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Tottenham Hotspur
Posted by Colin McCullough on 07/06/2012

It's probably fair to say that the appointment of Andre Villas Boas has met with a mixed reaction from the Spurs fans. On the one hand there's his unbeaten and trophy-laden season at Porto to consider. On the other, there is his ill-fated and brief tenure at Stamford Bridge.

He is a coach who never played the game at any serious level and yet he learned his trade under the likes of Bobby Robson and Jose Mourinho. A man whose buttoned-up demeanour seems at odds with the attractive, attacking football he wants his teams to play. Of all the candidates who were mentioned in connection with the Spurs hot seat, AVB looks like the ultimate "only time will tell" choice.

What may be of more of a surprise, at least to a section of the media, is that Harry Redknapp's departure has provoked a similarly mixed response from the supporters. The same journalists who created the idea that Harry was a shoo-in for the England job - and might therefore unwittingly have had a hand in his exit from White Hart Lane - will no doubt be puzzled that the Spurs faithful are not currently renting their new replica shirts asunder.

That is not too hard to figure out. Harry was largely the architect of his own downfall. His team faltered late in the season, surrendering what at one point had looked an unassailable third place finish. At times it appeared that Redknapp's main goal was to gloss over this fact, a strategy presumably not unconnected to his desire to improve his own contract with the club. This is someone who had said less than a month ago that,

"I want Daniel to go out and get three fantastic players now to come in … If we don't improve then they will improve. Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal - they will improve, and Man City... they're unbelievable …. You have to keep improving if you want to keep anywhere near those teams. I certainly feel we need three players of real quality if we are going to compete with those teams otherwise it will be very difficult."

Now that his hands are off the tiller, his perspective on what faces AVB seems somewhat different:

"He has certainly got the players there to be a top four team every year and challenge for the championship."

There is no doubt that Harry Redknapp did a good job during his four years at the club, even if the lowly position when he took over has served to make his reign seem a bit more messianic than was actually the case. In any event, his time in charge is now part of the club's history. A manager who increasingly seemed to be focused on bolstering his own image has been replaced by one who is looking simply to rebuild his. That motivation alone just might be enough to propel Spurs forward.

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Posted by NMM Spurs Fan US on 07/06/2012

Excellent juxtaposition of Harry's comments, truly exposes his image focused attitude. I like Harry and will still like him now but I can't think of another manager who so assiduously shapd his own doom in the mere space of two months. We need a new direction and I pray that Andre will leave much of his stubborness back at Stamford Bridge while also mixing well with the level-headed, Lampard-less, Drogba-less, Cashley-less, Torres-Less, and Terry-less squad at Spurs.

Posted by josh on 07/06/2012

While I would have prefered snagging Roberto Martinez from Wigan or David Moyes from Everton, I do have a cautious optimism about AVB. Best case scenario short term is the change convinces Modric we have enough ambition and now tactical accumen to compete for CL and he stays.

Posted by Mike in USA on 07/07/2012

Im thinking (hoping really) that AVB will work out. His goal is to play open, fast-paced soccer (american here) and that's exactly what he'll get at spurs.

We have the CMs to accommodate his prefered 4-3-3 formation - Sandro, Livermore, Parker, Hudd. And with the rumors about Moutinho, we have a strong group of CMs to take over where Modric left off.

That just leaves the attack. Bale and VdV (who I hope stays) would probably be the go to LW/RW players. Hopefully we can sign Ade permanently - he was great for us.

If we get the players we're rumored to be in for - Vertonghen at CB/LB, Lloris in GK to compete with Freidel, and Loic Remy for up front/wing and we can surely press for the UCL.

Posted by Chinedu Nwosisi on 07/08/2012

He didnt do well at chelsea bcos he was coaching his age mates.he'll do well at spurs with the exp he got from Epl season will surely be the toughest.nt like last season that was a two horse race.

Posted by okl1970 on 07/09/2012

While we have to agree that HK did a great job, Spurs was in such a low position that the only way was up - given that the squad wasn't a major overhaul. Sure HK brought in exciting players like Ade, VDV etc. But you suspect that tactics were not his strongest points and memorable UCL nights against Inter and Milan were probably not because of his tactics. Ultimately he contributed to his own downfall when he barely got Spurs into 4th after squandering such a big lead. On hindsight, it was fortunate Chelsea won UCL and push Spurs into Europa. Otherwise, it may just disguise the fact HK had no clue in getting Spurs out of the rut.

For the sake of the club and supporters, I hope AVB will succeed. The Chelsea episode should have wisened him up and Spurs could benefit.

I would like Modric to stay but if his heart is not in it then sell him for as much as we can get. I am sure we can find a replacement with the money.

Posted by Paul on 07/09/2012

In all fairness AVB should be able to do great things with this spurs side and if he can't I feel that this may be his last chance. We have a very solid young side with two of the fastest wingers in the PL in bale and lennon. I think the signing of Vertonghen and the return of caulker will go nicely with AVB's "high line", while kaboul also fits the profile. I would like to him adopt a 4-2-3-1 system. With the back 4 rather obvious. I would like to see parker/sandro/livermore paired with a passer such as huddleston or VDV. Sigurdsson, lennon, bale and potentially dos santos form a very scary potential attack with either ade/defoe or some new signing leading the line. I am really hoping that AVB goes for the europa league this year to. It seems pointless to not since our squad looks to be gaining valuable depth

Posted by Kevin on 07/09/2012

The whole transfer merry go round now depends on modric n VDV. Chelski got hazard and marin so they're out, man u got kagawa, man c is caught up with the rvp saga. That leaves madrid, and in my mind which spanish bank would loan them 25 mil (min bid being mooted about) to 40 mil (if levy has his way) right now? My best bet is modric will finally go madrid but not even at 25 mil, probably just 20 mil, and with that, VDV will follow suit to hamburg for 10 mil. The extra 30 mil will land us dzagoev/moutinho/oscar depending on which news report is real, lloris to replace good ol' brad and possibly remy/damiao if they're willing to come. Now THAT will certainly be a boost to us. I've seen VDV and modric fade badly for 2 seasons in a row: VDV's goals dry up in the 2nd half of the season and modric just doesn't score much in any case. If our new midfield buys can contribute evenly throughout, maybe we won't be so dependant on the strikers, kind of like the season we QUALIFIED for UCL :)

Posted by James on 07/09/2012

AVB need to understand that playing 4-3-3 won't against all teams, you have to understand your opponent before you bring your own formation. When he was in Chelsea AVB uses 4-3-3 against every team he played against and that was wrong, you need to be tactical. I wish him all the best in Spurs but signing AVB was a big gamble for Levy.

Posted by jackscrewz on 07/09/2012

villa fan in peace.i dont think Villas Boas will be good for Tottenham.He was overlooked for Roma and Valencia jobs and i think he should have tried his luck in the continent.Good luck to your team anyway

Posted by Kelvin (SG) on 07/10/2012

IMO HR has done such an amazing job for Spurs, he brought some consitency of finish at the top of the table for consecutive 4 years, which so many years I have never see that happen. I was kind of sad to see that he was removed.

The new appointment of AVB is still something that we are gambling. I do not have very high hope on the way he manage EPL team. However since I am a die hard Spurs fan, I will surely stand behind him and wish he really does well.

I would think that we really need to get a WC striker to be able to score goal upfront. Look at the goal we have netted in is not so impress compare to the MU & MC.


Posted by Peacenick on 07/10/2012

I agree that Harry sealed his own fate and also showed tactical frailties in the last couple of months. Claiming that having a manager with only one year on his contract would unsettle the team after he had constantly said the speculation over the England job was not affecting them is a classic example of self-interested hypocrisy. But thanks for the good times, Harry!
Whilst favouring Martinez (another likeable and animated character) myself, I certainly prefer AVB to dour Moyes. He's young enough to have learned some valuable man-management lessons at Chelsea and there seems little doubt about his coaching ability and tactical acumen.
The initial signings (even if they weren't his own) of Sigurdsson and Vertonghen are promising and Bale's declaration of loyalty heart-warming. We need to get the future of Modric sorted out soon, rather than Levy waiting for deadline day dealings. Having a settled squad that has a chance to gel together will be key to starting the season well.

Posted by hARRY bOSE on 07/11/2012


Posted by Chelseafc on 07/11/2012

In regards to NMM Spurs Fan's comment about the Chelsea senior players like Drogba or Terry, we cant forget who singlehandedly won the champions league for Chelsea or did we forget that, was it not a 34 year old player who was supposedly too slow and too old? Also, lets hypothetically say AVB was still in charge of the club and never got fired, would he have gotten Chelsea to the final if he stuck to being terryless, lampardless, and drogbaless..? Regardless, lets see how AVB will pan out at Tottenham this coming season.

Posted by Nazza on 07/12/2012

In my opinion a lot of critics and supporters tend to forget that if Chelsea had missed the one shot, ONE SINGLE SHOT, in the penalty shootout and lost the final of the EU championship, Redknapp would still be held as the best coach that Tottenham ever had to take them twice to the EU championship in three years! I still can't believe how people can turn against a coach so much and so quickly simply because a player
from the wrong team missed a penalty shot! But I suppose that's football !

Posted by Kevin on 07/13/2012

@Nazza: HR already stated even getting into champs league wouldn't have saved his job. Personally, even winning the league wouldn't have made me improve my opinion towards HR. He's never been great with switching up his tactics no matter which club he's been at, and lets be honest, its not that hard to get it horribly wrong when you have good players like bale,modric,VDV,ade,parker in the team. AND YET, HR managed to do so! Constantly asking bale to go to the right wing, keeping VDV on the pitch when he's off-form, subbing in a defensive minded parker against villa when we really needed those 3 points (this was the game that cost us the 3rd spot btw). Playing too many youngsters in the europa (and losing out on extra cash by exiting early). The list goes on, but HR's weaknesses and lack of integrity were all exposed badly at the tail end and THAT is why he was fired. I'm not saying AVB will be a big hit, but lets get behind him and see what he can do.

Posted by Lloyd on 07/13/2012

Its not because Arjen Robben missed a penalty its because it shouldn't have mattered whether he missed it or not. Spurs blew a huge lead and looked limpid for the whole 2nd half of the season... I liked Harry too but I don't think he was much for tactics and never really fixed Spurs' frailty. If Modric wants to go ride the pine at Madrid then I guess you have to let him go. I just hope it happens soon so they can bring in a replacement. Moutinho seems to fit the bill. If Adebayor only costs 7 mil then that's an obvious move. I'd like to see them get Remy too but that might be asking too much.

Posted by Cockerel Fan (SG) on 07/13/2012

I'm grateful to HR for lifting Spurs up a notch last couple of seasons, but was disappointed at the way he handled himself and the team during the England Coach saga. I am quietly optimistic that things will go well for Spurs this coming season and season(s) with the new facilities, strengthened team (like Ade, hope he behaves ...), new Coach and plan for a new Stadium. As a Spurs fan, i hope AVB will be given more time to prove himself and the players to support him. Thanks Harry, Welcome AVB.


Posted by Spurs fan 3296 on 07/16/2012

Let's not bury AVB before the first match. What no one seems to acknowledge is the ownership situation and pressures at Chelsea as well. Working for an axe swinging mega ego must have been very difficult for a young coach. Hopefully returning a more "normal" and Porto like front office will help AVB succeed as well.
Agreed, thanks Harry, welcome AVB.

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