Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas must feel like he is on a deserted island at the moment; a deserted island surrounded by sharks on empty stomachs.
With the unrelenting media scope being placed on the club due to the continued speculation surrounding Gareth Bale’s future, AVB is the only man currently saying anything for Spurs. Players have been quoted as wanting Bale to stay—like Gylfi Sigurdsson in the Express—but little has emanated from the offices at White Hart Lane.
Meanwhile, Marca’s murderous machine offensive has certainly gained attention this week. First it was the headline that Bale was all but signed, sealed and delivered to Real Madrid. Friday brought a more potent line, “supposedly” direct from the mouth of Bale himself.
The claim implies that Bale was, similar to Luka Modric last summer—in fact, when one thinks about this these are more or less the same lines Harry Redknapp said in reference to the Croatian—given assurances that Tottenham would sell him if the club did not make the Champions League.
Of course, whether that is true or not depends on whether you believe that Bale has the ability to raise hell behind the scenes. Considering that no one has heard from Bale yet, it is hard to take anything like that at face value.
The fact that Bale has not spoken publicly, nor the club bigwigs, is what makes the situation extremely difficult for AVB. Essentially, the whole story developing around Spurs is landing on the head coach’s lap.
It is difficult to imagine that this is the kind of thing that AVB was expecting when he decided to stick around for another term. Tottenham wanted him to stay but are currently abandoning him at a particularly vital moment in the summer season.
The media has been clattering into AVB at the pressers in Hong Kong over the last week. English papers like Metro and the Mirror have been running with the juicy copy coming from Spain. Meanwhile, AVB is the only man speaking at all on the subject.
As his lines in the Guardian attest to, AVB thinks the club can lock down Bale again for at least another year.
We renewed his contract at the beginning of last season, if you remember, and it is something that is being dealt with by the chairman and the agent. Talks are ongoing but that doesn't mean there is an agreement. At the moment we're confident the player is under contract at Tottenham, as was done last year. It's something that we are speaking about, but there aren't any developments.
He is a special player and he had a wonderful season last year. Everybody recognised the level he was playing at. We were extremely happy with the level of his performances. We are speaking with his agent about possible improvements to his contract, but we don't need to make any further statements than the ones we made regarding the transfer speculation or his contract.
While he did say there was no need for further comment on the matter, there will be a ceaseless torrent of questions coming is his way for the foreseeable future. For the coach’s sake, it would be helpful if someone in the front offices offered a united front on the matter.
There is no need for a great deal of detail, just something to help take the heat off AVB in regards to the situation.
Daniel Levy could offer the same support to AVB and calm some of the nerves surrounding the club. A repeat of last summer’s transfer storm would assuredly have a negative impact on the club this time around.