Andre Villas-Boas is one of the brightest young managers in the footballing world, that much is hard to be argued against. He is only 35 years old and has held jobs at some of the better clubs and done reasonably well wherever he has gone. However, following his stint at Chelsea, some were questioning his ability as a manager of a big name side.
There were plenty of reasons why Villas-Boas only lasted nine months at Stamford Bridge. He was too young to lead that club. He didn’t have the backing of the veteran players. His preferred style of player was entertaining but it allowed too many goals. And of course, Chelsea had a string of bad results prior to his sacking.
All that being said, how is it possible that Villas-Boas has gone to another London club, Tottenham, and had much more success with arguably a less talented team and definitely a smaller transfer budget?
It’s a quite simple answer actually, he isn’t under ridiculous amounts of pressure.
I could just imagine how excited Roman Abramovich was to bring in a young manager who had working under Jose Mourinho, an 88% winning percentage at Porto and a Europa League victory on his CV. I could also imagine that he thought Villas-Boas was going to pull something along the lines of a quintuple.
Don’t get me wrong, Tottenham had Champions League aspirations when they began this season but I doubt Daniel Levy is as tough a boss as Abramovic is. Think about it. Harry Redknapp was given four years as Tottenham’s boss as their best finish was coming in 4th twice and they didn’t win any silverware. Levy probably also learned something from his quick fire decision to sack Martin Jol, but I digress.
Villas-Boas has Spurs playing some of, if not the, best football in the Premier League right now and at some point you have to look to the manager as part of the reason for it. His free-flowing tactics have allowed Gareth Bale to wreak havoc on defenses both domestically and in Europe, giving Tottenham a chance to win the Europa League if they continue this run of form.
Now that he has the supporters, the players and ownership behind him, I believe we will see AVB continue to flourish in his role as manager of Tottenham. They went from a club aiming to finish in a Champions League spot to a club that is a player or two from challenging for much more seemingly overnight with his hire.
A perfect end to this season would be if he could find someway to keep Bale in London for a few more years. Whether or not he does is another story altogether, just know that as of now there is nothing stopping AVB from achieving greatness at Tottenham.