Tottenham Manager Andre Villas-Boas Sacked Following 5-0 Defeat To Liverpool
The tenure of EPL Tottenham Manager Andre Villas-Boas "came to an abrupt end" Monday as the club confirmed the “termination of his services” after its worst home defeat in 16 years, according to Matt Hughes of the LONDON TIMES. The 36-year-old Portuguese "had been given a stay of execution" by Tottenham Chair Daniel Levy after the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool at White Hart Lane Sunday, but "was relieved of his duties as he prepared to take training" Monday morning. Tottenham’s board "feared that Villas-Boas had lost the support of his players after falling to their second heavy defeat in three weeks, and were alarmed to hear the manager effectively write off their chances of Champions League qualification." Levy "will look to appoint a successor as quickly as possible in an attempt to salvage a season that began amid optimism" after the club spent more than £100M ($162M) on seven new players. Former England coach Fabio Capello, who now coaches Russia, was at White Hart Lane Sunday and "has a close relationship" with Tottenham Sporting Dir Franco Baldini. Other names linked with the post include former Tottenham striker and U.S. national team coach Jürgen Klinsmann. A "possible return" for former Tottenham midfielder and Manager Glenn Hoddle "has been mooted." Former Chelsea interim Manager Guus Hiddink "was also named as a possible short term appointment to give Tottenham the chance to stabilise things." However, Hiddink’s agent "ruled the Dutchman out of the running because he is taking over as Holland coach after the World Cup." Earlier, former Tottenham Manager Harry Redknapp "had said that Levy should give his successor more time." Redknapp said, "I think people are over reacting too quickly. You lose a couple of games now and you’re in trouble. It shouldn’t be like that" (LONDON TIMES, 12/16).
FALLING BEHIND: REUTERS' Mitch Phillips wrote the "vast number of new faces of varied nationalities have seemed to make it difficult for Villas-Boas to settle on a preferred side, resulting in an inconsistent season for the club." A "paltry return of 15 goals in 16 league matches has left the fans frustrated, while some appalling defending contributed to the Man City and Liverpool heavy defeats." Although they "are going strong" in the Europa League and Capital One Cup, they are seventh in the EPL, eight points behind local rivals and leaders Arsenal (REUTERS, 12/16). The BBC's Phil McNulty wrote "to trace the roots of Villas-Boas's demise requires a journey back to the summer and the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid" in an £85.3M move. Villas-Boas "lost his match winner, the game-changer -- but many observers, myself included, wondered if the coach, Levy and highly-regarded technical director Franco Baldini had pulled off the seemingly impossible trick of parting with your best player while at the same time raising optimism and expectations" (BBC, 12/16).