January 6, 2013

AVB – half time report

We’re just over halfway through the Premier League season, so it seems a good time to make a general assessment of life under André Villas-Boas. I’ll try to keep it brief.

It is no secret that I grew to despise Redknapp – the way he treated us (fans), the club, and actually the way he was managing the team for the final six months of his reign too. I wrote this at the end of April detailing some of my thoughts on Redknapp – things went further downhill from there.

When Villas-Boas was appointed, I was happy; a young, hungry manager keen to prove his doubters wrong, an analyst, a “student of the game”.

I already like most of what AVB is about – his analytical approach, his even-handedness with the media, his pleasantries when mentioning our fans, his apparent respect for the fact that he is a cog (albeit an important one) in a greater machine, something Redknapp never seemed to appreciate.

Of course not everything is totally rosy, and there have been some teething problems – initially AVB was criticised for his use of substitutions, and in recent games his persistence with Adebayor and Defoe as a duo has frustrated. However, the results have largely been impressive, particularly considering the well-documented injury issues, as well as having to cope without King, Modric and van der Vaart. We are improving in crucial areas -for example, looking far more threatening from set pieces (indeed, scoring from another two yesterday), which presumably reflects the fact that we are practising them in training.

It also seems that people behind the scenes are pulling in the same direction, which I think is hugely important. This was never the case with Redknapp, who refused to toe the party line, and frequently seemed at odds with Daniel Levy.

Crucially, I am finally starting to feel like I, as a fan, am a part of the club again (whereas Redknapp seemed to see us – “them” – as more of an annoyance). Long may this continue.

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  • Ady turner says:

    Nail on the head. It’s all about the team rather than him, something which is so refreshing after having had redknapp for 4 years. Like a boas!

    • WindyCOYS says:

      Exactly – he doesn’t want to take plaudits himself.

    • LIAMYID says:

      I agree with a lot of what has been said, but I don’t like slating HR to much. What he gave us was special, the CL games, the wins over CFC and AFC after so many years. He is self serving, but maybe after years of being in this fickle game you become bitter with it all.

  • Jack Fletcher says:

    I agree, I love AVB his style his tactics away from home, basically everything he gets criticised for. He has not yet had chance to put his own emphasis on the team as transfers such as; ade, Mouse, Lloris, siggy were all ongoing before his arrival(with vert completing his signing beforehand) considering his circumstances with the injures and the loss of players though transfers he is proving everybody wrong, what a great manager he seems to be, agree with everything you’ve said about Harry.

    • WindyCOYS says:

      Will be really interesting to see which players he brings in over the next year.

      • Jack Fletcher says:

        I’d love to see Moutinho, but yet again who wouldn’t? I’d like to see the persistent intrest in damiao ended just for the fact it’s really tedious. Zeki Fryers is proof of providing young talent? But who do you want to see??

  • Nice 1 Cyril says:

    I agree. Harry is a manager of small clubs, Portsmaouth, Southampton West Ham now QPR he could not handle the Big team in the long run He had great short term succes but could not see the big picture. AVB and Fruend are molding a dynasty signing the right players and promoting some of our superb young talent something that Harry never did

  • JustASpur says:

    I wasn’t thrilled at the appointment of AVB but am warming to him game by game.

    But seriously the ‘Arry ‘ating needs to stop. You got your wish (it wasn’t mine) so should move on. Like he has.

  • Frontwheel 2 says:

    Yeah,totally agree.He still has to win over the Arry die hards (most of them seem to want to say I told you so when AVB fails)Its looking good and the relationship he has with Levy seems first class.Still waiting to fuck up though,its in the genes.

  • Nic says:

    Good post. As a man I’m far more comfortable with AVB, and I feel out club is in much better hands long term.

    My only issue is it sometimes feels people think Redknapp sold Pav, let the others go on loan in January and bought the two old men, but Levy screwed AVB in the summer window.

    Maybe Redknapp was equally hamstrung?

    • WindyCOYS says:

      Quite possibly… wonder if we’ll ever know?

    • Anonymous says:

      Levy probably did, but anyone can see why on hindsight! Harry made it pretty clear he would ditch us should England come calling, plus the possibility of him going to jail! Would you spend millions on players that might not get you CL football, and then a new manager does not want them?

  • Ron says:

    Agree 100% with your article.

    Considering AVB has had to rebuild our team he has worked miricles.

    When you look at the number of players that were missing from all or a major part of the season it’s hard to work out how he’s done it.

    King retired
    Kaboul injured all season
    Modric Sold
    VDV Sold
    Ekotto injured most of the season
    Adebayor missed over 10 matches through injury
    Parker missed most of the season.

  • OzM says:

    As always Windy, well thought out and I totally agree. I was so pleased we got AVB and felt he was treated despicably at Chelsea. He is all that is good about the modern game and modern sport in general.

  • Iain says:

    Early days but appointing AVB may turn out the best thing Levy has ever done.

  • Peter Sanders says:

    Good to see Spurs fans rallying around AVB ..he has all the attributes to be a great manager for us and the one to oversee the transition to the new stadium where the funding is still in the balance . AVB is modest , treats all competitions with equal respect , gets on well with the hierarchy , players and fans and is bringing in some exciting new prospects . He is tactically astute and in the use of the high line and pressing game has meant we now dominate every game . Remember how we use to get overrun in midfield by City and United ? That won’t happen again as Sandro and Dembele are the best midfield in the Premier league arguably .
    And you need to know this .. The inside story was Harry and Daniel fell out after the tax trial and the relationship fractured .. Harry knew Levy had lined up Ancelotti as a replacement if he had been convicted and levy knew that Harry was desperate to take over England . We now have a calm and settled future . And my wife thinks AVB has lovely eyes .. Well there you go …

  • GW says:

    I have to be honest here. I was completely against AVB at first. And I still have questions. Although he has gone up massively in my expectations I still feel our team is under performing. Recent results have been tough and I think we are winning with the thinnest of margins. Having said all this I now believe we could have great things next season. With Damaio, moutinho, Zaha, we could be a real force next year. I do hope we are still trying for Willian too.

    • Fredikanoute says:

      Thinnest of margins? You not back from your mums after Christmas yet?

      • GW says:

        Haha. What I am saying is that we have ground out some of the results and I have not seen 1 really convincing performance. I can remember about 5-6 really good performances at the beginning of last season once we got moving that is. We have been improving this season but I feel we are still in 3rd gear. I’m not saying we have been playing badly! Just not to the potential our current squad could be playing at.

    • WindyCOYS says:

      But we’re winning with notable absentees – full strength Spurs will presumably win by greater margins?

    • Tindo says:

      Agreed. I think we should blast past small teams by “at least” a two goal margin.

  • RwR says:

    Just glad not to have our business aired out of a car window every five minutes. Also delighted that cliques seem a thing of the past. HR’s treatment of those ‘not in our gang’ was shameful at times.

  • Dangerousa says:

    I am fully behind AVB and finally see a long term vision of Tottenham moving towards a really competitive team.
    Sorry but I am not going to stop ‘Arry ‘Ating any time soon. I will not forgive him for his treatment of our fans and his total ineptitude in the final parts of both the last two seasons he led us.
    It is great to have a manager who wants to improve us as a club rather than promote his own agenda whatever the cost to the club that gave him his chance at the big time.
    Back to small scale fire fighting Arry
    Serves you right for not appreciating what you had

    • Spurls says:

      Oh go on then, I’ll get involved too! Couldn’t agree more. Why oh why do people keep saying that if it wasn’t for the England thing? It’s such utter rubbish. Redknapp brought that on himself but much more importantly the slump happened the year before (almost identically). It happened when he was at Portsmouth too. He just can’t rotate or generally manage for s*&t! It had nothing to do with England. All he can do, literally ALL, is to get a load of older professionals who don’t need managing a little bit more motivated. No squad management, no man management (which is how you manage the players not involved, not the ones who play every week which is easy), no tactics, dodgy tax evader, self-publicist, one trophy in 30 years, the list goes on and on! Ugh! Thank god he’s gone, hopefully for good.

    • Iain says:

      That was the problem with Redknapp. What he did he did for himself. Of course what was best for him often coincided with what was best for the club. But when it didn’t the club came last.

  • superskid says:

    with ole arry it always felt like a rag and bone man from east london had crashed the party,
    Arry didn’t belong at spurs and he knew it,

  • Spurls says:

    Agree with poster about Redknapp hating brigade giving it a rest although (as one of them) it’s tough when there still seem to be a large minority who want him back! But I won’t go there this time other than to say it’s so nice not to be linked with Joe Cole ever again! I really like AVB, have a lot of time for him, and most importantly think he’s learned a lot from Chelsea in the way he’s dealing with the transition from one style to his own and the press (which required huge dignity considering the s*&t he had to put up with). Loving having two hot prospect signings already and can’t wait for the next few months.

  • Hootspur says:

    Enjoyed reading both this article and the comments. I was mildly pleased by his appointment; he was not given a chance at Chelsea. Jury may still be out but there seems to be enough support for a strong majority already. AVB needs time and at Spurs we, the fans, and the chairman seem to be willing to give it to him.

    This time next year we will really know what sort of a coach we have, but so far so good. I do feel that we have a cohesive team off the field too; if we can get a period of stability and a new ground we may stop lurching from near success to near disaster. PS would be interesting to know how SF is fitting in to all this. He certainly seems as committed as any fan – is he a season ticket holder from the Shelf in disguise?

  • spur1950 says:

    STEFFEN IS A FAN SOME PEOPLE will remember about 7or 8yrs ago steff in with his 2 sons with full spurs kit and him with his scarf brilliant !
    But i still get wound up by so called spurs fans especially at home away the fans luv AVB simply because they luv there spurs and understand i think football a bit more
    i am a season tic holder in the paxton and just cannot understand some of the morons in there slagging the side off the same also slaughtering him for playing 1 up front now 2 up front dont hear them saying anything because they are new age supporters/twats who seem to know a little about footie!!!!
    Ade seems to be in his second year syndrome
    I for 1 hated harry for 4yrs years arse luver who hated us mine started when spurs played portsmouth and done his usual gobbing off in the papers calling us scum/animals when dear arseSOL was still there
    2 things came out last yr in jan 1 was england when he had no compition [so he thought]
    the other was EHazard who he couldnt be bothered to visit to seal a deal because in his words i wont be here at the end of the season 2meetings at the end solved that
    Thank god we dont have that prat every 5 mins on the telly
    with his harrys luv in with the press we wont have no more nevelles,campballs,jameis one year then not making up his mind another year when trying to buy a forward changing his mind day to day fact as well!!!! and didnt know whether to laugh or cry with the chavs wednesday
    coys!!!!
    please redcrapp luvers dont come back with he took us to champions league please we should have completed for the title with that team and 1 something?????????

  • He who chases two rats(tot nd england jobs) at a time,will end up killing NONE. That was what happened to Arry @ TOT.He should have made his decision when he still could. I am very pleased with his sacking and also with AVB’s appointment.
    Anyway,to Arry we say welldone!

  • Peter Sanders says:

    Listen guys … We loved Harry when we were destroying the best teams in Europe and playing some of the best football even seen at the Lane , but Harry’s time has come and gone .. As they say , the king is dead , long live the king and AVB ..
    And just to finally end up with a laugh at our friends down the Seven Sisters rd .. My inside info is that Walcott was gone 2 weeks ago ..now wouldn’t that be special if he leaves the Arse in total disarray as we signed one of Wengers principle targets in Holtby ? Three cheers for Daniel .

  • bonse says:

    I didn’t like Harry when he came to Spurs, I saw him as a small time manager who appeared more trouble than he was worth, he quickly turned our fortunes around and I had to begrudginly admit he was what the club needed at that time, well done Levy. Then he took us to places we had previousley only dreamed of, let’s be honest our expectations have irevocably changed from looking forward to challenging for europa spots to almost expecting champion league spots. Then of course that february happened and court cases and england jobs marred his tenure until ultimately we lost enough to get rid.

    I didnt like Harry’s attitude or style, but that didnt make him a bad manager, I think he made many improvements to the club and that we are better off having had him as manager. My point is, I’m a spurs fan, my liking the manager or not isnt going to change that and has very little baring on the subject. I like spurs, I like it when spurs win, if having harry as manager means spurs win then i like having harry as manager, but no where do i have to like harry.

    I didn’t like AVB when he started, I felt he was the best of bad choices, I think the fact that the players stuck by him says a lot though, he’s slowly changing my mind, but i just do not like the idea that a club can win 1-0 in the premier league. This hasnt been true in over 20 years, even when leeds and arsenal had a habit of winning 1-0 they had spent a large portion of the matches trying to get a killer second. With football these days its changed to a killer third. Happily we seem to have gotten out of that frame of mind and this has warmed me to AVB, but my warming to him hasnt suddenly put us in third place, it might actually be that he really does know what he is doing.

    I liked Ardiles, he was not good for the club. I liked Hoddle, could have gone either way. I liked Venables, but ultimately was bad for the club, I didnt like graham, ramos, gross or santini and stand by that, i didnt like francis, but he did make improvements. because of all this I am always distrusting of managers who have likeable assistants (Santini, Ramos, AVB) but as you can see above, my liking of managers or their deputies has very little say in our success. All I can hope is that we spend every minute on the pitch trying to score another goal rather than trying to avoid conceding one.

  • TylerCOYS says:

    Well said, Windy. You’ve about hit the nail on the head for me. I’ll admit that I was wary of hiring AVB, even if I had always admired him since his Porto days. ‘arry really held us back for as far as he took us. I think good, ballsy move by Levy, though. Clive Allen has even come out and said that yes the England job speculation probably ruined our season. It’s just remarkable to be a Spurs fan now. There are so many things I feel great about. We have a new training facility, a new coach/assistant coach, a new stadium on the way, and the team atmosphere seems to be amazing. The future is looking bright..

  • [...] sentence is something that the mainstream media have seemingly only just started to recognise. I blogged on AVB’s start at Spurs last week; in a nut shell, I’m delighted with the way things have gone so [...]

  • [...] sentence is something that the mainstream media have seemingly only just started to recognise. I blogged on AVB’s start at Spurs last week; in a nut shell, I’m delighted with the way things have gone so [...]

  • Tindo says:

    Harry never treated himself like a Spur, always referring the club as “them” and himself independently. He was always going to jump ship. AVB has a bright future, but Levy must back him up even more

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