Tottenham Hotspur: Andre Villas-Boas Is Proving the Doubters Wrong
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When Andre Villas Boas left Porto in the summer of 2011 to join the Roman Abramovich revolution at Chelsea, he had the world of football at his feet.
After leaving the support team of Jose Mourinho to spread his wings as a manager in his own right, it was quickly apparent that another Portugese managerial star was on the rise. Joining lowly Academia in October 2009, he found them adrift at the bottom of the Portugese Premier League without a win all season.
That soon changed under the management of Villas Boas as he led them to mid-table and the semifinals of the Portugese Cup. These impressive results saw him catch the eye of Porto and he was appointed their manager in the summer of 2010.
What followed was an astonishing season.
They won four trophies, finished their league season unbeaten and Villas Boas became the youngest manager in history to win a European trophy of any kind. These impressive statistics had all the top clubs in Europe clamouring to secure his signature, but it was Chelsea who triggered his release clause and the ambitious Villas Boas tendered his resignation to Porto for the club he had first worked at under Jose Mourinho.
This was where it all started to go wrong for the first time for the Portugese manager. His relatively young age and inexperience left him struggling to earn the respect from some of Chelsea's most important and seasoned campaigners, and results were mixed to say the least. They quickly found themselves behind the two Manchester clubs and struggled in Europe.
When he had joined Chelsea it was supposed to be the start of a new era. Roman Abramovich was looking to rebuild the side that had previously been so successful and Villas Boas was the man tasked with this.
Unfortunately, at the first signs of trouble he was not given the backing required from Abramovich. As he tried to blood some young players and change the style of play, results inevitably suffered and he was sacked after a defeat away at West Brom. Roberto Di Matteo was appointed in his place, brought Drogba, Lampard and Ashley Cole back into the team and the rest is history.
But where did this leave Villas Boas?
It was undoubtedly the first stain on what, until then, had been an outstanding CV. However, a lot of people, myself included, felt that he had not been given a fair crack of the whip at Chelsea and that it would only be a matter of time before he pitched up again in a new job.
When Harry Redknapp was surprisingly relieved of his duties as manager of Tottenham, Villas Boas was one of the first managers to be linked with the vacancy and he was swiftly appointed.
After a tricky opening period of the season with a couple of disappointing home draws, Tottenham have quickly found their feet under their new manager. Players like Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe are thriving under his management and at the time of writing they find themselves third in the Premier League table. They have also progressed in the Europa League and the FA Cup.
It will be difficult to hold onto a player of Bale's quality in the summer, but Villas Boas is clearly planning for next season already with the signing of Germany Under 21 Captain Lewis Holtby from Schalke. With the average age of the team being lowered all the time it is clear that Tottenham have a very bright future and will fancy themselves to go far in one of their remaining cup competitions.
Although the job is not yet finished, he has gone a long way to proving the doubters wrong after his failed spell at Chelsea.
If they can maintain their form, they will undoubtedly finish in one of the Champions League spots, which will help them to keep their best players but also attract new talent to White Hart Lane.
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