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Andre Villas-Boas' Managerial Skills Showing As He Discusses 'Untouchable' Players

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LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 29:  Andre Villas-Boas talks to the press after being unveiled as the new Chelsea Manager during a press conference at Stamford Bridge on June 29, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 29: Andre Villas-Boas talks to the press after being unveiled as the new Chelsea Manager during a press conference at Stamford Bridge on June 29, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
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There's a reason everyone was so excited for Chelsea bringing in Villas-Boas to manage the team this summer. Yes, he's a tactical genius, and that's great, but he's also regarded as an incredible motivator - and one who doesn't resort to a Jose Mourinho-style cult of personality to get people to where he wants to go. He gave a great example of that today.

Chelsea have just touched down in Kuala Lumpur to begin their tour of Asia, and so Villas-Boas had a quick session with the press, revealing that he'll continue to play as many people as possible during the friendlies, that Petr Cech and Alex are both now available to play and that Thibaut Courtios is having a medical and not expected to join up with the club in Malaysia. But the really interesting part of the press conference came when he was asked whether certain players would be 'untouchable' in his squad. Check out the answer:

Untouchable is a person who continuously performs at a high level. Based on the trophies these players have won before and the success they have had, aren't these the players you want in the end? Could be, no?

As long as people are able to perform in training and the expectations of the fans and to a level of performance that is high and enables them to be in the starting 11 continuously I don't see why it shouldn't happen.

The most important thing for a leader is to be coherent in the decisions that he takes and it's a principle I cannot let go. As long as people are able to perform to the highest level as top players, which they are, and the past also shows, then I have no problem with that.

That is absolutely perfect. Look at what he's done there. Villas-Boas has taken a question about untouchability and used it to reinforce players' egos (look how important these guys have been, they're amazing, etc, etc, etc.) whilst simultaneously making sure that they know that they'll have to perform to maintain their hallowed status as key members of the squad.

Yes, the performance aspect should be a given, but for a long time it hasn't been at Stamford Bridge. I hate this word, and will hopefully never use it again, but the new manager looks to be instilling a new sense of accountability into the team's elite players, replacing the old air of entitlement. The way he phrased that response is a sign of just how good he'll be at working with this team. Smiles all around.

Oh, and while I'm writing, here's the Chelsea squad that'll be touring Asia:

Petr Cech, Henrique Hilario, Ross Turnbull, Jamal Blackman, Jose Bosingwa, Paulo Ferreira, Branislav Ivanovic, Alex, John Terry, Slobodan Rajkovic, Nathaniel Chalobah, Ashley Cole, Patrick van Aanholt, Ryan Bertrand, John Mikel Obi, Josh McEachran, Frank Lampard, Yossi Benayoun, Billy Clifford, Yuri Zhirkov, Florent Malouda, Salomon Kalou, Daniel Sturridge, Nicolas Anelka, Didier Drogba, Fernando Torres.

Important absentees include Gael Kakuta (international duty with the France under-20s) as well as Brazil duo David Luiz and Ramires, who've just been knocked out of the Copa America. There've already been a few cuts amongst the youngsters too, with Tomas Kalas, Aliu Djalo and Jacob Mellis all failing to make the grade after appearing in the 3-0 against Wycombe. Several young players continue on, however - most notably Billy Clifford and Jamal Blackman, whose presence may have been guaranteed after a string of bad mistakes from both Ross Turnbull and Henrique Hilario in last weekend's game against Portsmouth.