Andre Villas-Boas to enter unknown territory

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Believe it or not, Andre Villas-Boas has never completed a second season in charge at a football club. 

He has either been tapped up for his quality coaching record, or sacked for not getting the results. And more often than not, the Portuguese coach moves onto bigger and better things. 

And it's not hard to see why. 

This year, Tottenham gained a record points haul of 72, missing out on Champions League football by one point - any other year and that total would have been enough to secure a top four place. 

On top of this, Spurs got off to an incredibly slow start, with the new team and coach being bedded in. 

This time around, this is not a mountain they will have to climb, with a settled squad and a few new faces they should be raring to go when they visit Crystal Palace on the opening day of the season. 

The squad that finished fifth this year is a much more depleted outfit to the one that finished fourth last year - missing Modric, Van der Vaart and a severe lack of goals on top of this from Adebayor and Defoe.

Even if Dembele, Sigurdsson and Dempsey go some way to bridge the gap, there is still a significant hole in the team, which relied on Bale to save them in too many situations last year.

So how come the team still managed a record points haul? 

The manager is the main factor, with spurs adopting a much more complex system of 4-2-3-1 compared to Harry Redknapp's "old school" 4-4-1-1. 

Spurs now adopt a higher line in defence, play much shorter sharper passes, and most of all, played to the whistle, whereas before, they would peter out in the 85th minute and be guilty of some suspect defending. 

Even though this hasn't been totally eradicated, with losses against the likes of Fuhlam and draws against Wigan, the fact that Spurs now have a grit about them, being much harder to break down as a unit, and scoring late goals demonstrates a large shift. 

Furthermore, the level of tactical study of opposition has increased to an extreme extent. Redknapp ridiculed modern managers who have files about their opposition, however as the game moves on, the young AVB has brought a new level of technicality and science to the game. 

Spurs gained four points against Manchester United last season, springing tactical surprises. AVB's substitutions were second to none, with many games changed and opened up due to them. The best example is the introduction of Gylfi Sigurdsson against West Ham at Upton Park.

So, if Andre Villas-Boas is in the dressing room at Selhurst Park, providing instructions to his team, this will be his first ever time leading a club into a second season. 

And it's no surprise that the best teams in Europe want him, with his record to date being fantastic and his tactics adding a range of points that Tottenham could never have won previously.

Long tenures are a rare thing these days in football, with the top three clubs all changing managers. But if AVB fulfils his three year contract and even continues beyond that, he will be allowed to build a team that suits his style, and more importantly, build for the future.


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