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AVB Out? Don't Be A D**k

by Ben McAleer
12 November 2012 32 Comments

11 Premier League games in and there are those who want Villas-Boas gone already. Do me a favour and go and support someone else...

It’s probably wise that one steers clear of Twitter every time Tottenham Hotspur succumb to a defeat. The knee jerking on the social networking site following the 2-1 loss to Manchester City was enough to pop the cap right out of its place.

First thing is first – Spurs were up against Manchester City. Not just any old team in the country, but the current Premier League champions and a side who, following Sunday’s result, are now unbeaten in 35 games at the Etihad Stadium.

Heck, a point for me would’ve been a minor miracle, let alone all three. But then there are those that after 11 games believe Spurs should have 33 points and be sitting pretty at the summit of the Premiership, regardless of all the mitigating factors.

For us realists however, it simply doesn’t work like that. A summer of changes, both managerial and in personnel, and it was never going to be smooth sailing from day one of the season. Yet, regardless of a new head coach coming in, who is attempting to instil new ideas, there are those that want Andre Villas-Boas sacked already.

That’s right, you read that correctly. Some already feel the 35-year-old has had long enough at the helm at White Hart Lane and that now is the time for him to be relieved of his duties. After 17 competitive encounters, now is the time to give the Portuguese tactician the old heave-ho.

The mind boggles. Bear in mind that Villas-Boas inherited a Tottenham Hotspur squad that lost Ledley King to retirement and was on the verge of selling Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart to Real Madrid and Hamburg, respectively.

Furthermore, the young tactician has, at various points in the season, lost the likes of Younes Kaboul, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Mousa Dembele to injury, further hampering a squad that is already short enough on depth as it is.


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Nevertheless, it hasn’t stopped the Harry Redknapp fanbase pine for the return of the veteran boss, regardless of his sacking 152 days ago. Granted, the back-to-back domestic defeats to Wigan Athletic and City aren’t exactly ideal, especially for a team hoping to secure a second successive top four finish.

Yet, there was never going to be immediate success following Villas-Boas’ appointment, it simply doesn’t work like that. Coming into a team that pre-dominantly played 4-4-2 to then switch to a 4-2-3-1 will take time for the players to adjust.

The drop down in quality is also evident. While Dembele is more the capable of replacing Modric – the Belgian was Real’s second choice if they couldn’t land his Croatian counterpart – Clint Dempsey and Gylfi Sigurdsson aren’t like for like’s for Van der Vaart.

But, this is the fault of Villas-Boas, once again. While finishing in the top six, three years running for the first time in 47 years, was a remarkable achievement; the expectations of fans has now risen significantly to the point where even if Spurs aren’t leading after 20 minutes at home, regardless of the opponents, supporters become restless.

This is picked up by the players and, as a result, the performances drop. Nevertheless, to suggest that Villas-Boas deserves to be sacked already is beyond absurd. Tottenham Hotspur are building for the future and ridding a manager who hasn’t been given a fair crack is going to be more detrimental than riding out the current down turn in form.

So, rather than calling for the head of the 35-year-old every time a result doesn’t go Spurs’ way, how about supporting the team as they look to return to winning ways. And if you are one of those that wants Villas-Boas ousted already, please stop going to White Hart Lane – you’re negativity is nothing but a poison that emanates around the stadium and will, in the long run, do more harm than good.

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

Oete 2:17 pm, 12-Nov-2012

Here, here!

al granville 2:20 pm, 12-Nov-2012

It's not the losing so much as the manner of losing. The old adage about "defence being the best form of attack" is so true and payed off against M.Utd. By playing Ade and Defoe he would have signaled a positive intent and any defence in the world would be intimidated by the sight of Lennon,Defoe,Ade, and Bale coming at them. I'm a Spurs man through and through, since the legendary push and run team of 1950 and there is a SPURS way and it's flowing,fast,swarming attack. Lets get rid of A,V B till we become the new Stoke

Tom 2:31 pm, 12-Nov-2012

Totally agree with this article. Al - AVB can't win with some people, if we'd have gone 2 up front we'd have got torn apart in the way we did when we went 2 up front at the Emirates last season, a tactical decision which prompted many to call Harry tactically clueless.

Danny 2:33 pm, 12-Nov-2012

I was prepared to give him time but the man has no plan. The players have lost believe in him already and he is off his head if he thinks winning the Europa Cup is going to please the fans? Bale looked worse than ordinary yesterday, Dempsey was non existent, Hudd looks like an overweight guy picked from thye crowd to play, Walker has lost his confidence so what exactly is AVB doing right? Even against lesser quality teams we can't play attractive football. See how you feel when we lose the next three games? I'm Spurs through and through but this guy hasn't got it, just look at the players faces when they next come out of the tunnel.

Jason Teh 2:39 pm, 12-Nov-2012

clearly those who are asking him to leave are delusional. i think most would agree that what fans are really asking for is AVB to change his tactics if its not working. if dempsey is ineffectively then be brave n take him out. let defoe have a run in n switch to 4-4-2. i mean clearly dempsey wasnt linking up play nor was he holding onto the ball. i could count the number of times dempsey had the ball!

Jason Teh 2:40 pm, 12-Nov-2012

after all "to dare is to do"

Ben Kay 2:42 pm, 12-Nov-2012

Ben Open your eyes NO EXCUSES

Ben Kay 2:44 pm, 12-Nov-2012

Good on you Al NO EXCUSES

Steve T 1961 2:46 pm, 12-Nov-2012

If it goes on much longer I will just wash my hands with football full stop because the sight of seeing a bunch of moaning players and fans winning the league yet again is becoming too much to bear. 50 years of watching Spurs and working in London I'm not sure I can take much more. If he persisists with his unbreakable formation no matter what the score we will get no where. If you don't have a striker who can shoot (and score no matter how greedy) you ain't going to win any games. Most supporters got their wish for Ade to start and as far as I am concerned you can have it and keep it. If that is what you want welcome to midtable mediocraty. I agree Harry probably had to go after the end of last seasons fall from grace but the overall team performances are awful. Only Freidel, Bale, Sandro & Defoe have really performed this year. Yes we miss Dembele who I add to that list but how long are we going to use that as an excuse. We will be great when we get all our players back. We have been saying that for 20 years.

madjeff 2:48 pm, 12-Nov-2012

what a load of garbage. The man will take Spurs back to mediocrity. AVB is the football equivalent of painting by numbers. Football is about, passion and confidence, not zones, windows and systems. 1-1 and our only desire is to save a defeat. Unfortunately Levy's arrogance will prevent him recognising his awful error and making the cut sooner rather than later, so Spurs fans better get used to mid table life again. oh! and say goodbye to Bale, he wont stick another year of this.

NYC Spurs 2:49 pm, 12-Nov-2012

AVB is incompetent. He hasn't improved one player - with the possible exception of Sandro - and we have barely scraped the points we have won to date. If Abramovich thought like you, he wouldn't have a CL in the cabinet now.

balders77 3:09 pm, 12-Nov-2012

people have to be realistic as to where we are right now. new manager, van der vaart and modric sold, parker out injured all season. new players taking time to settle and one of them dembele has only played a few games because of injury. we're miles behind where we were this time last season.we have to give him time. i havent forgotten getting beaten at home by norwich and scraping an injury time draw at home to stoke when harry was there.people forget it wasn't all rosey then either.

George 3:11 pm, 12-Nov-2012

Well said Steve,no excuses come Jan,Levy must spend big.

Neil 3:15 pm, 12-Nov-2012

Lets be honest if it's anyone's fault, then Levy needs to put his hands up. He sold MOdric for 30 odd million and VDV for 10 and replaced them with dempsey and sigi who are awful. He knew modric was going from day one of the window so why wasn't Moutinho signed before rather than first attempt in the afternoon of the deadline day. You don't replace 2 world class players with prem mid table players. For me we need moutinho and guiseppi rossi on 1st Jan. We re not in the top 4 because imho are players are no longer top 4 standard. That is not AVB's fault. Although one thing he needs to do is get LLoris in, end of he's one of the best in the world so play him.

abe 3:29 pm, 12-Nov-2012

I don't want avb out (yet!). But I agree with al above. It is not about losing. It is about the manner and the tactics. Why play Dempsey? Both Carroll or Defoe would have been better?

NYC Spurs 3:31 pm, 12-Nov-2012

balders - it wasn't rosy under the saggy-faced ballsack, but that is why most spurs fans were happy with change to take us to the next level despite two 4th finishes. However, if anyone can say we didnt see an immediate improvement under Harry, they are wrong. We expected a similar level of improvement from AVB and this is clearly never going to happen to the degree expected. Levy will have to see this soone rather than later or, as someone else put, Bale will be departing also.

coys4life 3:36 pm, 12-Nov-2012

I for one, never wanted AVB at Spurs to start with, but once the decision was made I was fully prepared to back him and give him the chance to ram the whole Chavs debacle back down theirs and the media's throats once the darling of the press HR had quite rightly(imo) been given the boot. However, 11 games in and everything the Chavs fans along with much of the media have said is true - the man is clueless. Don't give me injuries as excuses, every single team suffers them, every season and it's up to the players and staff to adapt and moreso players that come in taking the opportunity given to them (Huddlestone, Naughton, Dempsey, Siggy etc) Would Caulker have been playing if Kaboul had been fit? No almost definitely not, yet he has probably been one of our best and most consistent players - hence taking his opportunity! Rome wasn't built in a day I agree and the formation has changed, but please at home v Norwich, WBA, Wigan, QPR and probably the worst Villa team we've ever seen we have been embarrassingly bad. Negative, defensive and when we have gone in front he goes all Italian and we stop playing. WBA, Norwich (twice inc league cup), Che**ea, Man City, United (almost)& Southampton (almost) have all seen leads disappear. Add to this which I could write another 2 pages on our incredible ability to concede goals in the last 10 minutes of matches (Newcastle, Norwich 3 goals in 2 games, WBA, Reading, Che**ea, Man City & Panathanikos - 77th min) can only be down to a lack of concentration, tiredness, tactical deficiency and just plain negativity! All of which is driven by the manager. We have gone from the sublime and too open under HR to the ridiculous and overly cautious under AVB which when you look at the quality of attacking players we have will just never work! I will happily come back on here and apologise if (and it's a big if) we get anywhere near the top 4 with this clown in charge. If it stays as it is, welcome back mid table mediocrity and bye bye Bale, Adebeyor, Lloris - well any of them take your pick! Oh and take out the Man U result which was exceptional we've thrown away victories against the only other 2 top sides we've played (Chavs n City). So we've actually taken 14 points from games against QPR, WBA, Newcastle, Norwich, Wigan, Villa, Southampton & Reading! Have you happened to see where 6 of those sides are in the table???? I rest my case!

Lennie 4:06 pm, 12-Nov-2012

I have been watching Spurs long enough to know a bad manager when I see one and Villas-Boas is just that.As sure as God made little green apples he will take Spurs to a very low depth-possibly relegation.Levy has messed up big time.

Tim 4:06 pm, 12-Nov-2012

Agree with you Ben. Great article. Give the man time for christ's sakes. Been a difficult start but would have been a struggle for whoever was in charge even Redknapp. You don't lose your best players and stay top 4. Hopefully the fans will come round because at the moment going to WHL is depressing and the negativity coming out of the stands is helping no one least of all the players. Up the Spurs!

Donaldo 4:21 pm, 12-Nov-2012

I agree 100 with coys4life. Huddlestone is a waste of space and should have gone a long time ago. If you close down opposing creative players you stop them hitting their targets, we stand off them.

peter 5:10 pm, 12-Nov-2012

avb lost us that game yestderday once again: wrong team selection / negative tactics / negative substitutions

yidly-didly 5:19 pm, 12-Nov-2012

First of all I'm not anti AVB. I am of the opinion he needs time. A manager needs to be given a season. That's only fair. Where I do have an issue is with the excuse that he hasn't had a fully fit squad to play with. How often in a season does any manager have a fully fit squad. The true judge of any managers abilities is their ability to manage what they have. He has a squad of very talented players at his disposal, and if he is struggling because 3 or 4 are out then he will always stuggle unless the squad is seriously upgraded, which is out of his hands. I hope he finds a way.

yidly-didly 5:20 pm, 12-Nov-2012

Good article by the way Ben.

Tim D 9:13 pm, 12-Nov-2012

Boas is a fake. Full of technical mumbo jumbo and bullshit. He is inflexible, irrational in terms of team selection and already providing excuses for defeats, just as he did when at Chelsea. But what is most unforgivable about this situation is the role of Daniel Levy. Having decided to be rid of Redknapp, he did not give serious consideration to any alternative other than ABV. Was this really only because he didn't have to pay another club compensation to take on Boas? if so then the Spurs Chairman is even more driven by short-term financial factors than one would have believed. Now the only question is how long we have to put up with the Chairman's pig-headedness before we can have another go at recruiting a decent Manager to put right all these wrongs. This is Ramos Revisited and Groundhog day. Levy has a lot to answer for.

DannyBoy 10:03 pm, 12-Nov-2012

Simple question - what is acceptable this season in terms of our final league position?

Gary Fox 11:01 pm, 12-Nov-2012

Get real. Look who we have lost from last season....our best two defenders in King and Kaboul plus Benny, our best two creative players in Modric and van dervaart and our best defensive. midfieelders in parker........and the best forward in the league for goals and assists combined has just come back from injury. Then we lose Dembele. What team could lose that much quality and not feel it. Carroll Falque Caulker Naughton are youngsters and siggy and Dempsey have struggled to adjust. And those idiots who want to step back to 1980 and play 424 (is not 442 if bale and Lennon are playing wide) would see us ripped apart by teams that play 5 in midfield. We played one up front most of last season but the difference was the quality of the three players in central midfield behind the striker. We haven't got that now till Dembele and Parker join sandro. Then we can judge the team. Not now. Get real.

KP 12:04 am, 13-Nov-2012

Listen, a lot of people wanted Harry gone. Was going to help us 'kick on' apparently. You got what you wanted. Trouble is, we won't kick on. You get what you pay for and we aren't spending Would take Crouchie and VDV back now for sure. Modric was always going to go but should have replaced him. Best bet for me is to get signing some young players. Zaha would be good but now everyone wants him. Perhaps let's invest in a couple of Vertonghens mates from Ajax. Either way its a long way back and we didnt need to be in this situation

Matt 3:00 am, 13-Nov-2012

The man has got to be given a chance, who could spurs get in to turn the side around so quickly? The main man was taken away in the summer (Modric) and not really replaced and all the new players, manager, coaching needs time to bed in. Give him a season and the financial backing that 'Arry got and spurs could, maybe, be challenging.

Tony 4:01 am, 13-Nov-2012

I agree, Matt. My concern with AVB's approach is he's over conserative. You can't sit on a one, or even two, goal lead like in the 70's. The goal is effectively larger these days due to the techno advance made to the ball. Even George Best or Pele couldn't bend the ball like every one else today. Arsenal & Villa both blew a 2 goal lead the day before. Sitting on a goal lead againse City whom everyone can score was asking for it. Spurs simply played to the strength of City. We must play Bale/Lennon wide regardless of the opposition. I do not believe in 4231 with our roster. True that we do not command the respect in the middle after we lost Modric & VdV. That's why we need to play more wide. I thought AVB was genius when he switched to 442 after trailing QPR in the 1st half. We pushed Manu around in the first half with speed & size but the 2nd half was another story when he decided to sit back deep and got mauled for the final 40 minutes. Lucky we won. Bale and Lennon are not titi taka footballers. They strike fear with their speed, even more so with 2 beasts in Vertonghen & Walker supporting them. Start both Bayor & Dafoe. Let the opposition worry about us.....not us worry about them. AVB, your hear?

Jack 4:03 pm, 13-Nov-2012

At first I thought AVB was destined for good things at Chelsea when he was appointed, but as time goes on he just becomes more and more clueless it seems. Why is he so scared to play 2 strikers? Dempsey is great at the smaller teams like Fulham that will build around him but he isn't a top team player, why do you think non of ther 'big 4' came in for him? Sygi looks out of his depth aswell. The decision to pull out of the Moutinho deal looks sillier by the day, I don't even think he would join now if he was offered again

Drew S 5:04 pm, 2-Dec-2012

hahaha... You know hindsight is a wonderful thing, after three good victories against WHU, Liverpool and Fulham, one's where Dempsey has shone, we played without Bale for over half the game. Playing a formation that has meant Defoe scoring for fun. Joint third on Goal Difference with Chelsea slumping. What say these naysayers aren't so anti AVB in a month?

Alicat 11:52 am, 19-Jan-2013

It's funny reading this crap now. Too many fans have been too shortsighted this season, still hear moaning about the way we play on match days, but at least the booing has stopped. It's the older lot in the main, over the top harry loving and being stuck in the past caused a negative atomsphere early on. But AVB has done a great job, he had to deal with alot, and it's not been made easy for him!

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