Not everyone who eats humble pie in full view of the public, chooses to come swinging at the next available opportunity. But then Villas-Boas was never your Average Joe. Villas-Boas is a man, who believes he is right, even when he admits he was wrong. It requires a certain suspension of self doubt, to follow a public admission of wrongdoing with an even more emphatic insistence the fault lay elsewhere.

The former came about courtesy Tottenham Chairman Daniel Levy’s insistence that Andre Villas-Boas acknowledge his flaws at Stamford Bridge, that saw him get the boot and then have to watch in horror as the team won the FA Cup and the Champions League. Levy wanted to know the man he was entrusting his club to was willing to learn some lessons of his own.

Villas-Boas denied he was solely responsible for the fiasco at the Bridge

I'm Back!

Villas-Boas will now coach Tottenham Hotspur next season

By all accounts Andre Villas-Boas capitulated, offering a grovelling assessment of his errors at Chelsea. Satisfied that Villas-Boas was now aware of his limitations as a manager and a human, Levy offered him the job. It is a pretty bold decision to make, in the circumstances. Villas-Boas is no longer a dark horse in the Premier League, like he was when he first made his way to the Bridge.

Back then, his potential was limitless, his resume was unblemished and his talents untested. In such a setting you might just find someone willing to take a leap of faith, and entrust a rookie with one of the toughest jobs in club football. Beginner’s luck can be a very tempting proposition.

Now, however, Villas-Boas will find his Premier League virginity is a thing of the past. And that he has an actual record to run on. When that record includes taking a club like Chelsea out of the top four, for the first time in ten years, you can’t help but feel the Portuguese is likely to be defensive.

That defensiveness was apparent when a supposedly chastened Villas-Boas more or less accused his previous boss ai??i?? Roman Abramovich ai??i?? of quitting on him, at the peak of their project. Insinuating that he had the rug pulled out from beneath his feet, when he was looking for support and suggesting his last words to the Russian billionaire was that this team could win the two trophies it was still in contention for, are likely to receive no response from the reclusive master of West London.

Most interesting, however, is Villas-Boas’ inability to turn the page on his Chelsea past. He could’ve moved to Italy, and ripped the English game to shreds as one unbecoming of his lofty game plans. The ever-technical Italians would’ve welcomed Villas-Boas and his academic style – up until his high backline goes bust. He could’ve gone to Spain, where a high backline might have fit in well with the Spanish preference for short, quick passes and possession-based play. Not to mention, little pressure having to deliver in a league which has become accustomed to Barcelona and Real Madrid as the only title contenders.

Roman Abramovich terminated Villas-Boas’ contract at Stamford Bridge

Threat Display

Villas-Boas who was fired from Chelsea finds refuge in Tottenham Hotspur

And yet, when the chips were truly down and at a time most men show their real colors, Villas-Boas chose to stick in England. At the scene of his most humbling failures, Villas-Boas remains intent on proving a point.

And he did that, by choosing Tottenham Hotspur – a club whose firing of Harry Redknapp makes Chelsea’s management look generous and understanding. Tottenham are, as Villas-Boas will soon find out, a club not lacking in ambition but certainly one without the comfort of an expendable bank balance.

Failing to make the Top 4 next season, with likely not much transfer activity, will see Villas-Boas preside over his second failure in as many seasons. Harry Redknapp, for all his unwillingness to take the blame, was a miracle worker. And were it not for the Spursai??i?? well-honed ability to shoot themselves in the foot, in the final stretch, he would still be in charge.

Instead having brought them to a creditable fourth spot, he still managed to lose his job in the aftermath of Chelseaai??i??s Champions League win. That should give Villas-Boas sleepless nights. Not only will he be expected to control matters within his own dominion as manager, he will also need to keep an eye out for things beyond his control.

Making matters worse for Villas-Boas is the fact that the pursuit of success at Tottenham Hotspur is not as clearly defined as it is in other clubs. With City, United and Chelsea, the domestic league is a natural priority. With Arsenal, maintaining a profit and a healthy balance sheet while qualifying for the Champions League is success enough. For Liverpool, returning to the top 4 is sufficient.

The Spurs, on the other hand, are a club that will take any measure of success given to them ai??i?? be it merely qualifying for the Champions League, or winning the Barclays Premier League. That sounds like a good thing, until you realize there simply is no minimum requirement and no baseline. No safety zone, a manager should keep his eye on and hope to achieve at the minimum.

In a club that goes from being a potential title challenger to not featuring in the Champions League, within a span of a couple of months, that safety zone of a minimum requirement wouldai??i??ve been of great comfort to Villas-Boas.

Villas-Boas blamed Chelsea for quitting on him

Taking Aim

Lampard won’t be pleased Villas-Boas replaced his uncle

Instead heai??i??s now faced with the prospect of managing his previous clubai??i??s adversaries and having to deal with the not so relishing prospect of facing his former deputy, now in charge of the defending European Champions. With Chelseaai??i??s old guard still firmly in charge, Roberto di Matteo will find he need not do anything extraordinary to inspire his team against the Spurs. Frank Lampard, in particular, will have a couple of scores to settle against the man who nearly ended his career and then replaced his uncle across town.

From Villas-Boasai??i?? perspective, if his new side manage to get the better of the Blues in the leagueAi??playing his brand of football ai??i?? the one Chelsea turned their backs against ai??i?? it will be some consolation. Not a lot, but it will have to do.

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11 Responses to “Chelsea Reject Villas-Boas Raises The Stakes With Tottenham Hotspur”

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  1. Alex says:

    Couldnt have read a more un biased article if I had tried! Writes a lot primarily about Chelsea, would never had guessed. I really avb proves a lot of people wrong this year. Spurs are buying some very good players and may well surprise a lotnofnthe doubters.

  2. Sorry... says:

    Ill informed article at best, and a News International style piece of journalism at worst, poorly conceived and written evidently by a Chelsea fan. There is significant investment being made both at and in Spurs. When we sign some notable names, even with the expected departure of Modric – these two sentences will stand out as lowlights in this “piece”.

    “Failing to make the Top 4 next season, with likely not much transfer activity, will see Villas-Boas preside over his second failure in as many seasons. Harry Redknapp, for all his unwillingness to take the blame, was a miracle worker.”

    We’ll see. There will be much transfer activity, we’ve signed a number of players already and there will be more. He’ll be presiding over a club going places, and building for the future – we have a stunning new training facility, money to invest and a great bunch of players untainted by egos who will remain at the club. Harry Redknapp was no miracle worker, unless you count how he presided over a second (back end of season slump) failure (to deliver CL) in as many seasons a miracle?

    Get real with the fantasy “Lampard will be on a revenge mission” rubbish. We finished 4th in the League, and DiMatteo guided Chelsea to a lower finishing position (6th) than they were in when AVB was sacked (5th).

    Fair play to DiMatteo. He played an anti football game, to win the CL, but at Spurs we want attractive football, and can be more patient than Roman was with his plaything. At least we won’t have to listen to an old school spiv spouting to the press about his contract when he’d just failed the club he was employed by. That after the club supported him through a court case, and he’d refused to sign a new deal as he coveted the England job.

  3. DUBSPUR says:

    I think the writer should stick to talking about Chelski and stop writing sh*t about the Spurs. In fact with this article proves that you are actually worried about AVB’s appointment and Spurs pushing on and leaving Chelski even further behind they were last season. It’s quite obvious that the Russian mobster pulled the rug from under AVB and at the time of his sacking blamed Chelski’s players. He was brought in to change Chelski’s playing style and lower the age of the squad but when things got tough RA bottled it instead of backing AVB. You say the sacking of HR makes Chelski’s sacking of previous managers seem generous and understanding is delusional to say the least. Ancelotti comes to mind. I think it has already been proved that Spurs have open the cheque book early for once and brought a couple of decent players already with more on the way and raised our wage ceiling with new contract for Bale. Every club has min expectations you muppet. The fact that you don’t know what it is doesn’t mean Spurs does not have one and you say Chelski’s old guard is still in firmly in charge proves what is wrong with Chelski but with Drogba gone, racist Terry, fat Frank, Essien and cashley Cole all over 30 how long will the tail keep wagging the dog. I could and should write more about how rubbish this article is but not going to waste any more time on Sanitary Fernadez bias comic book piece unless you have the balls to publish this and defend this waste of electronic ink. Upwards and onwards for the mighty Spurs. COYS, ILIT, TTID

  4. Ogundare oluwaseun says:

    Avb is a good coach no doubt but i can take a bet on him been a failure at totteham, because a man who blame others for his mistakes will still make more.

  5. Will says:

    I think that it is funny to see AVB labelled”Chelsea Reject” as that places him in the same class as Ancelotti & Mourinho. So he is in distinguished company and it proves beyond a shadow or even a glint of doubt that Roman Abramovitch by his sackings he has shown himself to be an A grade moron who masturbates with money like little boys do with…..well you know. This is the extreme in hedonistic overmonied arrogance and even the Sheikhs of MC(and I have no time for them) have shown more respect and consideration in their dealings with staff than he has.
    What is really funny is the hatred that Abramovitch shows toward THFC as a result of the laughter that his attempt to buy the club, brought to the the WHL board. He will never forgive them for that and had to settle for a cut price Stamford bridge deal just as its then owner was starting to struggle financially. Like the USSR’s oil Abramovitch sure knows when to pounce on the financially vulnerable.

  6. Will says:

    Edit the above if you wish

  7. Yxxxx82 says:

    Where to start with this drivel? First and foremost, Harry Redknapp DID work miracles. Firstly in taking a squad widely regarded at the back end of 2012 as one of if not the strongest in the league and disenfranchising all but eleven of them. Then compounding that by shipping out excellent squad players such as Corluka, Pavlyuchenko and Pienaar, bringing in only Saha and Nelsen then looking on bewildered when we got down to “bare bones”. Yes this would be because Levy didn’t want to back him in the volatile January market, but why should you throw money at a manager with a questionable transfer record when he’s spent the past 6 months gabbing on about taking another job. Best save the money for the inevitable change up when Redknapp walked on us for the England job. By neglecting half the squad and the value of fringe players plummeting by the week the club had no choice but to acquiesce to their requests to leave on loan. Or is the miracle to which you refer the magical disappearance of a 13 point lead over arsenal in the matter of just six weeks? It’s all been covered to death but as a non spurs fan don’t insult our intelligence by suggesting he was anything but a self serving chancer who happened to be a decent man motivator, provided you were on his favourites list.
    What else? Likely not much transfer activity? Have you read a newspaper later? I know a lot of it is gossip but I’d say two players signed and three seemingly very close in mid July represents a fairly busy summer even by financially irresponsible and morally bankrupt Chelsea standards. And the reason there is no “minimum requirement” on Villas-Boas is two fold. A) why should Levy publish such information, just lining up his staff and players for ill-informed idiots like you to play at firing squad if it doesn’t play out. One thing we’ve learned from the Redknapp debacle is that Levy has no interest in the banal ravings of you lot, supposed journalists. The other consideration is that we haven’t moved for AVB looking for a quick fix. He won’t be gone in January if we’re sitting in tenth. As AVB has been at pains to point out, it’s a project. They take time. Time he will be given. Time he will need to leverage a young and improving squad. To maximise the gain from the best training facilities in Europe. To keep us at ticking over until the new stadium is complete and we can compete on a level financial playing field.
    In summary perhaps engage your brain before writing such mindless dross in future. Or leave the spurs commentary to spurs fans who have an idea of what’s happening at OUR club. As an aside but as a massive reminder to all non spurs fans who didn’t understand why Redknapp simply had to go, you’ll note how thought out his first media appearances AVB spoke of WE and US. Not them, or Tottenham. Redknapp was never ‘one of us’. AVB is off to a flyer in my books. Good luck to him. Also, I’ll have a cheeky tenner on Spurs to finish somewhere above Chelsea, thanks very much.

  8. Blobby says:

    to put it mildly …. Ridiculous article !

  9. Aditya Sharma says:

    Wow, Spurs fans are really taking this badly!
    But focusing on AVB rather than the a Spurs vs Chelsea battle, I think he’s got some real ‘nads taking on such a huge challenge after his stint at Chelsea. The man is a solid tactician, and would have hopefully learnt from his mistakes at Chelsea. It’ll be interesting to see how the squad reacts to going from working under Harry Redknapp to having a man criticized for his man management