WITH ANDRE VILLAS Boas poised to be unveiled as the new Tottenham Hotspur manager this weekend, a trend towards younger bosses in the Premier League is gathering momentum.
The Portuguese tactician was the youngest-ever manager to win a European trophy when he led Porto to Europa League glory back in 2011
at the age of 33.
And after his unsuccessful nine-month stint at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea, Villas Boas looks set to return to the English top flight – where many of the plumb jobs are going to up-and-coming supremos.
Indeed the successor to Villas-Boas at the Blues — Roberto Di Matteo — was just 41 when he led them to Champions League glory against Bayern Munich in May.
Brendan Rodgers was earlier this month appointed Liverpool boss after the 39-year-old enjoyed a fairytale season with newly-promoted Swansea who finished 11th in the Premier League last season.
At 42 former Scotland international Paul Lambert has already become one of the star manager’s in the English game.
After taking over at Norwich City in 2009, he led the Carrow Road club to two successive promotions as they won League One before emerging from the Championship in impressive fashion the following year.
And their debut season in the Premier League was majestic, coming 12th in the table — level on points with Rodgers’ Swansea. Inevitably the big boys were quick to swoop and Lambert now has the task of turning around the fortunes of Aston Villa.
One manager who had been in the running for the Villa Park job is Roberto Martinez – another young boss to have garnered huge respect
cross-channel. The 38-year-old Spaniard might not have his Wigan Athletic side challenging for a European spot but he has staved off relegation in two successive seasons – and done so playing a commendable brand of football.
The achievement is all the more remarkable when you consider the lack of funds at his disposable – despite the strong backing of owner Dave Whelan.
Another fresh-faced managerial appointment who appears certain to promote an attacking game amongst his charges is Michael Laudrup at Swansea. At 48 he has a few years on some his more youthful colleagues, but the Welsh outfit presents the former Real Madrid and Barcelona superstar with by far his biggest gig in club football to date.
The new Premier League season will begin without veterans Harry Redknapp and Kenny Dalglish at their respective helms – but Spurs and Liverpool fans can at least look forward to new ideas and a fresh approach for their clubs.
As for the old guard, it’s up to Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger to keep the flag flying.