The thread on the Tottenham messageboard, Fromthelane, also revealed views on the team, the style of play being developed under Villas-Boas and the players and, again, gradually doubting supporters have been won over. I repeat the comment from JTS which sums up the views of many and the progress that the team has made through the season.
JTS: “Impressive. His mark is on the team 6 months in and I like what I see. Potential is there for this to go very well but he needs Levy to help him. The players run through walls for him which is one of the things I had doubts about. I also doubted his ability to be pragmatic but he has done that very well. Genuinely excited about the 2nd half of the season and beyond but come on Levy give us s couple more quality players.”
Supporters see that the team has improved during the season and are hoping for further development in the coming months.
Stars: “Well, I’m pleased thus far. We’re not the finished article yet… but I expect us to continue to improve under him. The concerns – that he wouldn’t be able to get the players on side and working for him – seem to have dissipated. His style means that we should continue to get better the longer he is in charge, so I’m very positive for the future too.”
It was a difficult start for Andre Villas-Boas and with the early results disappointing, there were boos from the White Hart Lane stands at the end of the draw with Norwich.
El Matador: “Knew he needed an ok start as the vultures were out to get him, and although our start wasn’t great there was enough to keep the majority of fans with him.”
Dublin Spur highlighted the pros and cons of the first four months under AVB.
Dublin Spur: “Doing nicely at the moment after a tricky first couple of months.
Pros: Team work ethic, away performances, squad rotation, results and advancement in Europa League.
Cons: Home performances weaker than away, Capital One Cup exit and chance v goal ratio.
Overall gotta be an 8/10 given that we’re currently sitting in 3rd position and in the middle of a great run of results.”
Home v Away Form
RossH: “I think our away form is due to AVB’s favoured tactics working from the off…I don’t think he has really had to be pragmatic with them at all. The home form suffered as I think AVB’s general approach was a little more defensive than we’re used to. I think the last few home games we’ve played with a bit more zip and we’ve actually dominated the games, whereas at the start of the season the possession/chances were more 50/50. We at least don’t look like we’re going to lose.
Also, so many goals conceded seem to be from individual errors rather than tactics. Not absolving AVB from blame here, as it is probably his newly implemented approach and a new style of play that have put doubt into players’ minds in the short term, but I think long term these will be cut down. They already look to be. The way we forced Swansea to change their style by pressing them incessantly was a real plus point for me. We have pressed in most games, but we really did go that extra mile against Swansea to stop them playing their game.
Our away form has been exceptional. 6 wins from 10 when you have been to Etihad, Emirates, OT, Goodison etc is decent. Should have been even better as well. The Everton one is bugging me now, as that would have put us clear of Arsenal and put Chelsea under pressure.”
PLC: “I’m loving us away from home. But the majority of our mistakes at home have come without key players.”
a.g.: “So far it’s been decent. The football at the start of the season was poor, but it has picked up in recent weeks. Away form has been superb and I think playing away on the counter suits us well. Dropped points at home to Norwich, Wigan, West Brom and Stoke is poor though.
Stars: “Perhaps there are excuses [for poor home results], like missing key players. I don’t mean that the wrong way. But I’ve become used to Spurs being really good at home, to WHL being a bit of a fortress, and it’s not quite been like that. At times against lesser teams we’ve lost control of the game and looked vulnerable, and I don’t like that. That said, our away form, as you say, has been really positive.”
RobL: “Up until the past couple of games I found his style to be very boring. The last couple of games have been enjoyable to watch so hopefully we will continue to play good football. It’s too soon to believe he will be a legend but so far, we are having a decent season. The points dropped were disappointing but the difference seems to be Dembele in that regard.”
parklanerob: “He’s doing a superb job, using the players in the right way at the right times, we’re solid, starting to concede a lot less goals and score more despite losing 2 of our best players in the summer (and has had our two best defenders missing all season, 3 if you count King), exciting times. Still needs to find a system that clicks at home like it does away when teams are coming at us and leaving the space we utilise so well, but pretty sure a few quid on a player that can unlock a defence will completely resolve that.”
JD_Plainview: “I was convinced early on but the key for me was, ironically, the Arsenal game. The first fifteen minutes were immense, we were organised, clearly had a superior game plan, caught them completely flat-footed — it reminded me of United when Fergie’s at his best. Obvioulsy, Ade got a bit of a rush of blood but I remember turning it off and explaining to my girlfriend that it was a really encouraging game, she’s still confused.”
Columbo: “The way we’ve been stroking the ball around recently, with intelligent, patient build up play reminds me a lot of United too.”
The Ghost: “It’s taken some time to build a pattern of play but we look good and we have a solid platform. At times, under Harry we looked very vulnerable defensively, but this team, aside from at the Emirates, have looked very organised.”
The fans have noticed an improvement in the individual performances of players who are obviously benefiting from the coaching of the new manager.
RossH: “I think a big aspect of this is he is working with players now that can learn from him.”
The Ghost: “Players like Lennon, Caulker and Sandro are improving all the time.”
Supporters are feeling optimistic for the remainder of the season but there is a general consensus of opinion that Andre Villas-Boas needs the backing of Daniel Levy in this month’s transfer window.
mancSpur: “But the key is not how good AVB could be, it’s whether the club will back him and obtain the players he feels can move the ‘project’ up to the next level. If Levy does, then we’ll see – if not, and he does the usual and comes back from the shop with someone entirely different to what the manager wants because it represents a bargain/ profit then it will be a case of running to a standstill. The spotlight needs to be on Levy, not AVB in my view.”
The fans are quite optimistic going into 2013 and perhaps long term.
tanjo: “Whilst some of our performances haven’t been convincing, I don’t see a 2nd half of the season collapse coming like I did in the last two seasons. I think we will always be well prepared for games which makes a massive difference.”
stefan pape: “The first manger we’ve had in my lifetime, at least, that I genuinely feel could win the League title here.”
There was, however, a note of caution issued by a.g.
a.g.: “Overall the first 6 months have been encouraging but some people are hailing him as the Messiah far too early and like they did with Ramos, maybe slightly over-emphasising positives.”
Finally, Paul Miller, Tottenham’s central defender in the 1980s, in an interview on Talksport on Wednesday emphasised the importance of coaching and the new training centre which the club has developed along with Villas-Boas’ ability to make the most of the facilities as part of the long-term ‘project’ envisaged by the club.
naylor made a humorous comment which related to that,” The architect who designed the new training facilities must have known that we’d have a young, energetic professor of the game who leaves no stone unturned to make full use of them, if he knew Harry was staying they’d probably resemble Jurassic Park.”
From the Tottenham fans who responded to the post on Fromnthelane there is overwhelming support for Andre Villas-Boas. After publishing the first article, there was one dissenting voice who posted on the thread but that was the only one from ninety dedicated Spurs fans who responded on that thread and two other related threads.
**Again, many thanks to all who contributed to this article, I greatly appreciate your comments and the support you have provided.**
Tottenham Fans’ Views on Andre Villas-Boas – the Man, the Manager (1) Here
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