Sam Allardyce believes Andre Villas-Boas' decision to confront the press over recent criticism shows "immaturity."
The West Ham manager—famed for his direct, no-frills approach—suggests Tottenham's Portuguese boss was wrong to confront Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail for his damning column, as reported by David Kent of the same publication:
"You have to use the criticism as a motivational drive to show these people that they are wrong," said Allardyce. "You’ve got to take it on the chin."
Villas-Boas' latest fallout with two journalists, in which he spoke calmly but directly, hasn't helped the Spurs manager evade headlines in a time of difficulty for his team.
Ashton, as noted during his report of the heated exchange, was criticised alongside fellow Daily Mail writer Martin Samuel for allegedly misquoting AVB after Spurs' 6-0 defeat to Manchester City. The paper quoted Villas-Boas claiming his players should feel "ashamed" of their performance, something the Spurs boss says was twisted:
Villas-Boas: I never told that the players should feel ashamed of themselves. We, that includes me.
Ashton: But if you say we should feel ashamed of ourselves, you are including your group of players?
Although a confusing confrontation, Villas-Boas also claimed the writers had launched an attack on his "integrity" and "human values." Ashton had recently written an article suggesting "anyone could have a pretty decent chance" of replicating Villas-Boas' success at Porto.
For a reporter to make such a suggestion raises questions over his own credibility. After all, few managers can say they have won the Portuguese title.
However, the willingness of Villas-Boas to make his objections public has only drummed up further headlines of negativity, an unwanted consequence after a week that saw him feverishly linked with the sack, per Jason Burt of The Telegraph.
Villas-Boas had a less-than-stellar relationship with the press at Stamford Bridge and invited further pressure by engaging directly with Ashton. As noted in Kent's report, via TalkSPORT, Allardyce believes the 36-year-old should have kept his mouth zipped and proved critics wrong with results on the pitch:
"It can get under your skin but you can’t let that happen because you’re not going to win. [...] You and your players have got to do your talking on the field."
While the hammering suffered at the Etihad is fresh in the memory, Spurs performed well to beat Tromso in freezing Europa League conditions and showed greater authority in midfield during the 2-2 draw with Manchester United.
Although Wayne Rooney struck twice to peg Spurs back, Villas-Boas will be pleased to see the likes of Paulinho, Sandro and Mousa Dembele highlighting their qualities alongside each other.
There's still plenty of work to wade through—with away matches against Fulham and Sunderland next on the agenda—but Spurs' general play is heading in the right direction.
As hinted at by Allardyce, Villas-Boas would be smart to put a barrier up when he is dealing with the press. He is an emotional manager, one who rarely masks how he feels, but the timing of his outburst doesn't help Spurs' squad as they try to rediscover a consistent run of form.
Villas-Boas is perfectly within his rights to call the British media out, but right now, the effectiveness of his team is more important than battling against personal critics.