Tottenham Hotspur Making Rapid Progress Under Andre Villas-Boas

Ian Rodgers@irodgers66World Football Staff WriterJanuary 9, 2013

Andre Villas-Boas is enjoying life as Tottenham manager.
Andre Villas-Boas is enjoying life as Tottenham manager.Michael Regan/Getty Images

Andre Villas-Boas arrived at Tottenham in July of 2012, and may indeed be enjoying the last laugh on his old Chelsea adversaries.

The Portuguese joined the Stamford Bridge club in 2011 and immediately set about creating his 'project' in West London.

However, Villas-Boas' ideas did not go down well with some long-standing members of the Chelsea team and the head coach was dismissed in March of last year, prompting Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny to criticise some Blues' players.

Now, though, Tottenham are beginning to reap the reward of that decision, while Villas-Boas' detractors such as Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and maybe even John Terry, face uncertain futures at Stamford Bridge.

The former Porto boss was not greeted with instant acclaim by White Hart Lane supporters, but he has clearly learned from his Chelsea experience, and his steady guidance of the team means the transition from the sacked Harry Redknapp has been relatively seamless.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy wanted a progressive young manager in charge to replace the current Queens Park Rangers boss.

Enter Villas-Boas and, amid claims that the Tottenham players were not convinced by his appointment, the Portuguese set about building on the foundations left to him by Redknapp.

Influential winger Gareth Bale signed a new deal at the club, which acted as a tremendous fillip to the incoming manager who arrived days later. It is unlikely that the Wales international will have signed his four-year deal without having some knowledge of where the club was going post-Harry.

Villas-Boas is looking at evolution rather than revolution at White Hart Lane. He has eased new players such as Clint Dempsey, Moussa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen into the side, instead of taking a sledgehammer to Redknapp's team.

Striker Jermain Defoe has responded to Villas-Boas' faith in him this season, hitting 14 goals for the club so far this term, while winger Aaron Lennon has looked rejuvenated on the right flank.

His start to the season looked unsure, with Tottenham waiting until their fourth match of the season for their first three-point haul, but the 3-2 win at Manchester United on September 29 was a significant turning point for Spurs.

It was their third successive victory in league and cup, and it was proof in itself that something good could happen under Villas-Boas.

Currently, Tottenham have won nine of their last 11 matches and the arrivals of much-fancied Lewis Holtby from Schalke and Ezekiel Fryers from Standard Liege serve to underline Villas-Boas' ambitions for the club.

Holtby has already expressed his adulation for his new manager after signing a pre-contract deal which will see him join Tottenham in the summer.

With players such as defender Younes Kaboul still to return and midfielder Scott Parker beginning to find his feet after surgery on his Achilles during the summer, Tottenham are looking strong for a challenge on domestic and Europa League fronts this season.

The Villas-Boas project is on target, although, admittedly, not its original one. But the success will be so much sweeter at Spurs.


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