Tottenham Hotspur have appointed Andre Villas-Boas as their new manager, taking a big gamble in the process.
Just over a year ago, Chelsea thought they had found “the new Mourinho” in the young Portuguese. Although Jose’s protégé postured a little like “the special one”, he did not have the charisma, the tactical shrewdness or the confidence to carry this through. And he had a rather irritating mid-length raincoat. Indeed, he displayed bouts of neurosis, naievety and poor man management in his ill-fated stint at Stamford Bridge. It was a learning experience for the youngest coach ever to win a major European honour.
When AVB was discarded by Chelsea, many thought his managerial career would struggle to recover from this blow to his ego. But he has been in the frame for a few jobs since Chelsea and with a good track record – his win rate at his last job was still better than most in the Premier and the Porto stats reveal an 88% win ratio. Chelsea may have been a job too soon for such an inexperienced manager.
AVB will have to contend with the White Hart Lane regulars’ mourning period for the popular Harry Redknapp. A few new star names and a good start in August would soon solve that – it is amazing how quickly people can be forgotten.
Apparently, Tottenham have a substantial shopping list on which to throw around a £50million war chest. According to media reports, AVB has his eyes on seven new players – Alvaro Pereira (Porto), Oscar (Internacional), Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea), Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Loic Remy (Marseille)and Jan Vertonghen (Ajax). Gyfli Sigurdsson has been secured already from Hoffenheim and Vertonghen looks set to sign soon.
There has been talk of the talented Luka Modric moving to Real Madrid, but AVB must be hoping that the Croatian remains at White Hart Lane.
Tottenham were not far off being a very good side last season and they don’t need much to make them [genuine] Champions League contenders. If AVB buys well, the Spurs can certainly build on the past couple of years’ progress. But if AVB doesn’t make an impact, it won’t be long before the crowd starts calling for ‘arry.