Daniel Levy this week took the decision to dismiss Tottenham Head Coach Andre Villas-Boas, although the official line will read that the Portuguese coach’s departure was by mutual consent, we can be pretty sure this was a measure taken by the club. This decision came after Tottenham have endured a difficult period following their impressive start to the season, goals have been hard to come by for Spurs whilst goals at the wrong end of the pitch have been conceded with an all too worrying regularity as Manchester City and most recently Liverpool found out.
After much deliberation during the summer months, it was agreed that Tottenham would reinvest the majority of the money brought in by the sale of Gareth Bale into the playing squad, much to the delight of Andre Villas-Boas, who at that time worked with newly hired Technical Director Franco Baldini to bring in seven new players to the club for an outlay of around £110million. The team began the season well with Christian Eriksen looking every bit the technical genius everyone close to Ajax had professed him to be whilst Danny Rose had taken the left-back position from the controversial Benoit Assou-Ekotto with consummate ease.
An injury suffered by Rose in late September was really where things started to unravel for both Tottenham and Villas-Boas. Results started to slip away, Roberto Soldado was enduring a difficult time in front of goal whilst the Portuguese coach was unwilling to put either Jermain Defoe or Emmanuel Adebayor into the team on a regular basis and defensively Jan Vertonghen had to play out of position to cover the loss of Rose at left-back.
As pointed out in Jason Burt’s column for The Telegraph on Villas-Boas’ dismissal, Levy and Villas-Boas had become distant as a result of the failed attempts to offload Adebayor during the summer and the unwillingness to reward the Portuguese coach with a new contract after he had turned down the advances of cash-rich Paris Saint-Germain earlier in the summer. This chain of events right from the outset of the campaign left a shadow over Villas-Boas in the sense that is was always likely he would face a higher amount of pressure than certain other managers in the Premier League. The fact Daniel Levy had sanctioned a far greater spend than ever before during his relatively financially prudent tenure only made the string shorter.
Daniel Levy now has to make the most important decision of his twelve year spell at White Hart Lane, and that is which direction to take the club with regards to appointing a new manager. Many have drawn parallels between the current situation at Spurs following Villas-Boas’ departure and the situation in 2008 that saw Juande Ramos sacked and Harry Redknapp brought in. This was a gamble at the time with Redknapp having not worked at a club the size of Tottenham Hotspur for a long time at that point, yet the former Portsmouth boss brought everything that was needed to steady the ship and eventually improve to Spurs.