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AVB: Life with the Spurs

CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 04 Jul 2012, 23:27 IST
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Chelsea v Bolton Wanderers - Premier League

It is news. It is official. It is AVB. The dynamic, enthusiastic and bighearted tactician who won the quadruple as well as millions of hearts with his Porto side, followed by a horrific spell at Chelsea, has joined Spurs, penning a deal that will keep him there till 2015. Reports say that he was the one and only coach actually approached for the vacant managerial position at Tottenham after the shocking departure of Harry Redknapp. Whatever it may be, he has a big task in hand of making Tottenham challenge for trophies, and at the same time injecting his own style of attacking and attractive football at the club. Spurs might just suit AVB perfectly due to the fact that both the parties nearly share the same philosophy. But that does not make life any easier for this Portuguese tactician. He has returned into the spotlight at a time when he and his club are facing a number of disconcerting  issues.

Second and last chance

He flopped at the Bridge big time. He enforced his philosophy on the players a bit too soon which had them unsettled. Adding  to that, there were confrontations with senior players like Frank Lampard, and it obviously did him no good in winning over the dressing room. His players were naturally defensive, and couldn’t adapt themselves to the high pressing and attacking football philosophy that AVB wanted them to follow. In parallel, Chelsea were impatient, though the appointment was made with a long term vision. Hence, he was shown the door. With Spurs however, he has earned a second chance and this might just be the last. AVB has a point to prove in England, and he has accepted the challenge gracefully. Tottenham Hotspur might just be the engine needed to get his career back on track. And with a unique set of talented and dynamic players at his disposal this time, he can have no complaints if he fails this time.
He must have learnt vast amounts from his spell at Chelsea, and will look to adopt a different approach towards the players this time. He is indubitably a very talented manager, but needs to add a bit to his milieu to reach his maximum potential. This might just be the most paramount period of his managerial career.

New signings and departures

At Chelsea, he was solely responsible for the signing of Mata and Meireles. Mata found his feet from his first game, and formed the backbone of the Chelsea line-up. Any and every build-up play flowed through him. Merieles provided that extra roughness in the midfield, and supported both defence and attack. It is indeed true that AVB’s signings are worth the money paid. Any talent he spots, he will make it blossom once brought to him.
So at his new club, AVB will have the privilege of deciding as to whom to sign and whom to sell during this summer transfer window. It is reported that Gilf Sigurdson, who impressed for Swansea last season has signed for Tottenham Hotspur, and Vertonghen from Ajax will most likely be following in the same direction. Both were Villas Boas’ primary targets this summer. The former will help AVB form a versatile midfield alongside Scott Parker, Bale, Van der vaart and Sandro. Known for his defensive skills as well as his ability to support forward play, will provide a new, much needed dimension within the team. Both players reinforce the fact that AVB wants young, bright and fast players in his team.  Another player who has all these abilities and is already playing for spurs is Gareth Bale. The Welsh footballer recently penned a 4 year deal reassuring fans and the board that his desire is to win trophies with Tottenham. Villas boas never had such a player at Chelsea, one who could rip defenders off their feet and change matches in the flash of a second.
So he has been given a priceless gift, that is the news that Bale is staying. Another important signing Tottenham need to make is that of a striker.
In this facet, Spurs will be looking to capture the services of  Emmanuel Adebayor on a permanent basis. His goal scoring record during his loan spell at the London club will surely make his name a top preference. Louis Saha might also be a viable option, now that he is a free agent. As far as departures are concerned, peripheral players like Niko Kranjcar have left the club with the attention surrounding the future of Ledley king. As the arrival of Ventonghen is turning into more of a reality, King might just be relieved of his duties.

Modric Dilemma

Andre Villas boas will be given the headache of deciding on one of the biggest dilemmas surrounding his club over the past few years, Luka Modric. Since time immemorial, clubs have submitted big money bids, and each and every single bid has been rejected. However, this time around, it looks like Modric is going to leave the London based club to either Real Madrid or Manchester United. His patience got exacerbated due to the lack of trophies, and hence he seems destined to move towards greener pastures. Pretty recently, it has emerged that Real Madrid have won the race to sign the Croatian play-maker. If Modric is sold , something highly likely to happen, Spurs will be guaranteed around 35-40 million pounds. What does AVB do with so much money? Does he buy another star player? Or does he invest it in nurturing young talent and solidify the youth system at the club? But football, at times, seems so deceiving, not just to the eye. AVB’s ambitious project might make Luka Modric stay for some more time at Tottenham. Such a possibility cannot be branded as unlikely. Villas Boas is a good communicator, and if he makes Modric stay at the helm, it just projects his character as a ambitious and passionate person, and will help him win over the dressing room. Fingers crossed over what is going to happen over the next few weeks.

Though AVB has been appointed on a long term basis, it is pretty clear that he will have to be delivering results as soon as possible. Mere talk wont do . He will have to get the best out of the players and resources he has to provide instant as well as long term success. The expectations look a bit too heavy, but a man who has won 4 titles with Porto in a single season must be ready for anything if he needs to make a name in the footballing world.

Published 04 Jul 2012, 23:27 IST
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