Thursday 18 January 2018

Villas-Boas signs up to new 'vision' for Spurs

Jeremy Wilson

Andre Villas-Boas was yesterday granted the chance to rebuild his coaching career at Tottenham Hotspur, with chairman Daniel Levy outlining his blueprint for a young, vibrant and "attacking" team.

Levy controversially sacked Harry Redknapp last month, despite two top-four finishes in three seasons, and has now turned to Villas-Boas -- just four months after his dismissal from Chelsea.

Villas-Boas said that he was "privileged" to have taken "one of the most exciting coaching positions" in England.

The 34-year-old Portuguese returns to the Premier League, where he will have to renew a team who lost focus in the second half of last season, leading to a fourth-placed finish, no Champions League football and the departure of Redknapp.

Villas-Boas sounded delighted to be back in work so soon -- and at a club who finished two places and five points ahead of Chelsea in last season's Premier League.

"Tottenham Hotspur is a great club with a strong tradition and fantastic support, both at home and throughout the world," he said.

"I feel privileged to be its coach. For me, this is one of the most exciting coaching positions in the Premier League."

Villas-Boas will be tasked with implementing Levy's vision -- which he said he "shared" -- of a young team playing good football.

"I am delighted that Andre has agreed to become our new head coach," said the Tottenham chairman.

"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.

"Andre shares our long-term ambitions and ethos of developing players and nurturing young talent, and he will be able to do so now at a new world-class training centre."

Glenn Hoddle, the former Tottenham and Chelsea manager, warned last night that the appointment was a gamble, but the former Porto manager has greatly impressed Levy with his long-term vision.

Villas-Boas established himself as one of the most sought-after coaches in Europe after leading Porto to three trophies in the 2010-11 season, including the Portuguese League and the Europe Cup.

reputation

His reputation suffered, however, at Chelsea where he only lasted until March of last season, following a run of just one win in seven matches. Villas-Boas had been tasked with overhauling Chelsea's playing style and squad but doubts surfaced about his man-management.

After his departure, Chelsea ended the season by winning both the FA Cup and Champions League under Roberto di Matteo.

"It's more than a slight risk because of the way things didn't work out at Chelsea," said Hoddle.

"I did not think that is the way Spurs would go. I thought it might have been better for him to go and reinvent himself elsewhere before he had another crack at English football."

Villas-Boas, though, was sure that he would have succeeded at Chelsea given time and he has convinced Levy that he has both the philosophy and managerial skills to lead Tottenham into a new era. He signed a three-year contract yesterday. "I have had several discussions with the chairman and the board and I share their vision for the future progress of the club," he said.

"This is a squad any coach would love to work with and together I believe we can bring success in the seasons ahead."

Tottenham have confirmed the appointments of Jose Mario Rocha and Daniel Sousa, two of Villas-Boas' staff at Chelsea, as the fitness coach and head of opposition scouting respectively.

Tim Sherwood has also been given a broader role as technical co-ordinator and, although he could eventually move into a director of football role, the club may consider other candidates for that position.

Villas-Boas' immediate priority will be to appoint an assistant head coach and a new first-team coach to replace Kevin Bond and Joe Jordan. Talks are already under way with several candidates.

Villas-Boas will also have an immediate opportunity this week to meet members of the first-team squad. Those players who were not part of Euro 2012 are already back in pre-season training, with the full squad due to return over the next fortnight.

Villas-Boas intends to develop the squad this summer but the changes will not be radical.

Deals are already in place for Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen and Hoffenheim midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, while Tottenham would also like to sign Oscar, a Brazil international.

A striker is another priority, with a permanent deal still possible for Emmanuel Adebayor. Tottenham will also look at options to provide competition and long-term cover to goalkeeper Brad Friedel. The futures of Luka Modric, Ledley King, Rafael van der Vaart and Kyle Naughton are uncertain but Jermain Defoe will be told that he is staying.

Levy said that new players would be brought in over the summer.

"We are constantly looking to move the club forward," he said. "It is important that we now look to develop the potential within the squads at all levels, whilst strengthening the first-team in the summer in key positions with players who will become part of the future success of the club." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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