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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 thats 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-olds contract is worth 8.5 million euros a year, a sum Winterburn described as huge, making the Portuguese coach one of the worlds best paid managers.

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





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Aug. 28


Learn more about the citys upcoming municipal elections during the presentation of the project Road Map for the Municipal Elections being presented this evening in the conference hall on the third floor of Biblioteka at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. Steve Kaddins, a coordinator for Beautiful St. Petersburg, which gives residents an online forum to lodge complaints about infrastructure problems in the city, will be on hand to answer any questions. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. and is open to all.



Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in Downton Abbey if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russias best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russias most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkins, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontovs short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library Systems website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Clubs weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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