Glenn Hoddle Exclusive: Villas-Boas Had to Go and Why I Want the Spurs Job

Glenn HoddleFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2013

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I have been reluctant to discuss the situation at Spurs since Andre Villas-Boas’ departure, as I didn’t want to place more undue pressure on Tim Sherwood.

Do I want the job? Let me put it this way:

This is the club I joined when I was eight years of age, signed for at the age of 12 and didn’t leave until I was 28. Spurs is in my blood, it's in my bones and for the sake of this club, I wouldn’t turn them down.

Of course Tim is in pole position, and the club should do whatever is best for them. If that meant that I took the job just until the end of the season, that's fine. But I’d be prepared to do it long-term as well.

Have I been offered the job? No.

What could have been

Spurs are going through a crisis at the moment, fearing they won't make the top four, but it could have been so different had they kept Gareth Bale. They could now be fighting to win their first league title since 1961.

You might think that Spurs couldn’t say no to the world-record £86 million offered by Real Madrid, but chairman Daniel Levy might actually have done so if Bale himself had been willing to stay at the Lane.

Spurs genuinely wanted to keep Bale and believed they could win the Premier League if he stayed.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 19:  Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland at White Hart Lane on May 19, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Bale, like Liverpool's Luis Suarez, is a rare talent. There were a lot of games I saw last season where Spurs were no more than mediocre, but Bale got them out of jail.

Of course, it isn’t easy to turn down nearly £90 million when it's on the table.

Spurs splashed out all the Bale cash and more on seven new faces. AVB lost his job because these signings failed to adjust to the EPL and fit into his style. It also raised questions over whether Spurs had bought the right players.

No one likes to see a manager sacked, but there was a feeling Villas-Boas had been unhappy at Spurs for awhile and that it might have been a relief he has now left the club.

I don’t think he's been happy from the start of the season. It was interesting that he made no secret of the fact he was talking to Paris St. Germain, as per the Daily Mail. I am not quite sure how that would have gone down with the Spurs board.

AVB’s body language in the dugout wasn’t right somehow either. It wasn’t the same—he had reduced levels of enthusiasm, and maybe that was a sign of his internal troubles.

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/Get
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Perhaps it had something to do with an uneasy relationship with director of football Franco Baldini and Baldini's role in selecting how to spend the cash from Bale's sale over the summer.

Having a director of football creates a great deal of unease with some managers. I wonder whether that became an issue at Spurs. The only way it can work between the manager and the director of football is if they can work hand in glove. It has to be a partnership.

Too often the director of football is the man working between the chairman, the board and the manager.

I felt like that when I was manager at Tottenham and we had David Pleat in the role. However, it can deflate everything that might be a problem behind the scenes if it's "we" going forward.

Hoddle, first time round at Spurs
Hoddle, first time round at SpursIan Walton/Getty Images

It worked so well when David Dein and Arsene Wenger worked hand in glove at Arsenal even though Dein wasn’t the football man. They had a relationship where they worked together, and it worked for the team.

Bright future

The setup is perfect at Spurs, and their facilities are now second to none. I have been to see the training ground facilities and they are impressive. The club also have ambitious plans for a new stadium.

They have a good squad of players, although I would adapt the tactics to improve the team—if I was offered the chance.



Ex-England manager Glenn Hoddle is a regular columnist for Bleacher Report UK. Learn more out about Glenn's exciting new website venture, Zapsportz, here.