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The AVB Thread

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8 positive points of progression under Andre Villas-Boas

It’s not been the easiest of starts for Andre Villas-Boas at Spurs. After two points from our first three Premier League matches, the media seem out to get him once again and a few of the fans are booing already.

The results may not have been there, but what of the actual performances on the pitch?

Here are eight positive points of progression for Spurs under the guidance of Andre Villas-Boas.

1. Possession

Andre Villas-Boas had Chelsea as the team enjoying the highest amount of possession in the Premier League during his time there with 60% per match.

AVB subscribes to the philosophy that if you have the ball, the other team does not and therefore cannot hurt you. He wants his side to retain possession and probe the opposition by moving it around looking to attack weaknesses in their defence.

In his three matches in charge of Spurs, the team is enjoying 56% possession. This is a good sign that we are controlling the ball and the players are understanding what the coach wants from them.

2. Passing accuracy

To keep possession, you need to make accurate passes to avoid turning the ball over.

Last season under Harry Redknapp, we were completing 83% of passes as a team, this season under Andre Villas-Boas, we are completing 85% of passes. Another sign that the players are getting to grips with what the gaffer wants.

3. Chances created

The goals may not have been free flowing, but the chances have been there for us so far.

Through our first three Premier League matches, we’ve created 39 chances in total, only Everton with 41 have created more this season.

Of these 39 chances created, 11 were at Newcastle, 16 at home to West Brom and 12 against Norwich.

Our opponents have made 22 chances in these matches. Newcastle created just 2 against us, West Brom 10 and Norwich 10 also.

That’s +17 in the chances created department in just three matches so far, which means we need to be more clinical in front of goal. Maybe the reason we signed Clint Dempsey?

4. A balanced attack under Andre Villas-Boas

Zonal marking produced this excellent piece of analysis on attack sides, highlighting what separates the top teams in the Premier League from the lower ones is balance.

Under Harry Redknapp, Spurs favoured attacking down Gareth Bale’s left flank 38% of the time. Aaron Lennon’s right wing was the focus of 32% of the forays forward, with the remaining 30% going down the centre.

Spurs under Andre Villas-Boas have been slightly better balanced and have focussed more to the right, with 36% of the attacks going to this side. The other attacks have gone 32% to the left and 31% up the middle.

Retaining possession and probing the opposition has the effect of creating a more balanced attack, rather than looking more often than not to Gareth Bale.

Favouring the left so heavily highlighted Harry Redknapp’s emphasis on individuals over Andre Villas-Boas who is a systems and tactics based manager.

5. Better pressing

Andre Villas-Boas is famed for his pressing of the opposition and his high-line came in for much scrutiny when deployed at Chelsea.

With Spurs, we have seen some signs of pressing the opposition up the pitch, but this has mainly been in wide areas against the full backs.

In our last game with Norwich, we started to see some more pressure applied to the centre backs. This was highlighted by the increased number of interceptions up the field in the match, as well as a lower pass completion percentage by defenders being rushed in to getting rid of the ball.

6. Moussa Dembele bridges the gap

So far, Andre Villas-Boas has gone with Jake Livermore and Sandro at the base of his 4-2-3-1 system and a gap has existed between them and the more attack-minded players.

spurs-1-norwich-1-avg-pos-1.jpg?9d7bd4

Spurs 1 Norwich 1: average position of Spurs starting players.

Moussa Dembelehas only played 45 minutes in a Spurs shirt, but has already filled that gap and given us a sign of what we can expect to see from him this season.

spurs-1-norwich-1-avg-pos-2.jpg?9d7bd4

Spurs 1 Norwich 1: Moussa Dembele fills the void to link the midfield and attack.

His passing is short, precise and has a sense of purpose to it, moving the ball forward rather than backward. He also retains possession, as his 89% pass completion last season at Fulham highlights.

Moussa Dembele may well prove to be the most important player we’ve signed this season in the wake of Luka Modric’s departure.

7. The form of Jan Vertonghen

With the retirement of Ledley King, we were in the market for a new rock at the back and Jan Vertonghen has impressed since arriving at the Lane.

Debate has arisen over who should partner the Belgian at the back, but Vertonghen has put in a couple of good performances so far.

So far he has won 86% of his aerial duels and been 100% on his ground tackling, whilst also intercepting the ball, highlighting how well he reads the game.

jan-vertonghen-defence-vs-w.jpg?9d7bd4

Jan Vertonghen makes tackles (crosses), interceptions (diamonds) and clearances (circles).

8. New players to come in for Andre Villas-Boas

Moussa Dembele wasn’t the only player to come in at the transfer deadline. Hugo Lloris arrived from Lyon and Clint Dempsey from Fulham.

Lloris will add the agile ‘sweeper keeper’ that we need in order to play Andre Villas-Boas’ high line and his distribution with the ball is good.

hugo-lloris-passing-lyon.jpg?9d7bd4

Hugo Lloris had good distribution whilst at Lyon.

Brad Friedel, while steady and reliable between the sticks, isn’t able to rush off his line anymore to deal with any danger over the top.

As well as this, other than passing out to his defenders, his distribution is also not that good anymore.

brad-friedel-passing-spurs.jpg?9d7bd4

Brad Friedel struggles with his kicking downfield.

At the other end of the pitch, Clint Dempsey will bring goals to the side that have been sadly lacking from the chances we have created so far. The American provided 17 goals in the Premier League last season from a shot at the target every 24 minutes. We need a second scorer behind Emmanuel Adebayor and Dempsey will be that man.

The positive signs are there that the team are coming around to what Andre Villas-Boas wants from them, and that they are settling in to his system.

It was never going to be easy to switch from Harry Redknapp’s emphasis on individuals, to Andre Villas-Boas’ stressing the importance of the system and the team. We really have gone from one end of the scale to the other in terms of how the manager drills his squad and it’s going to take some time to get used to.

With the new faces to come in to the line-up, the results for Andre Villas-Boas and for Spurs are just around the corner. Patience is key.

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tbh most of this is scewed by certain facts. clutching on to 'stats' too much.

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There is a lot of hope and grasping at straws in the whole article, basically going thru AVB's philosophy and then searching for some evidence of it.

Not sure we can take much from three games though really - it is hard to establish a trend from that - but the trends highlighted are ones well worth looking out for over September and October.

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All stats are invalid while Defoe and Livermore are in the starting line up tbh.

The sooner this changes the better off we will be.

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The problem is you don't win games with sh*t players like Livermore and JD

We still have 5 players to come in a start from that team we put out

Lloris( Brad is scared to catch a ball)

Parker

Dembele

Dempsey

Adebayor

We need to drop Gallas as well. All that screaming and 'passion' don't fool me. He's lost it. Players out muscle him and leaves him with movement. If Norwich was any good, we would have lost be 3 goals easy!

Caulker has the most clean sheets out of all our lot, time for him to get some games. He's an established Prem player! I'll even give Dawson to play, it just might be too much for him when pressing teams.

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Yeah Gallas has been shocking. Guy defends like a bitch.

Im dreading parker getting fit again tho because i just know we will go Parker - Sandro, which is a terrible cm partnership which we have all seen before.

>>>>>>> 2 DMs in a double pivot.

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lol

Apparently we have been missing Parker the most.

Forget Rafa and Luka

We aint winning games because Parker hasnt played

According to Spurs fans

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We would have won every game if Parker was fit!

Can't wait till his back :lol:

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It’s started. As the headline from the Sunday Mirror, a paper keener than most to stick it up the Spurs, shows, the first big story of the new season is going to be the fans’ revolt against Andre Villas Boas. And unfortunately, if the evidence of my first visit of the new season to White Hart Lane is anything to go by, a significant proportion of Spurs fans are as eager as the press to see AVB fail. I’m not criticising anyone’s right to criticise, but the weight of criticism needs to be challenged.

The Mirror assures us AVB was personally booed off. But there was booing directed at referee Mark Halsey after his pisspoor performance too. (Just replay the Huddlestone tackle alongside 80% of Paul Scholes’s unpunished ones in the last 10 years). That’s not to say that there wasn’t dissatisfaction expressed at the team and AVB – and the booing at half time was a new low for a once proud support – but there’s nothing like putting the spin on that you wanted. Which the Mirror certainly has.

Other media too lead on the supposed crisis and pressure, with the statistic of “worst start for four years” being bandied about. Let’s leave aside the observation that that “worst start for four years” sounds a bit like “worst day since this week” and take a look at how many points Spurs have had on the board after their first three games in the last 10 seasons.

Currently we have 2 points.

In 2011/12 we had 3

In 2010/11 we had 4

In 2009/10 we had 9

In 2008/09 we had 1

In 2007/08 we had 3

In 2006/07 we had 3

In 2005/06 we had 7

In 2004/05 we had 5

In 2003/04 we had 4

In 2002/03 we had 7

So while results this season have without doubt been disappointing, the massive crisis some sections of the press and our own support are trying to cook up is not quite as massive as all that. It’s worth considering too that in 2010/11, our 4 points from 3 games start included a 1-0 home defeat to Wigan under a certain Harry Redknapp – whose ghostly presence we are surely sentenced to endure lurking over our every move this season as a media still smarting from the loss of an easy source of good quotes works out its strop.

Let’s address the Harry thing now. I must confess I couldn’t bring myself to watch Match of the Day when I heard he was on. I liked the football we played under Harry and was never as critical as some of the most vocal anti-Harryists were. But I never liked his unerring ability to take the credit for everything and the responsibility for nothing and this, combined with the fawning towards any former pro that’s especially pronounced on the MOTD old boys’ club, promised a feast of smugness during which the phrase “I told you so” would never be far from anyone’s lips.

I even, somewhat disturbingly, resorted to tweeting Gary Lineker suggesting he might ask Harry to run us through what he thought was wrong with the draw against a team his side lost at home to last year. So that’s probably put me on the green ink brigade list.

I guess we all need to be less sensitive to the propaganda spun by Harry and his acolytes. But it also needs to be recognised that the relationship between Harry and the club had broken down to a point where his departure was inevitable. He wasn’t sacked because Spurs thought he wasn’t good enough or, in the ludicrous analysis of one Sun hack, because we were being “disrespectful” to the clubs who finished below us. He went because the working relationship stopped working. There are various theories about exactly why this was, but few people making pronouncements know the true facts. It’s a fine point but an important one – AVB was brought in to fill a vacant role, not to replace Harry Redknapp. It’s worth wondering whether the appointment of AVB would have attracted such opprobrium if Harry had left to take the England job. Although his unpopularity with some of the press pack’s puffed up mates at Chelsea, combined with the fact that he’s both foreign and a bit clever, were probably never going to endear him to the open-minded cosmopolitans on the sports desks.

What would also have been a fact whoever the manager was was that Luka Modric would no longer be at the club. His departure is being cited as another element of the “crisis”, especially as “Spurs have failed to replace him”. It’s true that the club’s genetically flawed PR machine has once again caused more problems than it solves, this time wittering on about the “special relationship” we now allegedly have with Real Madrid. It was unnecessary spin, because we all knew Luka was off for the right price, and the fact that Real had loaned Nuri Sahin to Liverpool shortly before the “relationship” was announced suggested that, at best, we were kidding ourselves. Even choosing the term “special relationship” was daft, invoking as it does the infamous set-up which sees the UK agree to do whatever the American government wants.

But taking notice of Tottenham Hotspur’s terminally terrible PR is about as useful as giving much credence to the agenda-ridden rantings of most football pundits and sports columnists. The fact that Spurs don’t make it easy for themselves shouldn’t obscure the facts. Luka was leaving, and he could not be replaced. When Hoddle, Ardiles and Gascoigne left, they could not be replaced either. They were special players and just as other team adjust to the departure of special players, so must Spurs. There is not another Modric to be had, something which should be, but appears not to be, clear to the gormless pundits giving us such insight as “Dembele is not a replacement for Modric”. That’s correct – he’s not meant to be.

What Spurs do need is someone, or a number of someones, who can pull the strings, orchestrate the passing and open up opportunities. And we have a number of good passers of the ball. Which brings us to the transfer window – which apparently was another unmitigated disaster from a clueless chairman. Like many people in football, Daniel Levy doesn’t make himself easy to like, but again it’s wrong to let dislike of a person or their approach cloud the judgement of the facts. I think we did pretty good business. Rafa wanted to leave, we got a good price for him and he leaves a true legend for both the way he played and the way he conducted himself. Modric was going and we got a good price without selling to a domestic competitor. Demebele and Dempsey are good buys, as is Vertonghan. I’m especially pleased we’ve got Lloris – to answer ‘football expert’ Paul Merson’s question about why we’ve signed him, our first choice keeper is 40 years old and when you get a chance to sign one of the world’s best young goalkeepers, you take it. Missing out on Moutinho was a disappointment, but it seems there were too many complications with who owned the players’ registration. The big disappointment was the failure, again, to secure a genuinely top-class striker. While I recognise our lack of Champions League status plus our wage structure means it’s not as easy as just going out and buying ‘that one’, I do wonder why we have found it so much harder than other clubs in similar positions to by a striker for so long. Sigurdsson was a signing that encouraged me, although it has worried me how he’s drifted since an impressive first half hour against Newcastle.

But there’s me judging after three games too. I’ve seen two games where we’ve played good stuff with no cutting edge, and one poor, nervy performance. If I see 15 or 20 games like that, I might start to worry. For me, there’s no crisis, no reason to demonstrate in the streets – we could be Liverpool fans, let’s face it. Unfortunately we’re going have to live with the anti-AVB agenda, but it would be nice to think what has so often been a knowledgeable as well as loyal support would see through some of the rubbish being spouted and not be so quick to jerk the knee.

Unfortunately, one of the by-products of any club which racks up the prices, pulls stunts like the loyalty point rip-off and constantly sells itself as a top-grade product is that it makes the customers more demanding and less patient. What was sad about the atmosphere at the Norwich game was that the “I want it all and I want it now” tendency that seemed to have been held at bay was more prevalent. It will be interesting to see, as the newly socially-engineered loyalty points system kicks in, how this affects our traditionally fantastic away support.

For now, I’m sticking with my view that AVB and this squad will come good. I worry about the board’s tendency to panic and try to be too clever, but even this lot must know if they don’t back this man, the game’s up for all of them. As for Brendan Rodgers, who a number of people seem to have got a thing for, he doesn’t exactly seem to be setting the world alight at the moment either. It’s too soon to judge him too, but at least he has the advantage of being able to get on with the job while the big beasts try to chase down AVB.

That Olympic feelgood factor really is over, isn’t it?

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Might aswell make this the AVB Thread

Many people have said that all AVB had to do to succeed was continue the good work done by Redknapp and build upon healthy foundations. But that’s just not the case. Totally ignoring the players we’ve lost for a moment, AVB’s having to repair rotten foundations, re-build the soul of the team, boost confidence and morale, get a losing team back to winning ways.

Our form now is a hangover from our form at the end of last season. AVB was given a team that was rock bottom in so many respects. We may have finished fourth, but that did not adequately represent just how truly awful we’d been in 2012.

If you take the second half of our season – the second set of 19 games – we won just seven matches. A win percentage of just 36%...and three of those wins (none of which were convincing) came in our final four games. If the league existed just over that period of time we’d have been in 9th position, behind Wigan, Fulham, Everton and the usual suspects.

Those figures include an additional game for us compared to all the other sides (the postponed Everton match @ WHL, because of the riots). If those three points are discounted, we drop to 11th place.

There’s been lots of people saying “mid-table here we come” and such, well mid-table’s been beckoning for a while. We’ve had the form of a mid-table side for 5 months prior to AVB’s arrival. This isn’t his fault, our poor early season form isn’t exclusively of his doing.

If you look at the nine game run from the 5-2 loss at the Emirates in February until the 1-0 loss to QPR in April – a period that represents almost a quarter of the season – we were 19th in the form guide. Played 9, won 1, drew 3, lost 5. 6 points from a possible 27. Goals scored = 9, goals conceded = 14. 0.67 ppg. Only Wolves were worse off. Only two sides (Wolves and Norwich) conceded more goals.

Five teams conceded five goals twice or more in a single game in the league last year, and we were one of them. Norwich, QPR, Bolton and ourselves conceded five goals twice, Wolves conceded five goals three times. Two of the five teams are now in the Championship.

We’ve been crap for a while. Not only is AVB having to prepare for life after King, Modric and van der Vaart, he’s also having to turn around the fortunes of a club that has been in a six month slump. Frankly, given the form of the side it’s easy to see why AVB is happy to undertake wholesale changes to the squad. And it’s also clear that it will take time for AVB to mend a broken team. And that's what AVB inherited: a broken team, not a title-challenger.

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Great post

Should email it to the twats at the Guardian, Mirror and Mail

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Lloris( Brad is scared to catch a ball)

Lol, can't wait till Lloris starts flapping.

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Lloris( Brad is scared to catch a ball)

Lol, can't wait till Lloris starts flapping.

Atleast he'll come for the ball though. Brad invites so much pressure that we've conceded twice in a row 'cause he doesn't help our defense/ our inability to defend

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Burnley's former chief executive has revealed that the club turned down an application from Andre Villas-Boas in January 2010 to become their new manager.

With former boss Owen Coyle having just departed for Bolton, the Clarets were looking to make a swift appointment to help the club's fight for Premier League survival.

Tottenham boss Villas-Boas - then manager of Academica in his Portuguese homeland - was among those who applied for the vacant post, but Paul Fletcher reveals in his soon to be released book that Villas-Boas' application was 'too complicated'.

The Clarets opted for Brian Laws and were relegated just a couple of weeks before Villas-Boas was appointed Porto manager after a successful debut season in management.

The 34-year-old went on to win four trophies in one season at Porto before an ill-fated spell at Chelsea. He now finds himself at White Hart Lane but, as Fletcher reveals in Magical: A Life In Football, it could have been oh so different.

'Mickey Walsh, an old playing colleague of mine, got in touch with me to describe Andre as being a real up and coming hot prospect,' Fletcher writes.

'He sent a very detailed and lengthy application for the job. His CV and Powerpoint presentation were amazing. Even by today’s standards there was some complicated stuff in it, with some things that I didn’t understand.

'Tommy Docherty used to say he never said anything to his players his milkman wouldn’t understand. I don’t think any milkman would fathom the meaning of a lot of Andre’s presentation.

'The language and jargon of football gets worse by the day. Villas-Boas uses a lot of it. Would Burnley players have ever understood what he wanted if he’d told them to "solidificate" or some of his other terms?

'It’s a fascinating thought, one of the many "ifs" in football. If Andre Villas-Boas had been manager of Burnley’s Premiership team; would he have saved the season? With hindsight, we might have appointed him, but at the time it would just have been too big a risk.'

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simple minded fool

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See how happy he was after that win.

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i think avb should tone his celebrations down

because when things dont go your way and you are not jumping up and down fist pumping and sh*t - its makes it all too easy for the media to go at you

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:lol:

However former France international Barthez is clearly bemused at the 34-year-old manager's management of the situation involving his country's current first-choice shot-stopper.

"Lloris is one of the five best goalkeepers in the world," Barthez told Le Parisien.

"He is faster than Friedel, he jumps higher and he is very strong mentally.

"What is happening now is incomprehensible, but I'm not concerned. He will become the centre-piece of the club. Hugo is a calm guy, a good worker. Tottenham will not let him stay on the bench for a long time."

Friedel took offence, however, and this afternoon launched a scathing attack on the player who spent four years at Old Trafford at the turn of the century.

The American wrote on Twitter: "Just saw Barthez comments. I normally don't comment on such c**p but when disrespected by someone I don't respect I must.

"Barthez was ignorant, disrespectful and out of order to mention my name."

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Because he knows its truth :lol:

Wonder if AVB will be brave enought to keep him in tomorrow? Doubt it

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Next time we lose, Brad is out. So i guess against Utd away (We'll draw 1-1 with QPR)

I would like to see Lloris against utd as you need someone to come off their line or they will rape us.

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http://www.independe...ht-8163783.html

One win at Reading won't scatter the vultures loitering over the new Tottenham manager, their wings flaring angrily in Harry Redknapp's sinking sun. But then the vulture was not designed to dissemble. Its head leers hideously from that hunched cape, as though from a stained old mackintosh. A creature that ugly could not possibly be a vegetarian. Sure enough, those eager to depict Andre Villas-Boas as carrion – not least those Spurs fans who had booed his new team's first skirmishes together – seem most provoked by his very youth, polish and glamour.

They see AVB's vanity as seamless: his intellectual pride extending to a broader self-regard, a precocious assumption of superiority over a slack-featured old man, who himself played up to an image of unpretentious semi-literacy, and credited his success to sheer human instinct and warmth. In short, they suspect that AVB "fancies himself". And, reduced to a privileged Iberian dilettante, murmuring compliments to the mirror in five languages as he manicures his stubble, he might in turn betray an equally superficial complacency in those methods that likewise set him apart from his predecessor.

Last week Redknapp lampooned the coaching style associated with his successor in terms that will have made equal sense to both camps. To AVB, in fact, the very suggestion that 70-page dossiers merely mess with players' heads will expose the limits of Redknapp's ambition. A primitive dependence on intuition and gumption was never going to introduce the flexibilities required to take Spurs – wholesomely restored as they were – to the next level. OK, so maybe it's not rocket science. But nor is it just a case of telling them to "effing run about a bit".

To cut-the-crap Redknapp, sophistry and sophistication are one and the same. He scoffs at agonised cerebration over formations. Some of this may be bluff. But he plainly mistrusts those pilots who explain the exhilaration of flight by reference to all those dials and buttons on the console.

In the media, at least, the AVB debate has found a new crucible in the arrival of Hugo Lloris. Never mind the relative roles of the manager and his employer, Daniel Levy. The net result is a choice between a seasoned Premier League professional whose experience (and, therefore, reliability) is eloquently evinced by the fact that he is entirely bald, and a Continental interloper with a youthful shock of dark hair and romantic cheekbones.

It is no coincidence, presumably, that Lloris has chosen shirt No 25. That is his age, as a goalkeeper entering his prime, already world-class and 16 years younger than Brad Friedel. The veteran's sprightly response has delighted those imploring AVB to fail. Ostensibly, he must now deal with the captain of France fuming on the bench. But the bottom line is that one of the key positions in the squad is now secured for its medium-term evolution. And if Lloris has to endure the indignity of a few weeks' observation, while adjusting to his defenders and their language in cup games, big deal.

Heurelho Gomes, for one, might well have been grateful for some such transition. And who knows? From the sidelines, Lloris might well resolve to redress the veteran incumbent's culpable reluctance to leave his goal-line. Ultimately, all parties can and will be sensible about this. Friedel already knew perfectly well he would not be No 1 next season. Levy has avoided a shotgun wedding in the summer. And Lloris, with his excellent distribution, will very soon be the bedrock of a team aspiring to something more lasting than living on its wits. The keeper-sweeper role, after all, is just the kind of thing that might have featured in those "long, boring speeches on tactics" that maddened Rafael van der Vaart before Redknapp rescued him from Real Madrid.

In the end, when Redknapp's men asked themselves whether they had a head for heights, they succumbed to vertigo. If his apologists portray last Sunday as meaningless, they will doubtless take the same view of the fact that it was only Tottenham's second away league win of 2012.

Whether he benched Friedel or Lloris, you could guarantee that AVB was always going to be accused of disrespectful man-management, of an arrogant failure to learn his lessons at Chelsea. Yet while all the new signings bed down, he is already disclosing fresh dimensions in some – Sandro, most obviously – who had seemed to reach their limits either in Redknapp's mind or his tactics.

Though QPR will be no pushover tomorrow, the vultures have booked a committee meeting for Old Trafford next weekend. Spurs always roll over obediently there. And then just wait for mid-November, and consecutive away games at Manchester City, Arsenal and Lazio. How succulent a prey he will be, this preening, condescending usurper of pally 'Arry!

Well, let's see. The battle lines are drawn. One camp – the vultures, or those they mock as believing in Santa Claus – is going to enjoy its Christmas turkey a good deal more than another. To some of us, however, there is already evidence that AVB is both old and ugly enough for the beautiful game.

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Ben Pearce ‏@BenPearceSpurs

#thfc Just arrived at Spurs training ground for AVB press conference. We get driven from the car park to the main building in a golf buggy!

First time I've seen AVB irritated in a press conference. He didn't like the question: "Can you understand Hugo Loris' frustration?"

AVB replied: “What is his frustration? How do you know he is frustrated? He’s not frustrated.”

AVB on Jenas loan to Forest: “There was paperwork still to be done. I think its a deal that can be concluded but can’t confirm it yet”

AVB said Gareth Bale will be fit to face Man United, and that William Gallas and Sandro will also be okay.

ended harrys boys >>>>

the witch hunt is a joke.

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Harrys mates will be fuming

Watch the sunday supplement lot send for him on Sunday after another defeat at OT

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We aint going to lose

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