New age football is witnessing the rise of technology and data. However, that did not make the king sport more attractive.
Andre Villas-Boas’ path to football is the epitome of dreams for those who dream of ruling the top teams. Everyone knows Villas-Boas is Jose Mourinho’s former assistant, but few would expect him to enter the football world as a “small screen coach”.
At 16, he happened to know he lived in the same building as Sir Bobby Robson, the coach of Porto at that time. After several prowls, Villas-Boas met Robson to argue about tactics.
The two sides quarreled heatedly and ended with an invitation from the English old man: “If you are so good, be a coach.” Since then, Villas-Boas has become an adversary reconnaissance spy of Robson. In return, he introduced the young Portuguese to Scotland to study football training. At the age of 20, Villas-Boas possessed a UEFA Pro license, then immediately became a technical director in the British Virgin Islands national team.
Villas-Boas used to be a special exception in football. A coach who went professional when he was very young, never played football and held a club with players who were older than him. But after many years, to this day, people like him are no longer rare. The current captain of RB Leipzig is Julian Nagelsmann, a 32-year-old who has been coaching for 7 years. His colleague at Bremen, Florian Kohfeldt, was only 37 years old.
The coaching styles of the new age coaches like Villas-Boas, Nagelsmann or Kohfeldt have one thing in common: Using data. In the case of Villas-Boas, he has a common formula for every team he leads. At Porto, Chelsea or Tottenham, Villas-Boas all use two interception midfielders, with a striker moving above. That way is no different from controlling players in video games.