Many have been quick to sing the praises of Daniel Levy following the sale of Gareth Bale for £86million and the influx of several of Europe's top up and coming talents.
Overnight Spurs were talked up as title challengers, with Arsenal and even Manchester United being virtually written off as contenders.
During his stint at Chelsea, Andre Villas Boas was tasked with transforming the style of football at the Stamford Bridge outfit with the same group of players, whilst being expected to guarantee a top four finish. With the smallest squad out of the top six sides, it was a mission that was virtually impossible to accomplish given the hand he had been dealt.
I have been a long critic of AVB since before he joined Chelsea in the summer of 2011. Having questioned the sacking of Carlo Ancelotti, it seemed a bizarre appointment to make and seemed more of a political move as opposed to anything else.
All of a sudden Chelsea wanted to rid themselves of the stigma of playing functional football and needed to announce to the rest of the world they were brining in a razzmatazz manager to do so.
When watching Spurs, I see direct comparisons with the style of football Chelsea played under AVB's stewardship:
- The high line (which I feel is unsuited to the frantic pace of the Premier League).
- The slow build up play (Which allows the lesser teams to quickly get men behind the ball, something especially detrimental in home games where there has a tendency to be less space).
- The inability to make effective substitutions or create chances.
- The insistence on packing the centre of midfield with destroyer-type midfielders as opposed to more creative and crafty types with good passing ability (Continual omission of Frank Lampard in favour of Raul Meireles case in point).
On the other hand, arguably some of the best counter-attacking displays seen in years came under AVB's stewardship in the games away to Newcastle and Manchester United. But that's just it with AVB, I found him to be a very one dimensional manager and still do and getting Spurs into the top four with this group of players would seem a tough ask even for an experienced manager, never mind a manager with little pedigree in England.
A typical AVB side is one that presses well and high up the pitch and counters with explosive pace and/or shoots well from distance. AVB had this type of player in Hulk and Falcao when at Porto, Ramires and Sturridge when at Chelsea and Gareth Bale when at Spurs.
On at least six or seven occasions last season, Gareth Bale was able to dig Spurs out of a deep hole with his brilliant distance shooting, without that asset AVB has to be more creative and come up with ways to break opposition defences down, especially in home games against lesser sides.
Along the Seven Sisters Road, they have that creative edge and have added to it with the acquisition of Mesut Özil, for all their faults Arsenal never struggle to create chances, it has more or less been an inability to finish the chances they create or having a leaky defence that puts more pressure on the attackers to produce.
Liverpool also have that creative edge in Luis Suarez. Suarez brings other players into play whilst also being clinical in front of goal. Even on a bad day Liverpool still create chances, especially at Anfield.
At Spurs there is huge pressure on young shoulders to deliver the goods, namely Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen and AVB. They are competing against far more experienced and balanced sides at this level and I feel a top four charge may be a step too far for Spurs this season, especially given failure to address the full back areas. Next season, Spurs will undoubtedly be in a better position but they may have to take one step back, before they take two steps forward, and next season will be the one where AVB really has to deliver.
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