Results for Andre Villas-Boas

Defensive issues revolve around Dembélé role

7:00 pm
Tottenham Hotspur have defensive issues that are being addressed, but there has been a slight change in the system that has also contributed to a poorer defensive record.



André Villas-Boas introduced a high-pressing system designed to strangle the opposition’s ability to build attacks. In 2012-13, Spurs gave up the fewest shots in the Premier League, conceded the third-fewest goals and held opponents to the third-lowest passing percentage in the league.

Unfortunately, that came at a cost, Spurs were ineffectual as an attacking force and relied on our one world class player, Gareth Bale, to produce some magic. Without Bale, the system becomes one where we can defend but not attack effectively and that is a recipe for sliding down a table. Goals equal points, it's why the general cost of strikers is greater than a midfielder or defender.

While you need to improve components of a side the most important area are the strikers, it's an area we have to strengthen if we are not to have a frustrating season. At the moment, an injury to Harry Kane and the club has an enormous problem. Mauricio Pochetino is aware of it of course and solutions are being worked on, but we don't drive the timetable for completion, a player can do that.

Gareth Bale carried us in an attacking sense while at the club while Harry Kane rescued us last season. Different players but they are performing the same role and without them there is a problem. This highlights the Northern European method of playing football against the team based ethic of Iberian football. In their football, one component doesn't generally carry the team. Spurs are working toward that a team based ethic that incorporates the talented within it, but they have to work for the team, as Harry Kane does.

Southampton defended in the same high-pressing style that Spurs were using and the fact that the players purchased in 2013 seem unable to adapt to the demands the system and the league imposes suggest they were poorly researched signings. If you look at the number of players who have left Spurs since Pochettino arrived you'll see while the club were equipped to defend it wasn't equipped to play the system as effectively as it should be played. They were unable to do any better than teams in the past, perhaps they did worse.

The important thing is that a problem was identified, the cause of it found, players playing for themselves and money other than Spurs and rectified.

The high-press system is a bit all or nothing, it's either very effective or easily beaten with one long ball. Several times we have seen Spurs caught out by one long ball, fortunately, we haven't conceded goals from them but the threat is there. No system is ever going to stop every chance and every team has to ride their luck and produce defensive recovery skill from time to time.

The object of the system is to push teams wide and not have them attack you centrally, if that is where the opposition is attacking us then the central defensive midfield players are doing their job, fans just assume that as Spurs concede goals the centre is the problem. We can upgrade centrally yes, but the attacking midfield players are just, if not more, culpable for our defensive problems.

When you push a team out wide they are restricted by a sideline reducing the number of passing options and thus the sideline becomes an extra defender.

The defence itself has been strengthened, Kieran Trippier adds depth, Kyle Walker will return to fitness and remember he has only played the system for 15 games. Toby Alderweireld is a proven addition to joining Jan Vertobghen, Eric Dier now has a season under his belt, Kevin Wimmer is thought to be a star in the making and Ben Davies has had a season to adapt. The defence should improve on paper.

The difference between Pochettino and Villas-Boas is that under Pochettino Spurs field four attack-minded players whereas one of the three behind the loan striker under Villa-Boas was a more defensive player with attacking ability, Mousa Dembélé, Paulinho, Lewis Holtby. While all have an attacking ability, it is from a defensive base they begin, unlike Christian Eriksen, Érik Lamela or Nacer Chadli who are attack first, defend second.

That one element, in a nutshell, takes a defender away and adds an attacker. We now create and score more goals but are weaker defensively, as Eriksen pointed pout recently. Once players know the system then it's a question of adjusting the two elements to find a balance that works best for Spurs.

For now it's a question of bringing in the type of player Pochettino wants, develop the youth, help the likes of 23-year-old (24 next February) Eriksen and 23-year-old (24 next March) Lamela to mature as creative players. People overlook how young these two are. You would expect a natural development of players, squad and ability to play the system, certainly that is the hope for next season and beyond.

Further Tottenham Reading
Pochettino Spanish Radio Interview Part 4
Pochettino Spanish Radio Interview Part 3


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Defensive issues revolve around Dembélé role Defensive issues revolve around Dembélé role Reviewed by THBlogNews on 7:00 pm Rating: 5

That result was just what the players needed

1:59 pm
Managers it seems often live in a fantasy world where they think money grows on trees and clubs should have an open cheque book policy.

That result was just what the players needed


What they are actually saying is 'I'm not good enough and I want someone to blame.' Every club has financial limitations and managers have to work within those limitations, if they don't want to then they shouldn't take the job on.

Society is a now now now materialistic society, the public are not prepared to wait and save up for the latest pointless man toy, they want it now and marketing is geared round creating a need and want for a product before it is released.

That has unsurprisingly transferred itself to football where the fan wants instant success but calls for stability in the same breath and chairman want instant success. There has to be a happy medium found. The chairman has to find the right manager to keep long term and you don't know if the man is the right one until he is in the post.

Take Juande Ramos who we appointed thinking he was a quality manager. It turns out Sevilla were happy to see him go because he wasn't the reason for their success, he hadn't built their team, as their staff admitted to us years later. We won the League Cup and then sat bottom of the league. Wikipedia shows us that Ramos has not managed any club for more than 133 games, he lasted 27 games at Real Madrid before they fired him.

Sometimes you have to appoint a manager for now, a manager to do a job who is not going to be your long term choice. Harry Redknapp is a now manager, he deals in older players and doesn't build for the future, the team is always having to find replacement parts and stop gaps. That can sustain you for a while but in the end it will go pear shaped, it's not a sustainable model for long term success.

Andre Villas-Boas was though to be the man and every time I hear his name I hear my Chelsea mate saying 'He will ruin your club.'

As it was he upset all and sundry, the players, the staff and the hierarchy. His bitterness is evident and his recent outburst comical. I love it when a manager can't even appreciate that a footballer has a choice of who he plays for and that players can actually choose not to play for Spurs.

"The chairman proposed a challenge to increase Tottenham's competitive level, but immediately [Luka] Modric left and we didn't get any of the targets I had identified, such as Joao Moutinho, Willian, Oscar or Leandro Damiao. 
"These were promises that were not kept. I had a group of players I had not chosen.  In two years I lost [Rafael] van der Vaart, Modric, [Gareth] Bale, and all the promises made were unfulfilled. 
"In any event I don't look at my time at Tottenham as a negative experience. It was an experience I needed to have."

So he bands on negatively and says it wasn't a negative time, make your mind up. According to a Spurs spokesman speaking to the Press Association he is rewriting history, something not unknown in Russia.

"It's unfortunate that Andre has felt the need to pass comments like these. Not only has he attempted to rewrite history, he has clearly forgotten the facts."

Clearly, given such strong words, there is ill feeling among the two, proof if ever it was needed that he alienated the hierarchy at the club.

After conducting research into Mauricio Pochettino and club opinion it became quite clear that the club felt they had found the right man after the excellent work Tim Sherwood did. He was appointed for a reason which I searched for and speculated on at the time. Clearly it was an interim role, but why, there was more to it than just waiting for Louis Van Gaal.

His reign showing the club, who was playing for it and who was playing for themselves. It showed we had a group of players with the right mental attitude and a group with the wrong mental attitude. It showed the club that unless they weeded out those who felt they could dictate to the manager, the club would forever be the nearly club.

Now I am not one who subscribes to the petty hatred towards Sherwood, he did an immense amount of good, probably the best youth development man we have ever had. I grant you he has a bit of a chip about only getting 5 months but he can't seriously have believed he was going to get more surely.

I'm sure in his talks with Levy he made it clear he'll weed out the loafers, the manner in which he did it may leave a bit to be desired but he clearly showed the club there were underlying problems with the players because the club are now trying to offload the very loafers he exposed.

Mauricio Pochettino is the man to benefit from that. As expected the club have stood squarely behind him, even when performances and results were poor. No longer is the manager on the chopping block but the players are. Those prepared to work, to adapt, to improve stay, those who want to stay in their comfort zone doing what they do for their nice cheque can go.

Last night showed what is possible and now there is a semi-final against Sheffield United coming up with the carrot of a Wembley final for the winners.

The prospect of leaving and dropping down a grade of club, plus the prospect of a Cup semi-final, that may be the enough carrots for some of the underachievers to improve, Townsend certainly improved last night.



That result was just what the players needed That result was just what the players needed Reviewed by THBlogNews on 1:59 pm Rating: 5

Chadli - have Spurs bid £4.32 million or £6.05 million?

9:16 pm
It seems the various papers, this time abroad, still can't get their stories straight over Nacer Chadli and the Tottenham pursuit.

Dutch media this time and Voetbal International say we have offered £4.32 million (€5 million) but that FC Twente Enschede want £6.05 million (€7 million).

Belgian media in the shape of Sport Wereld say the move is a 'dream move' for Chadli and that the initial bid from Spurs was £6.05 million (€7 million) which was rejected. They claim the Eredivisie side want £8.22 million (€9.5 million).

They speculate that agreement is expected to be reached soon between the clubs and go on to say that Chadli was away with his club at a training camp in Germany but has now returned and could sit down with his agent, Daniel Evrard, before the weekend is over.

It was only Wednesday when Evrard said "It has been known for a while that Tottenham are interested in Nacer" and that his client "would welcome this move."

Sport Wereld went on to tell their readers that Spurs have offered a 5 year contract. His existing FC Twente contract runs out next year so it's sell now for the Dutch club or get no fee in a years time.

Chadli can play on either wing, which fits in with the versatility Andre Villas-Boas seems to require in players and he is the right age for our transfer policy, buy cheap young players who will rise in value.

As well as the flanks he can play through the middle or as an attacking midfielder, however his main position is on the left which will give AVB cover when he wants to move Gareth Bale around.

Chadli is no stranger to Spurs fans having scored against us at White Hart Lane in the Champions League group stages 3 year ago.

Clearly a move is being discussed, it's just the fee we are unclear about. With Swansea and Aston Villa said to be interested, hopefully this one will all be sorted soon and he can join us on the pre-season trip to Hong Kong.



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Chadli - have Spurs bid £4.32 million or £6.05 million? Chadli - have Spurs bid £4.32 million or £6.05 million? Reviewed by THBlogNews on 9:16 pm Rating: 5
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