Would Tottenham Hotspur Be Better off with Andre Villas-Boas?

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentApril 8, 2014

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 01:  Andre Villas-Boas manager of Tottenham Hotspur adjusts his coat during the Barclays Premier League Match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane on December 1, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Would Tottenham Hotspur be better off if Spurs chairman Daniel Levy had not fired Andre Villas-Boas?

Sticking by Brendan Rodgers

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12:  Brendan Rodgers manager of Liverpool looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Liverpool at Britannia Stadium on January 12, 2014 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griff
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Could Rodgers manage a big club like Liverpool?

That was the question every critic had when he managed Liverpool to 18th place after the first five league games of the 2012-13 season.

Rodgers' Liverpool finished seventh that season, 11 points behind Villas-Boas' fifth-placed Spurs.

Nowadays Villas-Boas has reunited with former Porto player Hulk at FC Zenit, while Rodgers is on course to lead Liverpool to their first-ever Premier League title. 

Levy was too quick to pull the trigger on Villas-Boas, who at the time had won 53.7 percent of his league games, the best of any Spurs manager in the Premier League era, per BBC Sport

It was a knee-jerk reaction from Levy to sack Villas-Boas. 


His replacement, Tim Sherwood, has similar qualities to the manager Villas-Boas replaced (Harry Redknapp).

Sherwood Winging It

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 07:  Tim Sherwood, manager of Tottenham Hotspur reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland at White Hart Lane on April 7, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Upon replacing Villas-Boas, Sherwood had not even completed his coaching badges, per Sam Wallace at the Independent, so he was not serious on becoming a full-time manager. 

Levy sacked Redknapp presumably due to his aloof demeanour to tactics. 

"There are no long and boring speeches about tactics, like I was used to at Real Madrid," former Spurs player Rafael van der Vaart said, per the Sun (h/t ESPN FC). "There is a board in our dressing room but Harry [Redknapp] doesn't write anything on it."

Villas-Boas, a fastidious manager, is the antithesis to Redknapp. 

So it made no sense for Levy to replace Villas-Boas with Sherwood, a Redknapp-esque manager. 

Sherwood sitting in the stands during Spurs' 4-0 defeat to Liverpool and then downplaying his behaviour tells you he does not have the tactical nous required to take Spurs forward. 

"I can learn more about my players sitting up top for the future than going down there to the touchline,"   Sherwood said, per ITV. "When you're playing against Liverpool and teams like that, I feel there was a technical mismatch between the two teams."

What about in-game adjustments? How about motivating players on the sidelines? Perhaps, manage the players? 

Villas-Boas' Spurs were beaten 5-0 by Liverpool and 6-0 by Manchester City, yet Sherwood's Spurs were defeated 4-0 by Chelsea, 4-0 by Liverpool and 5-1 by Manchester City. 

Levy has not alleviated the situation; rather he has worsened it and will sack Sherwood for either Louis van Gaal or Mauricio Pochettino, per Jeremy Wilson and Matt Law at the Telegraph


LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 16:  A sign saying 'Levy Out' is seen in protest of Daniel Levy, Tottenham Hotspur Chairman ahead of the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on March 16, 2014 in London, England.
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Levy hired Villas-Boas knowing the former treble-winning Porto manager had baggage after a premature firing at Chelsea, per David Hytner at the Guardian:

I respect the decision of the owner of Chelsea [Roman Abramovich] but I will never accept it.

I told him that for me, it was him quitting on me when he had been so much involved at the beginning in bringing me in [from Porto] and he was also [the one] who was not putting up to the things that he promised.

What reason did he give to me? I'm not sure if I can make it public but the reasons don't go along or can't be applied to the fact that I was dismissed.

Levy emulated Abramovich when dismissing Villas-Boas.

Levy took away Villas-Boas' most valuable player, Gareth Bale, and then spent the Bale windfall on players Villas-Boas did not approve of, per Matt Barlow at the Daily Mail

Of course, Villas-Boas' Spurs were going to hit a brick wall under those adverse circumstances. 

Levy should have waited it out.

Don't forget that Rodgers' Liverpool conceded three goals against Aston VillaSouthamptonStoke City and West Bromwich Albion in the 2012-13 season. 

Like Liverpool management giving Rodgers another chance, Villas-Boas should have been given a chance to revive Spurs. 

Statistics via WhoScored.com


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