Patience. One characteristic that has never been tied with Tottenham fans, but new boss Andre Villas Boas says: ‘the fans must be patient.”
And so we must.
Patience is key, and this is evident in some of the biggest teams in the world.
If you want a bit of history of projects in building a club, then the two most successful clubs in England are a blueprint to go by – Manchester United and Liverpool. Sir Alex Ferguson and Bill Shankly. Could even throw in Wenger’s Arsenal in there, but I don’t want to delve too much into the Gooners, for obvious reasons.
For those who don’t know, Ferguson joined United in November 1986, and in Ferguson’s first season in charge, they finished 11th in the table, followed by a 2nd place finishing the season after, his third season in charge, they finished 11th. Now, in modern day football, if any manager of a top team finished 11th in the league, they’d have the sack immediately. Ferguson lost his first professional game in charge of Manchester United to Oxford United 2-0, who is now a League 2 club. Says it all. His fourth season in charge wasn’t much better; they had a decent start to the league beating defending champions Arsenal 4-1, but lost to their archrivals, Manchester City, 5-1. “Three years of excuses and it’s still crap…ta-ra Fergie.” this banner was pinned around Old Trafford, and many journalists and supporters called for Ferguson to be sacked.
The board of directors kept their faith in Ferguson, as they could see his coaching and scouting system was being reorganised to a good level, something that Levy wants to introduce, a good coaching system with a brilliant training ground, and AVB is the coach to do this. If you’re telling me that Redknapp is a better tactician then you’re having a laugh. He’s a good man manager, which is why he was ideal for the England job, as our players have no confidence on the international stage.
Look at Manchester United now, the most decorated team in English football, imagine if their board didn’t keep Ferguson on, Liverpool would most likely still be the dominant power in English football in terms of titles.
I’m not saying Andre Villas Boas will go on to win 21 Premier League titles, and four European cups, countless FA Cup finals etc. But I think if the Manchester United board can give SAF four years to build towards a title, then I think we can give Andre Villas Boas more than three games before we start booing the team off, which was, by the way, the MOST pathetic thing I’ve heard of in my experience of supporting Tottenham Hotspur FC.
I thought AVB bought well on Jim White day, I know a lot of fans were disappointed in losing Modric and crowd favourite Rafael van der Vaart, but we have brought in some quality players in Dembele, Dempsey and Hugo Lloris.
This is a sign of AVB trying to create a team that he believes can challenge in years to come. The majority of our signings over the summer have pointed towards the future – Vertonghen, Lloris, Dembele, Sigurdsson – all 25 and under.
Now, on to the game versus Norwich…
I watched the Match of the Day highlights, although they don’t show the in-depth highlights and analysis I was looking for, it was clear that Norwich outplayed us in terms of opportunities. It’s all very well in saying, ‘well we had 60% possession”, we had that under Redknapp, and in games versus Norwich and West Brom, and other teams like these two I’ve mentioned, it was hard to break them down. And this has been the case in the past two games.
When we lost to Norwich last season, we basically gave third place and Champions League qualification away, and this was because we wasn’t tight enough in midfield, and played 442. Norwich counter attacked us very well, and beat us 2-1 on the day.
AVB tried to toughen our midfield up and played two holding midfielders, a lot of pundits, including Robbie Savage thought this was a silly tactic to play at home, but I think most pundits actually forget previous encounters. We need to be tight against teams that will look to be attacked, because as we all know, the Premier League can be very unforgiving.
He knew this wasn’t a good tactic and tried to go for gold bringing Dembele on for Sandro, and Adebayor on for Sigurdsson. That was the right move, if we had started 442 and had gone 1-0 down, then yes, fans would have the right to boo the team, as we can’t beat losing to teams like Norwich City at home.
AVB will need time to integrate the squad, he plays a totally different brand of football, although it’s attacking, it’s a pressure based game, with a high defensive line and pressure on the opposition defenders.
So, Spurs fans, do you want to give this young manager some time to gather a top four and potentially title winning team, or go back to a man management side, who will play attractive football, but lose when it matters most? I know what I prefer.
Cheers for reading.
Follow me on Twitter: @mattywalsh8