Tottenham Players Not Happy with Andre Villas-Boas Axe, Says Brad Friedel

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistDecember 18, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15:  Andre Villas-Boas manager of Tottenham Hotspur looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at White Hart Lane on December 15, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Veteran goalkeeper Brad Friedel has claimed "none" of Tottenham's players were pleased to see Andre Villas-Boas removed from his position as manager at White Hart Lane.

The 42-year-old spoke frankly on America's Fox Soccer Daily show, insisting his former boss had the backing of Spurs' dressing room, per Sky Sports:

I think all the players in the changing room really wanted things to work out for Andre.

From day one that he came to the club, (he had an) open door policy, very good communication with the players. None of us were happy to see him go.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 03:  Andre Villas-Boas (L), manager, and Brad Friedel of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park on November 3, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by
Tony Marshall/Getty Images

Tim Sherwood has been handed the interim manager's job while the club hunts a new full-time manager, per Sami Mokbel and Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail.

The aforementioned report suggests Sherwood could be given the role permanently, but Friedel took a moment to confirm the squad will work avidly for whoever the new boss turns out to be, per Sky Sports:

I'm sure the board are going to be hiring a very good manager to take us forward, who the players will all be behind again, because, at the end of the day, we are employed by Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, not by the manager they're bringing in.

We just have to try to adhere to all of his ideas and try to get results for the football club.

Spurs' 5-0 home loss to Liverpool proved to be the tipping point for Villas-Boas' sacking, an event that many had speculated on since the North London club's 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City on Nov. 24.

Villas-Boas, whose relationship with the British press quickly soured during his time at Chelsea, was confrontational when the media questioned his credentials after the Etihad defeat.

He took exception to allegedly misquoted comments by Ashton and fellow Daily Mail writer Martin Samuel in an incident that showed "immaturity," according to quotes attributed to Sam Allardyce and published by Matt Barlow for the same publication.

Spurs have failed to capture a sense of excitement and efficiency since Gareth Bale left for Real Madrid during the summer and, despite Villas-Boas spending over £100 million on replacements for the Welshman, have looked out of sorts all season.

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 30:  Gareth Bale of Real Madrid CF celebrates after scoring Real's 4th goal and his hat-trick during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Real Valladolid CF at Santiago Bernabeu stadium on November 30, 2013 in Madrid, Spai
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

The Portuguese coach's tactics have been questionable at best.

Villas-Boas managed to suck the confidence out of Spurs' play by focusing on cautious football that prioritised the use of one striker. Although the club possesses an excellent squad in terms of individual talent and future potential, he ultimately tried to stick too many new components together at the same time.

Whoever Daniel Levy hires faces a huge challenge at White Hart Lane. The forthright chairman is currently hunting his eighth managerial appointment in 12 years and risks alienating the support of Spurs fans, according to Owen Gibson of The Guardian:

Levy must show meaningful progress in the next 12 months on and off the pitch.

He is not shy of making big decisions, but what is changing is the faith Spurs fans have in him to make the right calls. For Levy, the ultimate behind-the-scenes operator, the risk is that he becomes the story.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28:  Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy looks on ahead of the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at White Hart Lane on August 28, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Spurs are currently seventh in the Premier League and have taken 27 points from 16 games, as well as emerging from Europa League Group K without dropping a point, per

While a new manager could have the power to make an instant impact, it's the long-term success of the club that will eventually decide whether or not he outlasts those who have fallen to Levy's guillotine in recent times.



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