He's got them dancing through hoops
Andre Villas-Boas and press conferences. Good solid pace, nothing overly spectacular but gets the job done with a touch of flair, much like his team. I'm not about to take more pot shots at Harry Redknapp and his more bubbly soundbitey tell the world everything style when sat in front of the media. For a time it was good to have someone the press liked, took the pressure off. Even though in the end it proved wholly detrimental and created a false bubble that burst with his departure.
Compared to last season, Villas-Boas is more composed, more approachable and very cool when pelted with stupidity. He had today's audience dancing through hoops. Some journalists preferring to ask QPR-centric questions, in search for anything they could perhaps manipulate into a narrative in prep for Saturday's mid-day kick off at Loftus Road. Then again there's very few questions of substance you could ask aside from team related news. Hence the digging for dirt or a nugget of gold.
Key highlights for me from the press conference? The white Tottenham training track-suit top. Ryan Gosling in Drive. Andre Villas-Boas in the driving seat.
Then there was his casual deflection on any transfer related questions, dismissing Damiao and Belhanda was refreshing. Although the manner in which he spoke about Leandro Damiao was very much an admittance of what we know already. The club fancy him. Whether we're waiting for a specific time which suits the player and his current club I don't know. Fact is, if we were interested, if something was happening...no reason to add fuel to fire and openly say so. Could be tactics could be the honest truth. Either way, don't waste time trying to figure it out. Time will give you the answer (be it one you've probably heard a few times already).
He confirmed Holtby will be joining in the summer not now, which was fairly obvious as that was the agreed deal. AVB interestingly citing squad depth and balance (although mentions later that Livermore will go out on loan, possibly).
The Adebayor 'issue' was also passed over with an emphatic 'end of the story' when explaining conversations with players are private. He also cited the fact we've been without him before. So, looks like Defoe and Dempsey are the two that need to avoid injury. It still is, potentially, just two games missed for the departing Togo international (one of which is Manchester United). Will be interesting to see the level of his performance if selected on Saturday.
You've probably seen countless quotes and articles already. But one thing which will probably be overlooked by the headline hungry hippos is the statement made about the actually game itself.
Villas-Boas stated the most important factor in the lead up to QPR...'for us to profit from a weekend where the top teams meet each other'.
The media, some of the fans...they will hardly avoid the easy story arc of Redknapp v AVB. The Tottenham connection. Taarabt. Their relegation battle, our war for a top four placement. When it's all said and done it's three points up for grabs and if Redknapp wasn't involved it would still be three points - all of which we simply cannot afford to miss out on.
AVB respecting Redknapp, respecting the fact he knows our players very well. Knows our weaknesses. Actually, does he? He missed key weaknesses when he was our manager so not sure he knows how to exploit any we might have now. Not to the same effect we can exploit theirs. No doubt they'll be fired up. They are fighting for their lives. Although so far that hasn't translated too well. But having beaten Chelsea, a win over us might, just might, kick start another Houdini from Harry.
If I'm honest, I don't have any doubt that our quality will see us through comfortably. I'll be astonished if we turned up and then failed to actually turn them over.
If we don't win you'll find me burying my head somewhere in Epping Forest for at least a week after the game.