3 Reasons Why Andre Villas-Boas Is Finding Success at Tottenham Hotspur
His name is Luis Andre de Pina Cabral e Villas-Boas. That's simply Andre Villas-Boas to you and me. Or AVB if you're simply lazy.
Whatever you want to call him, you can't deny the Portuguese is having a renaissance season with Tottenham after flaming out with Chelsea last year.
AVB has guided Spurs to fourth in the English Premier League with 40 points, just two points behind his former club Chelsea.
But perhaps what's most important is the fact he has his squad looking down on fiercest and most hated rivals Arsenal.
But how has a manager—who lasted just nine months into his Chelsea career—turned his fortunes around so quickly?
Here are three reasons why Andre Villas-Boas is loving life at the club that features a rooster on its crest.
When Andre Villas-Boas was with Chelsea for those few months, he reported to Roman Abramovich, a man with a seriously unbalanced riches-to-reason ratio.
It's common knowledge that Chelsea Football Club is Roman's toy. He can do anything he wants. So if something isn't exactly right, such as AVB's 19 wins, 10 losses and 11 draws at the controls, the Russian billionaire can (and did) act swiftly and harshly.
It seems Abramovich expects to win every single game and every piece of silverware. That comes with being able to throw money around like he does on footballing talent. But he reacts to undesirable results a little bit too quickly. His knee-jerk reactions have created a feeling of instability that makes the Chelsea job a little dangerous to take.
AVB was under the microscope during his time with the Blues. He was like a tiny ant being burned slowly by a human with a magnifying glass. Eventually he ended up as Abramovich's eighth sacked manager since 2003.
Tottenham have high expectations, too, but nothing like Chelsea's.
2012 Summer Transactions
The future looked a little bleak for AVB's squad when Luka Modric, the club's best player, finally left for Real Madrid. Rafael van der Vaart also left, but for Hamburg.
But this season has evolved into something resembling last year's success, thanks in large part to Villas-Boas' 2012 summer signings.
Mousa Dembele and Clint Dempsey came over from Fulham and have fit in right away. Dempsey has bailed Tottenham out on several occasions, the most notable of which was his team's 3-2 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris joined from Lyon and Jan Vertonghen—arguably the most important signing—came from Ajax to bolster the defence. Emmanuel Adebayor has provided another threat in front of goal.
The thing that truly needs to be said, however, is the fact that most of his buys were the correct ones. They have, for the most part, helped Tottenham compete. The same could not be said for his purchases while at Chelsea.
Slightly Smaller Egos
Players and managers both need a year to find their feet in the Premier League.
AVB had his year. And he's learned his lessons.
For one thing, 35 is a remarkably young age for a manager. It could simply be his youth that was his undoing at Chelsea. We all heard whispers of near-mutinies during his time there, and why not? Legends like John Terry and Frank Lampard ruled the dressing rooms, while larger-than-life egos such as Didier Drogba's filled Stamford Bridge.
Why should they have to follow the direction of a 35-year-old man?
At Tottenham, there are no egos quite like the ones found at Chelsea. And that means less pushing back towards AVB. That means that more players are buying in to what the Portuguese is selling.
He's having a successful season because there isn't anyone likely to usurp his authority. And that's a good thing for Luis Andre de Pina Cabral e Villas-Boas. Because of that, the man with the long name will probably manage Tottenham for longer than nine months.