money move to Chelsea, prompting many to question whether he has the experience required to handle life in charge of a top European club.
While Hasselbaink readily admits the scale of the challenge facing Villas-Boas at Stamford Bridge, he is optimistic that the former Porto boss has all the skills necessary to succeed in West London.
“He must have impressed Abramovich,” he added. “Obviously, he has got something that is good because Inter Milan were after him and Chelsea have secured him, so he must have something special.
"It's not going to be easy, but managers at the top don't have it easy, so good luck to him."
By Liam Twomeycomments