Spurs: Chelsea's Jose Should Be Taking AVB's Place In Hacks Bad Books
Where did it all go right? Was it really only a week ago that Lord Sugar was tweeting of prevailing pessimism from within the Spurs board room and AVB confronted a blood-thirsty press pack to fight back after a week of snide reporting that questioned his ‘professionalism, human values and integrity’?
After the bleakest of Novembers, culminating in the horror-show at Manchester City, AVB was left desperately needing not just results but performances that proved the dressing room was not lost. No wonder he was struggling to contain a Joker-sized grin in last night’s post match interviews. Yesterday’s victory at Sunderland took the week’s point tally to seven and it came via one of his team’s best showings of the season.
You want chances? In the second half there was a constant stream as Defoe twice hit the woodwork and Sunderland defenders lunged desperately to block shots. You want character? For the second game in a row the team rallied to win after conceding the first goal. You want consistent team selection? Dream on! Injuries, form and fatigue have seen the manager rotating the squad and he is getting performances out of everyone even if they have to play out of position - the converts at left back and centre half, Naughton and Capoue, both had outstanding games.
Epitomising the renewed commitment and quality is Kyle Walker who for a while was targeted by White Hart Lane’s boo-boys but is now back to his awe-inspiring best. He has the complete set of offensive and defensive gifts required of the modern full back and they were all there to see yesterday - right now there isn’t a right back anywhere near as good in the Premier League.
So that toe-curling press conference seems like a distant memory. If you’re looking for a manager to victimise now, it’s David Moyes after United’s two home defeats on the bounce. Even the press’s most beloved darling, Jose Mourinho, will have slept uneasily last night after watching Chelsea concede their sixth goal in two games and lose at Stoke.
Young, rich and sophisticated, AVB’s cool accomplishment is hard to take for some ageing hacks and he’s also guilty of not being Harry Redknapp so his failures will continue to be seized upon more eagerly than those of his rivals.
But he knows that results can shut them up and this week he and his players showed that they have the the talent and the mettle to get them.
@theodelaney is a writer and film director with @hotspur_argyle, a director of @fantasistaart and a regular contributor to the @spursshow