5 Things AVB Brings to White Hart Lane as Tottenham Coach
The winds of change have blown through North London, and no one could be happier than Spurs fans.
It's the best summer transfer window in recent years for Tottenham.
They've re-signed their franchise player in Gareth Bale, found a replacement for centre-back Ledley King in Jan Vertonghen, look to have their attacking midfielder of the future in Icelandic wonderboy Gylfi Sigurdsson and the centre-forward situation seems to be taken care of with an agreement for striker Emmaunel Adebayor.
But it's not just players that are changing uniforms. Andre Villas-Boas was unveiled as Tottenham's newest manager two weeks ago and already he's been a breath of fresh air in an otherwise stagnant situation left behind by Harry Redknapp.
There's quite a bit that separates Villas-Boas from his predecessor Redknapp, and it should all be encouraging to Spurs fans. What are those differences?
Join me as I give you the five things Andre Villas-Boas brings to White Hart Lane as Tottenham's newest manager.
When Villas-Boas was thrust into the manager's role at Chelsea, he was 33 years old, had just two years of professional experience and knew little about handling the kind of overbearing egos that were lurking at Stamford Bridge.
The hope for bringing Villas-Boas over from Porto was that he had raw potential as a manager and that he could grow into the kind of man who could lead Chelsea into unprecedented greatness.
Instead, because of players like Frank Lampard and John Terry who believed they ran the Blues, Villas-Boas' growth as a manager was stunted. At best he plateaued and at worst, he declined.
Villas-Boas brings that same raw potential to White Hart Lane, but he's now working at a club that's not as high-profile and is much younger. There's no one above Villas-Boas like there was at Chelsea and a lot of what couldn't be grown with the Blues will flourish with Spurs.
In his short career, Villas-Boas' calling card has been his ability to turn around lackluster clubs and make them score. They may lack defense, but they're going to get goals.
When Villas-Boas took over at Académica, the club was in last place and without any wins. With his help, they finished 11th in the Portuguese Primeira Liga table, reached the semifinals of the 2009-10 Portuguese League Cup. They also averaged 1.23 goals per match, sixth-best in the league.
After that stint with Académica, he was hired on as Porto's manager and led the team to a Portuguese League Cup, went undefeated and won the Primeira Liga table and won the Europa League—all while improving Porto's offense from 70 goals the season before to 73 scores during the 2010-11 season.
What he did with then-Porto striker Falcao was beyond words. His 39 goals in all competitions is a club record.
Attacking football runs through Villas-Boas' veins. He'll bring it to a Spurs team that would have qualified for this season's Champions League had they turned one (just one!) of their nine draws into a victory.
Consistency in Lineup
Villas-Boas boasts a near stubbornness when it comes to consistency in tactics. He lives and dies by the 4-3-3, a formation he loves so much that he instituted it for 89 percent of his matches with Porto during the 2010-11 season.
Compare that with Harry Redknapp who last season used five different formations over the course of the season, according to WhoScored.com.
AVB won't let himself be handcuffed to any formation, and his signings indicate he could switch over to the 4-4-1-1 formation early into next season, but he won't be switching between five different formations like Redknapp did.
More Enthusiasm on the Pitch
Not that this point matters much to Tottenham's quality, but it'll be nice to have someone a little more animated on the touchline than Ol' Man Redknapp, right?
...and Less Distractions Off It
In February, as Harry Redknapp's tax trial was looming, Tottenham suffered a dramatic drop in form that cost them a spot in the Champions League.
Redknapp's name was cleared in early February, but in the weeks leading up, Spurs suffered a 3-2 loss to Manchester City and an embarrassing 0-0 draw to Liverpool who were playing very poorly at the time.
Add in a heavy dose of the FA throwing Redknapp's name into contention for the England job and in just two months time, Spurs went from second in the league table to as low as sixth.
Villas-Boas won't bring these kinds of distractions to White Hart Lane and as a result, his Spurs will have a focus Redknapp's didn't at the close of last season.