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Tottenham In Crisis? You Can Stick Your Tabloid Nonsense Up Your A**e

by Ben McAleer
1 October 2012 22 Comments

Reports of the players being unhappy under Andre Villas-Boas greeted many in the morning. By the evening Spurs, were walking away from Old Trafford with all three points. Turmoil, you say? What turmoil...

Saturday morning. Many were awakening with a smile on their face. It was the weekend, after all, and to make things better; the sun most certainly had his hat on that day. With England become that much more autumnal, the morning sunshine glaring through the window to meet my dreary eyes was a joy to behold. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Tottenham Hotspur had Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The joy quickly turned to pessimism. We couldn’t win, could we? Spurs hadn’t picked up all three points at United since Gary Lineker’s sole strike back in December 1989. The North London side had come close in the past, most notably when Roy Carroll decided to throw Pedro Mendes’ long-range effort across the line, only for Mark Clattenburg and co. to not spot the ball in the back of the net, despite the sheer look of horror that had crossed the goalkeeper’s face.

As if a daunting trip to Manchester wasn’t enough, imagine the horror on the face of fans reading an article by an unnamed publication with links to Harry Redknapp titled ‘Spurs in Turmoil’. The byline – ‘Tired stars slam AVB’. This came a day after Andre Villas-Boas had expertly shot down a reporter who questioned the “frustrations” of Hugo Lloris, who wasn’t included in the travelling party for the recent 3-0 win over Carlisle United.

Fans were furious. What frustrations? What players had said it? Were there any quotes attributed to the “tired” stars? Never. There was nothing of the kind. Needless to say, it was more knife twisting from the media who had predicted, or to some extent wanted, Villas-Boas to fail at Spurs from the off.

With England become that much more autumnal, the morning sunshine glaring through the window to meet my dreary eyes was a joy to behold

Double training sessions appeared to be the basis for tiredness, despite not players complaining whatsoever. More notably, said article came around two hours after a well respected broadsheet paper had published an interview with Gareth Bale, the Welshman insisting he was happy at White Hart Lane and that the players were enjoying life under Villas-Boas.

Needless to say, it would’ve certainly played a part on pre-match preparations against the 12-time Premier League champions. Villas-Boas had only faced United once in the past, as Chelsea manager which brought upon that Fernando Torres miss. Nevertheless, he had again promised to attack them at Old Trafford and that’s exactly what he did.

Spurs found themselves 1-0 inside two minutes, man of the moment Jan Vertonghen breaking forward from left-back unchallenged before seeing his right-footed effort deflect off Jonny Evans and into the back of the net. And Spurs were two to the good before half-time after Sandro robbed Robin van Persie of the ball, passed to Mousa Dembele who in turn released Bale.

He took it upon himself to drive at the United backline and with help of Jermain Defoe, whose clever run pulled Evans inside; had a free run at the 18-yard-box. Ferdinand pushed him wide, but not enough as the winger lashed past Anders Lindegaard and into the far corner.

Nevertheless, he had again promised to attack them at Old Trafford and that’s exactly what he did

United were still threatening, Nani in particular was giving Vertonghen a torrid time on the right-wing, but it wasn’t until the second half that the hosts found the back of the net. Half-time substitute Wayne Rooney picked out the Portuguese wideman, who managed to poke home from close range.

Spurs restored their two-goal advantage moments later as Lindegaard could only parry Bale’s drive into the path of Clint Dempsey to nestle into the back of the net. However, the deficit was again halved, this time courtesy of Shinji Kagawa, who prodded past Brad Friedel.

Cue a nervous, heart-attacking inducing 40 minutes as Spurs did what they could never do; grind out a win. They did it against Queen’s Park Rangers the previous week and had now done so against United. The players, fans and, most notably, Villas-Boas all broke into hysterics, absolutely delighted that they had secured maximum points at Old Trafford.

Post-match, Villas-Boas looked calm and collected, but visibly delighted following the win. He appears to have ditched the previous approach he took with the media, but also took it upon himself to let off a smug smile, presumably directed at all those who had questioned his appointment at White Hart Lane.

Cue a nervous, heart-attacking inducing 40 minutes as Spurs did what they could never do; grind out a win

Spur have now gone seven games unbeaten in all competitions and are yet to taste defeat since the opening day loss to Newcastle United. Fans that wanted him out appear to have come around in one 90 minute performance. Granted, there are kinks that still need to be worked out, but they are slowly becoming less and less evident.

However, the weekend win over United would surely serve as a massive two fingers towards all those who had tipped the Spurs boss to be out on his a**e come Christmas. Some reported that he had three games to save his job prior to the encounter with Reading; three encounters which saw the club pick up maximum points.

Furthermore, Kyle Walker took it upon himself to tweet about the result and dispel any of the reports suggesting the players were unhappy under Villas-Boas. Hopefully the win over United will go a long way to silencing the media and some sections of the fans although I have to admit; if this is Spurs in turmoil, I can’t wait to see them firing on all cylinders.

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image descriptionCOMMENTS

Tony L 1:21 pm, 1-Oct-2012

Gareth Bale in the guardian ""He's very approachable. If there is a problem... his door is open... For example, if we feel we are working too hard in training, if we say that to him, then he'll ease it off" - do you want to believe the player going on the recod to the reputable newspaper or "unnamed players" in a rag? People should pull the tabloids up on their lies more often.

peter 1:21 pm, 1-Oct-2012

de gea wasn't in goal but good read anyway

Tony L 1:22 pm, 1-Oct-2012

(oh, and I think Vertongen's goal went in off Evans?)

Ben McAleer 1:28 pm, 1-Oct-2012

Good point, Tony. Changed accordingly.

Sam J 1:34 pm, 1-Oct-2012

(and Lindergaard was in goal :o) )

Dan 1:37 pm, 1-Oct-2012

I think the keeper was Lindegaard, no? I didn't think De Gea played.

Richard 1:38 pm, 1-Oct-2012

The ManUre goalie was actually Anders Lindegaard.

Fitzy69 1:40 pm, 1-Oct-2012

I have emailed the writer of said story at the newspaper that published the story thanking him for galvanising out team ahead of the win at OT. And for makimg AVB's teamtalk a whole lot easier..

noobs 1:49 pm, 1-Oct-2012

It was Anders Lindgaard not De Gea in goal for Man Utd wasn't it..?

dave@spurs 1:51 pm, 1-Oct-2012

Fed up with all those who have a go at AVB,he is starting to show everyone that he has class.the only ones to miss out are chelski for not knowing what they had,when the ruski refused to back him up with the changes that needed doing like getting rid of the oldies, if the ruskie prefered to back the racist and choc ices and not the manager, come xmas lets see who is on top, COYS

Spuds-U-Like 1:55 pm, 1-Oct-2012

Nice article, bet the sad excuse of a tabloid journo is feeling a bit of a dick today, but being thick skinned, probably not. Only minor criticism though Ben, is that it was Lindegaard in the Manure goal. Apart from that, you write very good articles mate.

Paul C 1:56 pm, 1-Oct-2012

Anders Lindengaard was in goal for Manchester Untited not David de Gea. COYS

Richard 1:58 pm, 1-Oct-2012

We're a team without superstars this season (Gareth excluded??) but look more united because of it. I've a feeling we could surprise more than a few people come May.

pleb 2:16 pm, 1-Oct-2012

Vertongen was rated very highly by most, I thought his link up with Bale was brilliant. He has a very cool head and Nani well did not do so well?

Ben McAleer 2:19 pm, 1-Oct-2012

Staying up late to watch the Ryder Cup caused brief memory loss. Altered accordingly.

SPURSallday 2:47 pm, 1-Oct-2012

Good article except the fact that Lindegaard was in goal not De Gea.

Tony L 3:23 pm, 1-Oct-2012

does anyone know who the utd 'keeper was?

Spuds-U-Like 5:07 pm, 1-Oct-2012

You're easy to forgive Ben. Understandable considering the buzz of the Ryder Cup!

Next bus to Woolwich!! 6:40 pm, 1-Oct-2012

ffs we get it people,DE GEA was not in goal,it was only mildly amusing the first time someone pointed it out!!

Ramos43 7:02 pm, 1-Oct-2012

Great performance from the lads. Full of quality and verve in the first half, desire and commitment in the second. Led by the outstanding Gallas (who went down with an injury in the first 45min, but battled on commendably) this Spurs performance had it all. I have ALWAYS supported AVB, regardless of result or performance, and I'm glad to see the media and so-called 'Tottenham supporters' now ,slowly, back-tracking and having to swallow a large portion of humble pie. To judge AVB based on one bad experience is silly, but to judge AVB after 2/3 or even six games (considering he has only had all his players together for a little over 4weeks) is just ridiculous, as anyone who knows anything about the game would testify. Out before Christmas? As if. This is the man Levy has staked a large part of his legacy on, so in turn would be prepared to give our new manager EVEN more time to succeed, as oppose to just any Tom, Dick or 'Arry. Levy has never been a fool and clearly he understood Villas-Boas to be a very talented manager, whom Chelsea spent more on, than we did buying Vertonghen. Levy also knew that AVB was now a manager with hands on EPL experience and would be all the better, a coach/manager for it. Like I said, I've ALWAYS backed the new Manager, and would've continued to do so regardless of the result on the weekend. I've ALWAYS believed in Levy's vision for the club and for as long as he is our chairmen, I ALWAYS will! With Kaboul, Livermore, BAE, Naughton, Adebayor and Parker to come back into the first team squad,along with the real possibility of some high quality addition in the next window , THE FUTURE'S LOOKING BRIGHT, THE FUTURE'S LOOKING LILY WHITE....

mikee 1:26 pm, 2-Oct-2012

I really love it when we're a team in turmoil. Long may it continue. Forget the Sun, read the Beano, it's got better journalists.

patnevin 1:49 pm, 2-Oct-2012

I've been behind the guy from the word go. The boo boys should be ashamed of themselves. All that does is give the opposition a lift and makes their managers team talk easier. We have a new manager, new coaches, new system and half of last seasons team out of the line up. You tell me what team would start the season firing on all cylinders in those circumstances? Levy's picked the perfect man for the job here. We have a young team, for the most part, with no huge ego's, so getting everybody on board is easier. The benefits of this appointment won't be seen 'till next season. I had accepted that this season, we'd not be in the top 4 and at best we'd be in the latter stages of the cups. If we do better than that i'll be more than happy but it's the long term goal i'm interested in. I just hope that he's given the time and room to build what i think he can build here.

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