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Wednesday, 18 December 2013 09:40

What next for André Villas-Boas?

Coach maintains silence after Tottenham departure

AVB.jpgJune 2011. André Villas-Boas had just led FC Porto to a triple triumph of Portuguese Liga, Portuguese Cup and Europa League, playing a mesmerising brand of all-out attacking football. All the talk focused on whether AVB could mirror his mentor, José Mourinho, who followed up the exact same feat at the exact same club with a Champions League triumph the following season. Then the bombshell exploded. The young coach accepted an offer to take over at Chelsea.
 
It would be interesting to know, if AVB could have his time again, whether he would have reversed that decision to switch to London. Publicly, he is sure to refute the idea, but privately, after recovering from his latest disappointment at Tottenham Hotspur, he must surely wish he had put his ambitions for an international career on hold for one more season.
 
After all, Porto president Pinto da Costa had promised for the first time that he would retain all of the club’s outstanding crop of players and set the goal in the Champions League higher than in any other season. The aim would not be the usual - a place in the quarter-finals. With the likes of Falcao, Hulk, João Moutinho and Fernando playing at their peak, the Portuguese club had legitimate aspirations of claiming their third triumph in the world’s greatest club competition. Alas, AVB’s departure precipitated another round of sell-offs, starting with goalscorer extraordinaire Falcao.
 
The current Porto side are a pale shadow of Villas-Boas’ 2010/11 vintage. The coach’s reputation has taken an equally sharp downward plunge.
 

Cosy relationship

avb-dragao-de-ouro.jpgStill only 36 years old, the Porto born coach has time to rebuild his career. The hierarchy at the club he supported since childhood has made efforts to nurture a close relationship with their former coach. He is always on the invitation list to Porto’s annual Club Gala, and even received the coveted Dragão de Ouro award, while manager at Chelsea.
 
With the abilities of the current incumbent of the Porto dugout Paulo Fonseca coming under microscopic scrutiny on almost a weekly basis, many in Portugal have put two and two together and believe AVB will be sitting in what he once described as his “dream chair” sooner rather than later.
 
It may not be that simple. The board appear to hold no grudge, but a large swathe of Porto fans have far from forgiven Villas-Boas for the way he walked out when the club was all set to have a crack at the European crown for “a bigger challenge” in AVB’s words. And with Villas-Boas the preferred choice of Paris Saint-Germain as recently as this past summer, it is not unconceivable that another big job offer comes his way.
 
Whatever the future holds, André Villas-Boas himself needs to make a success of it. His detractors claim anybody could have won at Porto, especially with the 2010/11 squad. His advocates say he did not simply win, but steered the club to one of their greatest ever seasons, as well as pointing out that his time in England has not been a total failure. Last year Tottenham Hotspur achieved a record points haul since the advent of the Premier League. His next job will probably definitively tip the balance of opinion one way or the other.

Meanwhile, the current odds for his replacement at Bwin
see Frank de Boer as favourite at 2/1, followed by Tim Sherwood the current caretaker manager at Tottenham in at 7/2.
 
by Tom Kundert

Comments (33)
AVB
33 Tuesday, 31 December 2013 17:44
Rui / USA
Tony from Canada ! Amen.
@NJ/USA/SLB
32 Saturday, 21 December 2013 21:23
Steve/Australia
Good points about injuries etc. I also think there are other things like loss of form etc. Tottenham is obviously a step down for Coentrao and I guess he's worried that if things don't go well then he could go further down or become washed up like other great failed players, Quaresma could be a good example or even Hugo Vianna who went to Newcastle who at the time were probably the same level as Tottenham.

I guess the argument could work both ways and he could revitalise his career but maybe Coentrao realises that Tottenham is not a club that shows genuine intent to compete with the big guys and Levy must take total blame with this not AVB. If you compare the wage bill of Tottenham and the big teams above them namely, UTD, City, Chelsea and Arsenal (I'm guessing here) it is probably half if not more. If you want to be the best you have to pay the best and that is where Tottenham failed miserably.

I guess it is frustrating to see Coentrao rotting away on the bench but hopefully he will move soon because I don't think he will dethrone Marcelo from the left back position.
Add Ons
31 Saturday, 21 December 2013 15:34
NJ/USA/SLB
There's no such thing as how much is too much. You get as much as you can as early as you can.
Big difference in starting a "big" contract later in age. Keep in mind that injury concerns gave to come into play. If Hulk, Axel, etc... were to get hurt and not have the same impact, fans/teams would move on to the next player. While they, the players, might have missed out on income opportunities.

Also, country tax structure also comes into play. Coentrao taking less money to play in London is a huge hit. Does his deal at Real also cover his taxes?
It's not a clear cut, how much is enough, decision.


On a side note, what exactly does AVB owe Portugal or its players/talent?
I'll go further than that, does he owe Porto or does Porto owe him?
I think it runs both ways. Players like Luis, Aimar, Axel have at times gone out of their way to praise Benfica. I might be a fan, but I know Benfica owes a lot to them as well. A club elevates a players stature, but that club continues growing on stature due to said player.

Is anyone beating the doors down for the Portuguese talent listed? Really?
Spurs aren't a feeder club. At least they don't think they are.
Wages
30 Saturday, 21 December 2013 07:10
Steve/Australia
I have done some more research since my last post and I think I might have grossly underestimated the wages that Bale and Coentrao receive. Does anyone know a good site that can tell what these are?

As it stands I think Coentrao is on around 160,000 at Real madrid and would have been offered around 100,000 to 120,000 As far as I know.
@NJ/USA/SLB
29 Saturday, 21 December 2013 05:05
Steve/Australia
Yes that is very true, especially the naivety comments about AVB and the fact that the players do have a short time to make money. I was thinking the other day, will we ever see the day when a Coach / Manager actually sues a club or chairman (Levy interfering with transfers) for unfair dismissal and also tarnishing ones name. If AVB was not in charge of transfers and that was not written into the contract that others will be in charge of that, then could he perhaps sue Levy for interfering with his job and then sacking him for it and in the process ruining his reputation.

I guess we would need to know the specifics of the contracts but obviously these are not going to be made public for the shareholders and fans to view so we can never really know the full story. The chairman Levy is the one at fault here and he should be accountable but as we all know the chairmans position is one of the ones that has almost zero accountability and when you have zero accountability to anyone you can do as you please and this is wrong. Personally, I also think AVG was a scapegoat in this whole affair. Levy, perhaps thinks that his team is better or has the potential to do better than what they were under AVB. I doubt it personally and I think we'll see there settle down to mid table obscurity.

In regards to player wages, I can totally understand a player like Hugo Vianna, Anelka, Drogba or Queresma who are at the end of their careers trying to get a significantly higher amount, in the UAE, China (or of a similar standard) than what they were currently getting but in regards to players like Witzel, Hulk, Falcao etc. I often wonder how much is enough.

To the best of my knowledge a star at Tottenham earns around 50,000 Euros a month (base not including the extras) whereas Coentrao earns around 60,000 Euros at Real. I could understand his feelings if he was say going to Tottenham to play for 60,000 per year but he is not. If he had of taken a step down he would have been starting every game and would have been the star player as Tottenham do not have a recognised quality left back. Even after taking a pay cut on that current wages he will still be making a lot more (around 7-9 million give or take) in his short career than average people earns in a lifetime and more than enough to set himself up. Don't forget this is the base rate not including sponsors, match fees, bonus etc. I wonder, do these players just want the highest pay cheque possible or are they happy to take a bit less (but still a decent amount) and have the chance of actually playing (Coentrao), winning something (Falcao) and testing themselves against the best players in the best leagues (Hulk) or being part of something special and creating something (Witzel)?

Maybe the agents get in their heads to much but players like Hulk and Falcao also forget that the exposure they get by playing at a big club and big league means more sponsorship dollars and worldwide recognition. If they were both in the premier league then they would be up there with the best in world but probably they are more top 20 - 10. When Liverpool sold Torres to Chelsea and brought Suarez at the same time I remember thinking to myself that Suarez was a lot better striker than Torres because I had watched in play for Uruguay and seen that he was world class. At the time he played for Ajax and the Liverpool fans were angry that Torress had left and they stupidly brought Carroll but they didn't realise what they had in Suarez. once he was on the big stage, and had great players around him to give him better service then what he did at Ajax he was able to show what he could do then everyone took notice.

As for Coentrao, I think he has made a big mistake by staying at a club were he had a nice spot on the bench all to his own. He should have moved somewhere on loan especially in a world cup year. If that mean't taking a pay cut (but still a large amount) then so be it. If he gets injured (because he has not been playing) or looses his starting place with the national team then he only has himself to blame in my opinion.
AVB bringing in Portugese players
28 Friday, 20 December 2013 23:51
Tony/Canada
In regards to a comment regarding what Portugese players AVB could of brought in here is just a sample of some great under the radar talent that put in the right places and also with the backing and support of the coach would excel.
1) andre santos
2) adrien silva
3) cateano
4)daniel carrico
5) diogo armando

Just to mention a few. All better priced and I believe more talented with higher potential tha AVB could of brought in. Also that would enhance our exposure of the great young talent portugal has. AVB completely failed and from my perception he does owe portugal and all the portugese talent we have a chance to shine.
@ Jonah/UK - Valencia
27 Friday, 20 December 2013 16:29
Val/Canada
I hope not, Valencia is run by donkeys.

I remember Valencia finishing 3rd to Real and Barca for 3-4 years (i forget which) and they sacked a great coach (Unai Emery) to hire Dukic who they then just sacked after the president promised not to do so.....no trust there.

They even put camera's up to watch Dukic training session. For what reason? Not to monitor anything (they could just sit in the stands) it was to mess with his head and try to force him to resign. It is a terrible organization run by terrible people.

AVB stay away!!!

Hey Team Canada can use a good coach, we set the bar VERY LOW, there is no expectation, perfect for AVB. :)
Steve & Add On
26 Friday, 20 December 2013 13:25
NJ/USA/SLB
Steve, I agree with your comments.

I know people are smart enough to realize that a player looking to increase his value/notoriety/stature doesn't go to play in Russia, Turkey, Greece...
Portugal is a great stop over due to the recognition/visibility players get. It a springboard to possibly bigger and better.
People get upset when that bigger and better could be just more money. Hulk, Axel, Moutinho, etc... made their moves due to the money they would be earning. Their new clubs overpaid in order to get quality.
Please keep in mind that parent clubs also had a lot to do in the convincing the player to go. Is Porto better off Hulk moving to Russia or elsewhere for less?

Yes, players, like plenty of other people in all walks of life can be selfish, arrogant and naive. Money may not bring happiness, but it's hard to walk away from it, when you have such a short span of earning power.
Joao
25 Friday, 20 December 2013 12:19
Chris(Canada)
I hear you. The thing is I think Fonseca could come good. He needs time. He was able to improvise last year and take one of the smallest Portuguese teams to the Champions League. I think he actually can make Porto world beaters. Some of the displays Porto had, such as their first 3 CL games were excellent. But we couldn't get all the results we needed.

For me, PF will have that hunger to prove himself and he is at least rotating players. AVB would be coming back with less hunger and his tail between his legs. Plus, if we allow him back as an opportunity to "re-launch his career", what does that say about our club?

Are we so desperate that we'd allow someone to come back and have a good year just to leave again? This is my beef with PdC. In willing to make decisions like this, he is essentially saying Porto is not a top level club. That's just wrong especially since we have just been named the 20th most valuable club in the world (Benfica was 15th, congrats).

No, it's time to reevaluate, to invest BACK into the club and to stick with a coach long term. It's time to focus on retaining stars and gaining more European silverware. Porto are not a mediocre club, it's time we started acting like a proper heavyweight.
Chris/Canada
24 Friday, 20 December 2013 03:55
Joao/Canada
I hear you and agree 100%. The only difference is my anger is directed at his stupidity for leaving, not just leaving my club. I have made similar statements regarding players leaving Porto or Benfica to "bigger" clubs (e.g. Hulk, Falcao) and more often than not, have their careers take a step back. Like I said, stupid.

And I don't know if AVB did come back that Porto would be world beaters. One thing is for sure though, Fonseca isn't and won't be either. Porto shat the bed this year in the CL big time. We can only go up from here though, so hopefully we can do some damage in Europa and maybe take home some more silverware. If not, PdC may be on the phone soon...
To Spain!
23 Thursday, 19 December 2013 22:35
Jonah/UK
Valencia have just sacked their manager, I reckon he'll be off there next
@NJ/USA/SLB
22 Thursday, 19 December 2013 21:00
Steve/Australia
Hey NJ/USA/SLB,

Enjoyed reading your comments but would like to clarify some things.

I mentioned Portuguese talent not because he owes the Portuguese anything or owes them a favour but because theoretically he should know the Portuguese league better than any other league and where he can get a bargain. I just find it strange that he is in the process of building a team yet never thought he would buy any players from the Portuguese league.

I think the below players are better or have better potential or at least are the match of the ones that were brought and also not be too expensive.

here's my list:

- Cavaleiro (Benfica)
- Bruma (fornerly at Sporting)
- William Carvalho (Sporting)
- Joao Mario (Sporting)
- Bernardo Silva (Benfica)
- Eder (Braga)

Weather there are players ready to jump into his team or not is debatable but in short, would you have rathered Jackson Martinez, Oscar Cardoso or Lima over the useless Soldado? I could go on comparing better and probably cheaper or at least the same priced players to the ones that were brought in as there are lots of them.

I'd agree with you if the players he brought in were just quality but they were not and they were not really cheap either. Can you name any players who have been successful so far?

Wether he was in charge of the transfers or not is irrelevant as he has certainly taken responsibility for them (by getting the sack) but you just wonder if what the press are saying is true and that Baldini and Levy had total control of the transfers in and out then why did Andre Villas Boas get himself into a job where he could not sign the players he wanted. I think that in itself shows immaturity. I couldn't see Mourinho in the same predicament (if it is in fact true)

As for Hulk and Falcao, I'm not an accountant but it seems quite logical as you pointed in your subject. My point I made was quality over quantity. You mentioned the salary and fees were too high but this is all relevant. If you add up the fees and salary of the 7 players ** they brought** and then add up the amount of Hulk, Coentrao and Falcao then you'll probably see that it would be a similar amount. If you look at the probable fees of both players together (100 mill) and what they spent (then they both are affordable. Think outside the box here, In your argument you are said they would never pay the fees or wages but I have already shown you how this could have been included in what they had spent already.

If I have underestimated then of course you could take out Hulk or Falcao and your still under the figure they spent in real life. If you want to win you need a match winner and these two are up there with the best in the world at scoring goals.

The other flip side here with these players is that are real super stars of the game and obviously there is merchandise opportunities and also more chance to crack the top 4 and get into the champions league and in turn raise the clubs profile. These are all things that bring money into the club.

If you want to grow the team then you have to be creative and smart and the policy was clearly quantity as apposed to world class quality and I think that was the wrong way to go but then again that is just my humble opinion.
Logical?
21 Thursday, 19 December 2013 17:09
NJ/USA/SLB
Just in case people forgot, AVB tried to get Moutinho to Tottemham twice.
The bigger question I have, is why do people feel that he should have gone after Portuguese players?
Besides Moutinho, who should he have gone after?
Coentrao has refused to lower his salary which has made his transfer a problem.

Just because AVB is a Portuguese manager, it doesn't mean he should be bringing in Portuguese players. He should be buying talent. We also don't know if AVB was in favor of all teh transfers. Reports are coming out both ways.
As for the Hulk and Falcao, Spurs were never going to pay those fees or salaries.
I feel that everyone missed the boat on Villa.
In PDC we trust!
20 Thursday, 19 December 2013 16:39
Steve/New Beige
If AVB will help make my Porto better then I am willing to welcome him back home and leave my bruised ego at the door......
Fascinating
19 Thursday, 19 December 2013 11:58
Chris(Canada)
It's really interesting to hear the potential character ticks that AVB may or may not have had. I definitely agree with folks here who point out that it's easy to be a gentleman when everything is going your way.

But AVB does seem to have a real problem dealing with adversity. I think it's a bit of humble pie served for his oversized ego in thinking that 16 good months in Portugal with no real test meant he was ready to conquer the world.

For the Portistas on here who think he is an upgrade over Paulo Fonseca, I have to question your logic. I'm not crazy about his work so far but if we were to sack him now and go running to AVB, we would be no classier than Tottenham. Realistically, we knew this season would be one of transition.

PF deserves at least a full season to prove his mettle and to make improvements. Ivo is spot on with his analysis. Brendan Rogers was practically as bad as Kenny Daglish in his first season at Liverpool but the board saw something special in him and it's been paying off.

Clearly, we saw something special in Fonseca and he deserves our patience and support. I am confident he will learn from his tactical mistakes and improve. He did not get Pacos into the Champions League by being a crap coach. He is quality, just needs time to adjust.

Joao, I may be being harsh by your standards, but I refuse to accept a Judas who blatantly lied to us to return to the club. He burned his bridges, despite PdC still kissing his ass. I would rather see Lucho as player-manager of Porto than AVB return. And if you think he'd come back and make Porto a world beater, you are sadly mistaken.

Cheers.
Thoughts
18 Thursday, 19 December 2013 10:39
Steve/Australia
I too I could never understand why he never signed more Portuguese talent.

I also do not understand some of the players that were brought in at Tottenham. Was Baldini in complete control or was it a team effort? Was there someone else behind the scenes? This still not not explain his reluctance to buy Portuguese players. Anyways, the players brought in might have been decent (jury still out) but I don't see any world class talent there, plus it is hard to make a set of players gel from the get go.

In regards to Bale, he always wanted to go and I actually think he still has a lot to prove as a player as he's only had a few solid seasons. Obviously he does have a lot of potential but I would not put him in the same sentence as Cristiano Ronaldo at this point in time yet he was brought for more money (admittedly in a different era) but I still think Real payed way to much. I would have taken Falcao or Hulk any day of the week over Bale

Football at the end of the day is not about playing good football, it is about scoring goals as that is what wins games. I watched a lot of Tottenham games this year and they are very ineffective in this area as they lack a strong, physical intelligent striker.

This year, apart from Paulinho and Eriksen I think the rest have been pretty ordinary and failed to gel quickly with the squad. In my humble opinion I would have taken the quality over quantity approach and tried to sign these players.

This is a list of players who I think might have been available. I have ordered them in preference,

Must buys:

1. Falcao (55 Million) and or
2. Hulk ($40 - $50 mill give or take)
3. Coentrao (swap/loan with Bale)
4. David Villa ($2 million)
5. Eriksen (13.5 million)

Other options:

6. Garay (not sure but guessing $20 - 25 Million give or take)
7. Di Maria (swap/loan with Bale)
8. Huguin (buy $35 million - only if Hulk or Falcao could not be brought)

This equates to:

2/3 strikers or 1 striker and 2 wingers
1 left back
1 central defender
1 creative midfielder

Notes:

Eriksen should also have been brought in as he was relatively cheap and has shown he could be a quality player
Hulk and Falcao together again - no need to elaborate
Coentrao - one of the worlds best on his day and realistically available
Di Maria - Lacks goals but extremely creative big if on wether he was available on loan though
Garay to shore up the backline
Villa was cheap, no brain-er if he fails then who cares he was cheap.

Simple: If Tottenham make the top 4 and Coentrao or Di Maria play well and are happy at the club then use the Champions league money next year to sign them

Finally, on a side note I noticed that Villas Boas also seemed to be quite fragile mentally and at times let the comments and fans get to him. Obviously it is hard to know what is real and not real but I remember reading that he had a fan rejected during the Tromso game in the Europa league, from his seat for singing quote "he'll be sacked in the morning". If this is true then it could show that he has a weak and fragile character or that he is just a little immature. As a manager you need to be thick skinned. People are going to say what they want and you need to be bigger and stronger than the comments that came your way otherwise if the press sense a weakness they will jump on it. This is where Mourinho excels as he is the master of the press.

Anyways these are just my thoughts. I'm kind of happy that most Portistas do not want this guy back as in my opinion he's still quality but I can understand why people are angry with him for the way he left. Still if he did come back, in my opinion, Porto will be hard to stop
Mini Mou
17 Thursday, 19 December 2013 04:29
Portista99
As another commenter put it, its not just about tactics but about player management. He insisted on playing a high line with Chelsea and then Spurs even though the personnel are not well equipped to play that way. He seemed stubborn and paranoid in his dealings with players and the media.

In Portugal, Porto has enough of a talent advantage that they can play his preferred style. Winning has a way of covering a lot of flaws. Without the talent advantage in England, the flaws were exposed.

Also, the player acquisitions were questionable and neglected their needs along the back line. To the extent AVB is responsible for the signings, he is all the more culpable for their results.

AVB desperately needs to rebuild his brand for the sake of his coaching career. He should take some time off, eat a piece of humble pie, and then return to Porto. He had success there before and is a proven upgrade over Paulo Fonseca.
Porto
16 Thursday, 19 December 2013 04:05
Joao/Canada
I somewhat share Chris/Canada's view, just not as harsh. I too feel as though AVB abandoned us, but I am not angry that he did, I just think it was one of the stupidest moves he could have made professionally. We had something special there and ditched us for Chelski (who I cannot stand)?

I wouldn't be upset if he did come back, but I highly doubt he would. If he did, he would have to do a lot to win back the hearts of the Portistas he left behind...
AVB
15 Thursday, 19 December 2013 02:53
Ivo/Canada
Unfortunately AVB was yet another victim of the impatient and unforgiving nature of modern football culture. Only a few top-tier teams today are willing to give their managers enough time to work things out. If you like at SAF, if he had been treated the way AVB was early in his career, Man U would never be the same. And even this season, you look at Liverpool and they are currently in second place with the same manager who had a very mediocre, if not downright poor, season last year. But the club stuck with him and they are firing on all cylinders now. Even Wenger has underachieved relative to the club's high aspirations for several years now, but they've stuck with him and he's potentially on the verge of his first truly successful season since the Henry years. It's a real shame that managers aren't given more of a chance to establish a legacy in the modern game. It's even more of a shame in AVB's case because of his unprecedented performance by Tottenham's historical standards, and the fact that the team underwent a very significant overhaul in the summer that required time. The fact that the BPL is also much more competitive this season with 6 or 7 clubs having legitimate top four aspirations makes it even more ridiculous in my opinion. I know the losses were very difficult to swallow for Spurs supporters but if the game against West Ham today was any indication, it was surely not all or even mostly AVB's fault. I think he could have established a real legacy with this team if Levy wasn't so impatient and if the English media weren't such vultures, constantly heaping pressure on managers even after a single loss. It's interesting that Allardyce said he though AVB was "probably right" with respect to the so-called agenda. But this fact was very rarely mentioned in the English press. I think it was a very premature sacking.
AVB
14 Thursday, 19 December 2013 00:49
Tony Rosa, London
Hi all, rumour breaking here is that AVB's signature is wanted by West Brromwich Albion.

Hmmmm, would that work?
AVB dismissal
13 Wednesday, 18 December 2013 23:20
Tony/ Canada
AVB could of put young portugese players on the map and also bulid his own career and pave the way for other young portugese coaches but he failed miserably. All other coaches from foreign countries completely embrace the opportunity and represent their countries the way they should . AVB had the perfect opportunity to bring in excellent young portugese footballer's and he did not. Not one portugese player did he bring to Tottenham, same on him and disgraceful. Yet he goes out and spent millions of dollars on overated Brazilian players and then brings in a complete bust in soldado from spain. Just completely insulting and stupid. Remember where you come from, be proud of it and endorse it but don't turn your back on your own country and also on all the great talent Portugal has to offer. Hopefully in his next job he will represent Portugal in a better way. It is difficult enough to witness some top clubs in Portugal like Benfica and Porto not playing and endorsing enough young portugese players, like Germany and Spain does and that's why they are so sucessful and the future is so bright.
AVB
12 Wednesday, 18 December 2013 22:57
Dylan/USA
I see Jesualdo Ferreira leaving soon and opening the door for Villas Boas
Might be the best thing to happen to him.
11 Wednesday, 18 December 2013 22:01
Arnaldo/USA
Now he needs to start over all over again wit more humility and fear of not knowing it all. The worst thing that can happen to him now is take over another big club under pressure. He has enough money to ride this out and do it all over if that is what he wants. If not, retire now and enjoy the good life.
Downfall is his character
10 Wednesday, 18 December 2013 20:41
Canada
What many have said is true. He is young, talented and still learning. Trouble is, you stop learning when you think you've arrived, despite the fact that you really haven't proven anything yet. It's his charcater that has let him down . Jumping ship because you though you were too big for Porto and Portugal, battles with staff, battles with ownership, battle with Mourinho etc...Humility is a great trait, especially at this stage of his career, where he still has alot to prove. He wants to be like Mourinho, but first needs to deliver like Mourinho. He is nowhere near that and may never get there. He will be toxic for any team he goes to, unless he can change, and character is something that is very difficult if not impossible to change
Harsh
9 Wednesday, 18 December 2013 19:47
Andre/UK
It was harsh on AVB to be sacked so relatively early into the season. Yes the two thrashings were heavy blows to the club and their ambitions, but they probably were merely affirmations that Spurs are not a top 4 club in England, regardless of who the coach is. Like others here I agree he should've been given until the end of the season, sacking a coach barely 3 months into the season should only be done if the situation is seriously desperate.

Well one thing AVB will have learned is that London is not the place for him to coach! I would imagine he'd be turned off from the EPL in general now, at least for a few seasons anyway. Maybe taking the rest of this season off will be good for him to reflect and ponder his next move. Who knows, if Bento leaves the Selecao after the Copa do Mundo next summer, then AVB would be a decent option to take over. He's still very young by coaching standards and is still learning, so it's important he moves on from this setback because he's a talented coach no doubt.
Add Ons
8 Wednesday, 18 December 2013 19:10
NJ/USA/SLB
I read the following in an article, that was very interesting. Granted it could be posturing, but it lends to ask what could exactly happened at that meeting;

"As I understand it, even after the heavy defeat to Manchester City (6-0 on Nov. 24), the club believed that Villas-Boas remained the best option. They felt he showed last season that he could play a brand of football that was both entertaining and effective. The main reservations had to do with his personality and his reaction to adversity: his references to "hidden agendas" (even if they exist, it's generally not a good idea to discuss them in public), his bust-up with the medical staff and some strained personal relationships.

Still, the feeling was that he would steer his way out of it. That it was part of a learning curve for a man who -- lest we forget -- only turned 36 in October and whose coaching experience is limited to 45 months as a head coach and a decade as an advance scout.

By Sunday night that feeling was wavering, but it was still there. Before being shut out by Liverpool, Spurs had won four of five games, and the other was a draw against Manchester United. Yes, they had been awful against Liverpool, and much of it was down to Villas-Boas in terms of team selection and tactical approach. But maybe it was just another blip.

Besides, there was no obvious Plan B. Parting ways with a manager midseason means either you go with an interim boss while you pursue the guy you really want, or you settle for the best available option out there. But as you might imagine, most managers worth having are currently employed, and prying them loose midseason is expensive and difficult. Which means the "best available permanent option" often isn't great or, in any case, isn't not a better option than Villas-Boas.

That was the mindset heading into Tottenham's postmortem summit meeting Sunday night. When the meeting was over, the mindset had changed. And by the time they reconvened again Monday morning, it was more about managing Villas-Boas' exit.

So what happened between the final whistle on Sunday and the announcement Monday at 11 a.m. London time?
We don't know.

Link;

http://espnfc.com/blog/_/name/mondaymusings/id/738?cc=5901
AVB is good, not great, but has been treated unfairly
7 Wednesday, 18 December 2013 18:47
Adam/Canada
AVB won 55.7% of his games in charge; the highest win percentage of any Tottenham manager since 1899 and has been sacked today due to the board's ignorance and impatience. The talented players that were purchased this summer needed time to become a team, and being thrashed by City and Liverpool is not a crisis mathematically, nor is it as embarrassing as the fans or the media make it seem. How many times has Arsenal been thrashed? As for a new, preferably British manager, to replace AVB? Just look at how Moyes has been doing so far with the EPL champions.

The Spurs currently sit ahead of Manchester United, and are 5 points away from a top four finish (in the middle of the season) and are still competing for every cup competition that they are in. AVB is not a GREAT manager, but overall, he's good enough for the Spurs. In most cases, changing managers makes a bad situation worse. Fans and the media are always short-sighted and impatient, which is why the Board has to think bigger than that. Wenger hasn't won a trophy in over a decade; that is giving a manger too many chances, but after having spent 100 million on new talent, you'd think they'd give AVB more than HALF A SEASON to turn that squad into a team. Sack him by the summer, if they are not happy, but to do it now shows me that the Spurs are run by weak, businessmen, who are covering their own asses.
Inflated Expectations - No Identity
6 Wednesday, 18 December 2013 17:09
Val/Canada
So exactly what kind of team is Tottenham? Attacking, defending, counter-attacking? Are they a big club, a medium sized club? Are they a club that splashes money around? Grows from their academy? Depth squad?

I dont know the answer to any of these and I am guessing not alot of people do. Ask yourself the same question about Arsenal, Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool (its alot easier).

Am i the only one who thinks Spurs are out to lunch when thinking they can challenge for anything but a europa spot? Are they better than Man U or Southhampton (both lower in the standings)?? Hmmm, maybe if you are a supporter you say "yes" but as a neutral....

Man U are lower in the standings then Spurs, so why does Moyes keep his job? Moyes has a much better squad.

I like AVB. He has achieved so much and to be coaching at this level at his age (35) is a real kick in the head. So what is the problem?

This is two clubs in a row he has "failed" or been fired. He was blasted by Liverpool (5-0) and Man City (6-0) terrible high profile loses. Is this all the coaches fault?

I dont know but i agree with NJ, going to PSG is a bad bad move. Time to take a step back and re-evaluate, his next job could really set the stage for his long term success as a top flight coach, which way will AVB go?

Coming back to Porto is like running home to mommy and daddy when the big bad world gets hard. It is also insulting to Paulo Fonseca (regardless of what he has done so far). There are plenty of teams in the big leagues (mid table) looking for good coaches.

Way too many questions about AVB and Spurs and very little answers. I wish Spurs the best but i dont see an upswing in their fortunes, they have problems much deeper than the coach and that will be proven during their next games.

Here are the facts for Spurs:
- 15 goals for (pathetic, Fulham in last place have the same amount)
- worst conversion percentage in the league (1 in 20)
- they have a - 6 goal ratio


It doesnt take a genius to notice they cant score. Why did they spend that 100 million from Bale on a bunch of "ok" players and not on a proven star? Was this the coach or the ownership?

I expect Spurs to put on a 1 game show but only because their is normally a short term upswing in fortunes after a coach gets fired and they play West Brom next. Then they head to Southampton to play, good luck!

Mu question to Spurs fans. So when you keep losing who's fault is it then?
Thoughts
5 Wednesday, 18 December 2013 13:31
NJ/USA/SLB
AVB, is in a precarious position when it comes to his career.
I'm not one to diminish what he accomplished at Porto and deserves all the credit.
At Chelsea, he came on and wanted to turnover the squad. What he failed to realize, no matter what Abram might have told him, veterans still had the owners ear. When he sat and tried to move players out, the team folded. You can say that wasn't his fault, but it's his job to guide and keep players going. It's not all tactics, it's about people management as well.
At Spurs he's the one who brought in the Baldini. The question I pose is how much input did he have into the new transfers. By all accounts it seems as if AVB had plenty of input. That being said, he had a very difficult task to incorporate so many new faces. Injuries and outright disappointment in play have torpedoed AVB. Let me add that while watching Spurs, there seems no sense of urgency when they lose the ball, especially at midfield.

I'm not so sure going back to Porto would be the right move, at this time. But I don't think taking another huge job at PSG makes any sense either. Whether AVB likes it or not, he's coming off two failed jobs/projects and will get quizzical looks from players, no matter where he goes.
I've heard about the open door policy and how he did not lose the lockeroom. But AVB has shown to be a tinkerer, who will switch on and off at a moments notice. Sometimes that works, sometimes not. Players also like a routine and feel stable as too there positins/work. All the "last minute" decisions/moves could have been a factor.

I wish h the best, but his next job selection will be a huge one. He may still be young, but he's had a lot if eyes on him. The spotlight can shine or burn.
Stay away
4 Wednesday, 18 December 2013 12:43
Chris(Canada)
AVB, or the Ginger Judas can stay away from my club. I don't want him back after he abandoned us. He deserves what he got at Chelsea. With Spurs, well I think the board and fans like Chestnutboy are too stupid to appreciate his approach.

So, highest points total and 7th place with still over half the season to go and he's suddenly not good enough? Of course, they suffered 2 big defeats but there was time to recover from these. It's also the result of Spurs fans and Daniel Levy inflating the stature of the club. Tottenham is not yet a CL team. That is what AVB was trying to construct and he was doing excellently in the EL.

But England has a culture of sensationalist journalism, uneducated football fans and chairmen/owners with itchy trigger fingers. It's not an easy place to ply one's trade.
AVB
3 Wednesday, 18 December 2013 11:08
Cheshuntboy UK
Sorry, but titles, cups and CL places aren't awarded for points totals or win percentages, and AVB simply couldn't do in England what was so easy in Portugal. The two worst defeats of the 21st Century in the last four games speak for themselves, and I'm really pleased he's gone, because we can still salvage something from this season with a competent manager. Take up rally-driving AVB - you'll find it easier!
AVB
2 Wednesday, 18 December 2013 10:57
Bobby/Australia
He's definitely a good coach for someone who's won it all @ Porto during 2010/11. I'm not sure if AVB had spent all 100M Pounds to buy the 7 players as this was controlled by Baldini & Levy, and I doubt he got the most of the players that he had wanted that could have blended into his style of play & tactics.

Unfortunately & sadly, Spurs management does not consider that there were many 1st choice defensive players injured, and with hardly much commitment from the midfielders & forward line during the Liverpool thrashing, poor AVB had been subjected to an unfair sacking.

Anyway, I'm sure he'll be much appreciated elsewhere for his contributions that he can make for another team & with the right support from the Management, he'll be a much happier man than he was treated at Spurs.

COYS!
Thoughts
1 Wednesday, 18 December 2013 10:18
Andrew/UK
It was very disappointing to see him sacked at Spurs. But, I suppose that's modern day football. Expectations are extremely high and chairmen/presidents are very demanding. And I suppose, in a way, they are right to be, after all, they are shelling out tens of millions of pounds/euros on players each summer - AVB himself (?) spent £100m in the summer.

Okay, they got spanked by Man City and Liverpool - but it takes time for players to 'gel', it's not going to be an instant success. But when they do eventually gel, who know's what they can achieve.

Spurs are 7th in the Premier League, just five points off a Champions League spot. They had a record haul of points last season as Tom quite rightly points out in this article. And AVB leaves Spurs with the highest win percentage of ANY Spurs manager since 1899 - 55%!

Utterly ridiculous. He's a top manager and the stats speak for themselves. Sure, they got hammered in a couple of games, but is that really a good enough reason to sack someone who is working on a long-term project? No, definitely not.

AVB should give English football the middle finger and go somewhere where he'll be appreciated. I'd love to see him back at FC Porto, but I am not convinced it will ever happen.

Wherever he ends up, I hope he succeeds. Top manager.

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