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Tuesday, 3 July 2012


So I read with shock on my face, after rummaging around, to find out that Andre Villas-Boas had become our head coach - anyone know the difference between a head coach and manager? Okay, if you didn't see this coming then you've had your head knee deep in the saw dust I spent hours sweeping away today. The story had an engine attached to it so loud that I hear poverty-ridden kids in Brazil even knew AVB was set to be our man.

After initial expectation vastly outweighed the feeling of surprise after this appointment, my first gut feeling was excitement. Despite his rather abysmal spell across London, after arriving with expectation matching the combined weight of JT's lovers on his shoulders, I can't help but feel optimistic on this appointment. Maybe it's the hunger or lack of sleep. Maybe it's the halo effect derived from Andre's dashing looks. Or maybe I'm just purely blinded by hope that Levy knows what he's doing.

It's been well-documented, and more recently now than ever, that AVB likes to play with a particular style. From what I gather he's a man that likes to play his own game more than defending against the opposition's. He likes flair on the wings, 3 centre midfielders and a "complete forward" up top. Yes, I quoted FM. This is something that we've pleaded/moaned/cried out for. It's a system which our players can truly flourish in. What I also noted was one sentence that Levy made in his statement regarding AVB's appointment supporting this; "He has an outstanding reputation for his technical knowledge of the game and for creating well-organised teams capable of playing football in an attractive and attacking style." This wasn't something that AVB accomplished at Chelsea and I stuck to my guns when I first claimed,last summer, that AVB and CFC could end badly. I took great joy out of it as well. Great joy indeed.

So, where do my reservations come from? I think the perfect word to sum up this appointment is "hopeful." It's incredibly hard to identify how AVB will cope at Spurs and, despite the theory seeming positive, Levy knows this is a huge gamble but one I'm happy he took. My worries arise from a scenario in which we are 6th/7th come January and 10 points from 4th, for example. Are we willing to stick it out with him or are we going to find Levy photographed in Spain again looking to lure another manager to the helm? (Reliable sources have informed me that Levy's recently been seen on Abramovich's boat thanking him personally for buying out AVB's release clause from Porto.) We can become an impatient bunch, but I'd hope we'd give him time. The guy will face many comparisons in the press to their beloved 'Arry, this is almost inevitable. His mental strength will be tested. One defeat and  the many cliché's involving "inexperienced" and "to young" will fall hard on to the shoulders of the Portuguese. 

I have a few, limited, reservations but, for a pessimist, I find myself optimistic on this appointment. The guy won't nail it in a season. We may have to settle for a less than successful year next year in the hope that the long term will see us flourish towards the top end of the league and come closer to flirting with silverware than we have done over the last 20 years. 

We may even find ourselves singing "We want you to stay, we want you to stay, Luís André de Pina Cabral e Villas-Boas we want you to stay" in a few years, although I doubt it.