Football

Villas-Boas handed shot at redemption

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When Andre Villas-Boas was sacked from his Stamford Bridge post after a tumultuous eight month spell in charge of Chelsea, few could have predicted that the Portuguese tactician, who promised so much, yet delivered so little, would be back in the Premier League so soon. But, then again, four months is a long time in football.

After Tottenham earlier today unveiled the 34-year-old as their successor to Harry Redknapp, who left White Hart Lane last month following a public falling out with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, Villas-Boas will be presented with an opportunity to prove his doubters wrong, as he looks to spearhead a new revolution from across the capital.

The three-year deal that the former Blues boss has signed in north London gives an indication that it is an appointment being made with the long-term future in mind, with an emphasis placed on the gradual evolution of the Tottenham squad, and a more immediate task of orchestrating a Champions League comeback next year.

Spurs were denied a return to the competition by Chelsea's astonishing Munich triumph in May, rendering their fourth-place Premier League finish not good enough for qualification in 2012-13. It means the club will instead play in the Europa League this term - the competition that helped establish Villas-Boas as one of the most sought-after coaches in the world.

The newly-appointed manager will not embark on a radical overhaul of Tottenham's current playing staff, though, but rather look to give it more strength in depth, gradually reducing the average age, whilst also attempting to re-establish Spurs amongst England's elite.

Perhaps Villas-Boas' greatest challenge from the outset will be to convince influential playmaker Luka Modric to snub the advances of Jose Mourinho and Real Madrid, and commit the Croatian to another season plying his trade outside of Europe's top tier competition.

Signing a striker will also be high on the Portuguese's list of priorities, with Jermain Defoe currently the only recognised forward set to return for pre-season, following the sale of Roman Pavlyuchenko, the release of Louis Saha, and the completion of Emmanuel Adebayor's season long loan spell.

It is understood that Spurs have an option to re-sign the want-away Manchester City star, but at 28, and with astronomical wage demands, the Togolese striker is unlikely to be AVB's first-choice acquisition, despite his relative success in 2011-12.

Ledley King is another player facing an uncertain future under the stewardship of Villas-Boas. The 31-year-old defender's ongoing injury problems continue to hamper his first-team involvement, and with the return of 20-year-old centre-back Steven Caulker - who enjoyed a successful stint with Swansea City last year - Spurs have a ready-made replacement in their ranks.

Following an unprecedented quadruple-winning season in his native Portugal with Porto in 2010-11 - which included an unbeaten league campaign - Villas-Boas arrived in England with a burgeoning reputation as one of the brightest young manager's in world football.

But, after his ill-fated spell at Chelsea ended just eight months into a three-year contract, he will be eager to build on Redknapp's forlorn success and hit the ground running at Tottenham, in a bid to repair his tarnished reputation and finally fulfil his undoubted potential in the Premier League.

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Football
Premier League

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