Tell us something we don't know


Extract from a translated AVB interview you can read in full here via

On his time at Tottenham:

"Tottenham set a points and victories record in my first season, and missed out on the Champions League by one point and had a great run in the Europa League. In the second season, at the time I left we had more points than in the previous season. I ended up leaving by mutual agreement - it wasn't a sacking - because I gave full support to the football director Franco Baldini who meanwhile had other ambitions, meaning that I ended up with players that did not fit the profile I wanted.
"The chairman proposed a challenge to increase Tottenham's competitive level, but immediately Modric left and we didn't get any of the targets I had identified, such as João Moutinho, Willian, Óscar or Leandro Damião. These were promises that were not kept. I had a group of players I had not chosen. In two years I lost Van der Vaart, Modric, Bale, and all the promises made were unfulfilled. In any event I don't look at my time at Tottenham as a negative experience. It was an experience I needed to have."

Sure, there's an element of self-preservation of ego at play. However, the fact Villas-Boas has retained his backing of Franco Baldini in the context of the Italians appointment (at the time and after the fact) suggests there was an admittance of error on his part for believing in the 'project'. He could easily lie about it and protect the little legacy he left behind by saying he opposed the 'director of / sporting director' hierarchy. He backed it because he believed in it and because he was promised it would work.

The ex-gaffer basically confirming what we all know. We have (had?) a continental style DoF system that is meant to facilitate and support a philosophy that the coach is capable of delivering, except in this case the disconnect was evident for all to see because the system didn't work for the coach. The system worked for the system with the coach and that impossible to grasp philosophy a mere afterthought. Baldini and even Levy along with a sizeable chunk of the fanbase would argue the players signed were still good enough to elevate the standard of play. AVB's stubbornness and reluctance to let go of his own system, his eventual downfall into getting anything tangible out of the pre-Bale era.

Of course, the other perspective in all this is that AVB had to sign off on the players we signed, thus agreeing their arrivals and not being completely devoid of responsibility. If so, that's still akin to asking for a full breakfast and being told there's only toast, so you grudgingly accept the toast only to then find out that there's no butter left.



Spurs have come out fighting, saying that AVB has muddled the facts (Modric leaving two weeks after arriving wasn't a shocker and Rafa van der Vaart's departure was influenced by Villas-Boas). The one that made me LOL though was the quote stating '...Spurs deemed many of his targets as unrealistic'. Interesting one that. How exactly do you define unrealistic? Don't answer that. I can think of four players we were allegedly in for before they signed for Chelsea. Still, it's hardly something you can truly define. It's all bordering on embarrassing now.

SpookyAndre Villas-Boas, DoF