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Zenit Job Offers Villas-Boas A Chance at Redemption

Published: March 26, 2014 (Issue # 1803)


Coaching Russian title challengers, Zenit St. Petersburg offers Andre Villas-Boas a chance at redeeming his reputation after it was tarnished by unsuccessful spells with Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, former Arsenal and England defender Nigel Winterburn has told R-Sport.

Villas-Boas, 36, was unveiled as Zenit coach Mar. 20, replacing Italian Luciano Spalletti, fired earlier this month after a poor run of form. The Portuguese boss won his first game in charge Monday evening 2-1 in a Russian Premier League clash against Krylya Sovetov Samara at home.

With Zenit out of the Champions League after a 5-4 aggregate loss to Borussia Dortmund, Villas-Boas has said his first priority is to take Zenit, who are second in the RPL, to their first Russian title for two years.

“I think Villas-Boas now, he really needs a club that will allow him to work in the way that he wants to work and probably give him two, even three years to establish himself back as a good young coach, because his reputation has been damaged,” Winterburn told R-Sport in a recent interview.

Villas-Boas won the Portuguese title and Europa League in 2011 with a Porto side that included Brazilian striker Hulk, now a key player for Zenit. After leaving Porto, he lasted just eight months as Chelsea manager before a 17-month stint with Spurs, leaving “by mutual consent” in December with the London side a lowly seventh in the league.

“He came with a very, very high reputation to England and I think that’s been damaged with how quickly he was fired by both clubs,” Winterburn said. “You can say he was fired unrealistically, he was fired too quickly, but I think Zenit is a club now that he needs to stay with and he needs to be given time to show what he can now do.”

R-Sport understands the 36-year-old’s contract is worth 8.5 million euros a year, a sum Winterburn described as “huge,” making the Portuguese coach one of the world’s best paid managers.

On Mar. 21, he said he had turned down an offer from Olympique Marseille to join Zenit.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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