Deep down, I knew this would happen. I just refused to accept that Tottenham would default to the standard damage limitation emergency manoeuvre and get rid of their coach in the hope the next man in can salvage the season by taking us into the top four and qualifying for the Champions League. Simply because that is the only true priority the club have. The alternative is to back the coach after backing him with £100M worth of new talent and back him till the seasons end.
Tottenham don't do continuity.
Aside from Daniel Levy, everything around him changes yet nothing really ever does. I guess the good thing, the single positive out of this, is the realisation that Spurs (regardless of being thrashed one too many times this season) are still in a very healthy position. Including the injuries, suspension and the new players struggling to settle into a groove. So, this is hardly a 2 points 8 games scenario where we are down on our knees, an emotional wreck of a club with disillusioned players.
We're simply doing what we always do. Succumb to the short termism of the modern game. The lack of patience and the pressures of entitlement and expectancy - too much for all in the end.
The irony of sacking a football coach with the highest ever win percentage of any Spurs manager tells you everything you need to know about how ridiculous this is. Then someone tells you how ridiculous stats are when it's pointed out that even with the high % record, we should be doing even better because the football we've played has been far too restrained. It literally is the never ending debate of how exactly is progression defined and what do you compare it against?
Fact is, in the end, progression was defeated before this new chapter even started. The most telling stat something about a lack of shots on target.
Perhaps AVB was the best/cheapest option at the time to appoint for Levy. He was meant to fit into the new template for success. A forward thinking manager. A gamble but one that would not have the constraints of the insular community at Chelsea that didn't take to this young ambitious and quite obviously flawed man.
At Spurs the media agenda (let's not pretend there wasn't one) persisted and broke Villas-Boas, who was incapable of looking the other way. Took too much of it to heart.
The football was not fanciful, but since when did Spurs win so many games away from home? We had backbone, resilience and spirit. The basic fundamental building blocks of a team that will need to graft a winning mentality to be able to claim momentum strong enough to contend. Home form was the biggest problem. Not enough bravery, not enough daring to do. Gareth Bale apparently saving us and masking the true issue up front (that AVB didn't have a working plan to implement with strikers). Except Bale was our striker last season, unorthodox, but it worked. Just, when he didn't score nobody else did. That particular puzzle remains evident today. Bale still scoring, out in Madrid. Back in north London, the answer remains a question.
His selections didn't always fit. His formations didn't always work. Tempo wasn't right. Width not evident. A high line with Dawson. Not ever seeking to recall Adebayor. Who really knows if the money spent in the summer was money spent well - in terms of players AVB actually wanted. Perhaps his targets were not signed. Perhaps Baldini and the director of football structure didn't support the coach. Or maybe it did and the fact so many new signings arrived caused new issues, ones only to be resolved over the passage of time.
Time that is not permitted to play out. It's now going to be someone else's conundrum. The new man in is inheriting someone else's half finished team.
There was no attack. No identifiable system. No fluidity. The inverted wingers suggested over complicating matters that required simplifying. If players are not available (say Eriksen, injured) then find another way around it. We couldn't. He couldn't.
We lacked invention but AVB also lacked invention in finding a resolution. He couldn't handle the short term fix to allow for that much sought after longevity.
Andre had to go because there was nothing left for him to allow him to succeed.
Part him, part everything else. Almost got it right. Last season, a club record points tally. If it wasn't for an individual mistake or two things would have played out differently. But that's the thin line we all know so well that renders it all irrelevant. You either make it or you don't.
This season, one too many embarrassing defeats. No evidence of improving on repeated mistakes. Stubborn decisions that made no sense in the grand scheme of cohesion. Even our defensive record was destroyed in the end. We always recovered from blips under AVB. Not this one. Shame we have history for always deciding the only way to clean up is to start afresh. Almost feels like we're missing a trick here, like we're not allowing ourselves to work it out. Let someone else do it instead.
Now rumours citing that perhaps there was something beyond football that pushed him out. Not willing to listen to others and accept advice. A distant relationship with Levy who wanted him to accept PSG's offer in the summer. You can read all the spin (not to say there are no half truths in there) on the Telegraph's website here.
If it's true then the DoF system is to blame again. If there was degradation between the chairman and the Baldini and the coach then this system simply doesn't work at Tottenham full stop. Then again, remembering the whole 'break through' comments after the club visited the Bahamas tells me that there is a hefty slice of disinformation mixed up with the rest of that article. Makes AVB look the victim of mismanagement that paved the way for his own disharmony on the pitch. Was he sacked or did he leave mutually or did he quit? No board confidence so he walked?
One thing is for certain, we (Levy) has form for losing patience. Except this time, it might be because he gave the coach everything he needed to make it work.
Seems the football writers are more creative than our midfield. Spin until you're dizzy. We await the pro-Levy article to break through into the broadsheets to counter the current one.
For all the methodology and preparation the tactics left him isolated in the end. Gary Linker cited 'feel' today, suggesting AVB was perhaps too cold, too distant. Missing some of that simplicity that Harry Redknapp introduced (no square pegs in round holes).
Nigh impossible to really know what's happened aside from the obvious footballing mishaps so best we look towards the future. Forever the future. Always the future.
Good luck Andre. Best looking Spurs manager ever. We'll never know if you had it in you to get it right. Thanks for the fist punching touch line celebrations and a beard that deserved so much more.
Sherwood? For the interim (along with Ferdinand and Ramsey) whilst the club 'progresses discussions'. Interim means West Ham and probably seasons end. Discussions means? Possibly compensation with a club for their manager. Or a nice subtle way of suggesting that if Tim impresses he gets the job. This has always been the quiet story arc running parallel to first team affairs for a long time. Levy started this process to 'appoint him' a week or two back, possibly after the City thumping. Sherwood might have started the process much earlier. This has always been rumoured and now it appears to be happening.
Let's worry about the next game first. Sherwood has stated we need to 'get at 'em' (any given team) with far more urgency so this might see rejuvenation - on the pitch and in the stands. Tim also citing that the points (won) wasn't the issue, but the lack of expression on the field was. So far so obvious. Easiest thing in the world is to want to play free flowing football that wins you games and allows you to beat the very top sides. If only it was that easy.
Basics first. Get some of those smiles back on our faces. Good luck to the new gaffer.
As for my personal point of view on him, I don't have one. Not yet. He has zero first team Premier League experience. He's highly rated by those at Spurs. If that means Daniel Levy rates him then not sure how much weight we can attached to the hype. As per usual, it'll come down to the results and that long lost expression.
For now simply brace yourselves in perpetration for another introduction to stability. We know her well but we don't really know her at all. Five points off the top four. Much like I said earlier, it's not half as bad as it appears to be and because of that aforementioned realisation, Tottenham are still involved and still capable of coming out of this with something tangible. Like a piece of silver with ribbons on it.
At the end of the (longest) day we're all Spurs with conflicting opinions and expectations. Let's at the very least unite behind the next sucker to take the job permanently and pray for him.