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Former Chelsea manager André Villas-Boas returns to football as Olympique Marseille head coach

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Back in business

Antonio Conte is not the only former Chelsea head coach to land a new job in the last couple days after a bit of a sabbatical. In fact, just yesterday, André Villas-Boas returned from an 18-month absence as well, and announced as the new head coach of Olympique Marseille, replacing Rudi Garcia.

Since leaving Chelsea only eight months into his tenure, the former José Mourinho protégé has had a rather adventurous life, never staying in one place for too long.

A season and a half at Spurs followed soon after his sacking, then a two-year spell at Zenit St. Petersburg soon after that, where he won the league and the cup once each. Then he chose the paycheck at Shanghai SIPG (arriving a month before Oscar from Chelsea), but he could not make good on their investment. He left the club after just one season, at the end of November 2017, at which point he took a sharp turn and got into cars and rallying, hurting his back in a crash at the 2018 Dakar Rally.

Phew!

But now he’s back, older and probably a bit wiser to the world.

Like Conte, AVB will have his work cut out for him. The 2018-19 season was not a good one at Marseille. They finished fifth in Ligue 1 and crashed out early from all three cup competitions, including the Europa League where not only did they not make it out of the group stages, they finished dead last with just 1 point from the 6 games, behind even Apollon Limassol of Cyprus.

Marseille do have a talented team on paper, especially in attack, including the likes of Dmitri Payet and Mario Balotelli, so if AVB can translate the output of his computer-brain to the football, they might just do alright.

Good luck, AVB!