AVB avoids comment on chants
Published 26/11/2012 | 06:34
Andre Villas-Boas tried to deflect attention away from the anti-Semitic chants that marred Tottenham's 3-1 victory over West Ham.
Just four days after a Spurs fan was stabbed before Tottenham's game against Lazio, West Ham fans aimed a flurry of deeply offensive chants towards the home support about the attack. The chants were heard from the away end during Sunday's game, which was settled by a brace from Jermain Defoe.
Villas-Boas said: "I prefer not to mar the performance with a situation like this. You know the animosity there is between Tottenham and West Ham and as long as it doesn't reach stupidity it is a great, great rivalry of two London clubs."
Hammers fans were also heard hissing - mimicking the gassing of Jews in the Holocaust - throughout the game and some Spurs fans reported on Twitter that Adolf Hitler's name was chanted by the away support.
Villas-Boas added: "It would be extremely unfair for me to mar the performance of the players but understanding that a couple of situations are avoidable but we can't decipher the true meaning of what they were saying."
Hammers boss Sam Allardyce said he would not comment on the matter until he had fully heard what the away supporters sang during the game. "I didn't hear it," the West Ham boss said. "I don't hear what the fans say or do when I'm concentrating as a manager on a game of football.
"They shouldn't be doing things like that, it is the least of my worries at the minute isn't it. What do you want me to say? If I didn't hear it I can't condemn it can I? I will wait and look at it myself and make a comment once I have listened to what they have said."
The chants overshadowed Tottenham's best home performance of the season. Villas-Boas' men went into the match on the back of three straight defeats but they oozed confidence and were brutally clinical up front against a weak West Ham side.
Defoe put Tottenham ahead just before half-time with a marvellous dipping shot past Jussi Jaaskelainen from 20 yards. Gareth Bale made it 2-0 when he finished Clint Dempsey's chipped through-ball and Defoe wrapped up the victory just after the hour by sweeping home Aaron Lennon's pass in a swift counter-attack.
"I think it was a very good performance," Villas-Boas said. "We have been chasing a good, solid 90-minute performance for a while and we got it today very deservingly. It was extremely important to get back to winning ways - particularly against a team who has been doing well in a London derby."