Compiling multi-page dossiers on football teams is not how your average 20-something spends his time.
But, as West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clarke recalls, Andre Villas-Boas was not exactly your average 20-something.
Clarke was No.2 to Jose Mourinho when he first came across the young Villas-Boas some eight years ago.
His role at Stamford Bridge was to compile reports on the opposition – detailed analyses of where Chelsea could exploit their opponents.
He was, in effect, Jose’s ‘leg man’.
Villas-Boas followed Mourinho to Internazionale before going on to become manager in his own right – first at Portuguese club Académica de Coimbra, before taking over at Porto.
This Saturday the two men go head-to-head with Clarke taking charge of his second Baggies game, while AVB leads out Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane for the first time.
It’ll be familiar territory for Villas-boas – his first home game as Chelsea gaffer was against Albion last season. Chelsea won, but only just.
His period in west London was not a rewarding experience.
The young boss struggled with some of Chelsea’s more senior players, eventually being sacked following their 1-0 defeat to Albion at The Hawthorns back in March.
Clarke is not surprised to see Villas-Boas, now 34-years-old, back in top-level management with the White Hart Lane club.
“First of all you have to say that, in a short space of time, he’s had a fantastic career,” said Clarke.
“He got the job at Academica in Portugal, then he got the job at Porto winning the League, the cup and the Europa League, which was a fantastic achievement in his first year.
“He then got his move to Chelsea. It didn’t work out for him but I’m sure he’s learned a lot from the experience.
“I worked with him when he was at Chelsea.
“He was Jose’s match assessor.
“He would do match reports, do scouting and put together DVDs on opposition and what we could expect. His reports were very detailed.
“You could see his ambition even then, bearing in mind that was back in 2004, so he was very young then.”
Whatever the result of Saturday’s game, Clarke knows Tottenham players will be well drilled about Albion’s strengths and weaknesses long before they pitch up in north London.
“What will his report say this Saturday?” pondered Clarke.
“I would think it’ll say ‘they’re a good team and we can expect a difficult game at home’.
“I watched their game at Newcastle. They played well. It’s a tough game to go there.
“I felt they they were unlucky to lose the game.”