According to bookmakers, the vacant coaching job at Premiership Tottenham is definitely going to Andre Villas Boas. Everton’s David Moyes was the original favourite but was quickly replaced at the head of the market by the former Chelsea and Porto boss. Last week he was 1-6 with several firms but he is now virtually unbackable at 1-14.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy sacked Harry Redknapp with a year still remaining on his contract and his assistants Joe Jordan and Kevin Bond followed him on Thursday. This presumably leaves the way clear for Villas-Boas to bring in his own coaching staff and try to put the bitter experience of his short time with Chelsea behind him.
Only last week, Andre Villas-Boas was reported as having rejected reports linking him with the Tottenham job as “lies”. The bookmakers were unmoved by this and he has remained firm favourite, albeit not with the club’s supporters. Although they have a bitter rivalry with North London rivals Arsenal, there is no love lost with Chelsea who recently ended Tottenham’s Champions League hopes by lifting the trophy. This left fourth placed Tottenham resigned to the Europa League for a second season running. Last season the two clubs were embroiled in a tug-of-war over Spurs’ midfielder Luka Modric with Tottenham reportedly turning down £40million for the Croatian.
With so many managerial changes this summer in the Premiership, AVB has been linked with several other posts and was thought to be a leading candidate at Liverpool. The Portuguese arrived at Stamford Bridge at a cost of £13.3 million to the Blues as they paid a high price to release him from his contract at Porto. He had claimed four trophies in a season and was regarded as one of the great new talents in the coaching ranks. He was seen as the new young manager that would take Chelsea’s ageing squad and turn it into a new Barcelona. It wasn’t to be, as Chelsea stumbled and stuttered in the Premiership and faced elimination from the Champions League. There were reports that Villas-Boas had lost control of the dressing room and could not cope with the super-egos of the established players at Stamford Bridge. He was sacked after just 9 months in charge and Roberto Di Matteo was appointed interim manager.
Di Matteo’s remarkable achievement in transforming Chelsea’s season into one of triumph has not done AVB’s reputation any favours. To be fair to AVB, he had been given an almost impossible task of making sweeping changes whilst continuing to bring success in the Premier League and Champions League. Di Matteo had no such pressure in his temporary role. His job description was simple – this is the mess we’re in, see what you can do between now and the end of the season. Di Matteo’s success was down to superb tactical awareness and he now faces a new challenge of his own at Stamford Bridge as he attempts to make them genuine title contenders. At White Hart Lane, Villas Boas already has a fine squad to work with and results are the club’s priority. They want trophies and Champions League football. However, his first task may well be to win over the fans and shake off the mantle of “Chelsea reject”.
Tottenham are rated at 33-1 by William Hill to win the Premier League next season and 12-1 to win the Europa League.
Author Profile: Harvey Mayson+