by ‘Ifreke Inyang
It is now official. The clauses and length of Andre Villas-Boas’ contract at White Hart Lane has been agreed, and Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed that the Portuguese will replace Harry Redknapp. Cue the voices of resistance and dissent.
“Hiring Villas-Boas is a decision that maybe shouldn’t have needed to be made. They were in a position with Harry where if they just added two or three more players, and spent a bit of money they could have really kicked on,” Glenn Hoddle, a legend at the club said.
“It would probably have been better to add to the squad, rather than making a decision that may result in players wanting to leave.
“However, the decision has been made and it’s a key moment for Tottenham. Everyone at Spurs has to get behind him and hope that everything goes well.”
He has arguably spoken the mind of thousands of football followers. The Mourinho-lite manager is easily remembered as the disaster that happened across town at Chelsea, and not the man who achieved a treble of League, Cup and Europa League titles with FC Porto in 2010-11, shortly before that forgettable spell. And so, to everyone connnected to the club, it represents a risky appointment.
Villas-Boas’ transition from management’s wunderkind to its, er, blunderkind in the space of seven months at Stamford Bridge, is a chapter in his life no one in England will forget. And so it is his cross to bear. But it could have gone differently. Had he found in Roman Abramovich a patient boss and with a bit of luck in results, he would have made some impact.
And now he has another shot at redemption, in England, and in London. The jury is out and the 34-year-old needs to prove that he has learnt a thing or two from his time at Stamford Bridge. That for instance, his man-management skills have vastly improved. And also, an ability to live with a tough club owner – Daniel Levy is just as headstrong as the Russian at Chelsea.
His new job description is not just to put a check on Spurs’ slide. But to charm where he can, change where he can and ultimately prove to everyone beyond Britain’s capital, that he knows his onions.