May 25 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Andre Villas-Boas targets less aggressive change at Spurs
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has vowed not to repeat the mistakes he made at Chelsea and instead implement a process of gradual change at White Hart Lane.
Villas-Boas returns to the Barclays Premier League on Saturday for the first time since he was sacked by Chelsea last season after nine months in charge.
After being heralded as one of the best emerging coaches on the planet, Villas-Boas’ reign at Chelsea ended in failure amid claims his actions had unsettled the old guard at the club’s base in Cobham.
The 34-year-old’s plans to lower the age of the Blues’ squad by phasing out players like Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba did not go down well with the experienced members of the dressing room, and nor did his decision to order Alex and Nicolas Anelka to train on their own after deciding they were no longer in his plans.
Villas-Boas admits he also has some rebuilding to do in his new job at White Hart Lane, but concedes he must do it in a more controlled way.
“There are changes which have to be done, but I think that I won’t promote that change as aggressively (here) as I did at Chelsea,” Villas-Boas, who replaced Harry Redknapp last month, said.
“When things were going along smoothly, everybody is happy and you are able to progress it.
“When you are faced with a setback, it’s the ability to bounce back from that setback that will keep you right on track.
“Chelsea had three negative results in a row last year, which had a tremendous impact, and when we wanted to correct things, we were always putting the fire out and never establishing what we were before.
“I think it’s best to go for a progressional change. We have to respect what has been built here by Harry and hopefully I can do exactly that.”
So far Villas-Boas’ reign at Tottenham has gone relatively smoothly. The Portuguese signed Jan Vertonghen and Gylfi Sigurdsson from Ajax and Hoffenheim respectively, but his recruitment drive has hit the buffers in recent weeks thanks to an impasse over Luka Modric’s future.
Tottenham now appear close to agreeing a fee of just over £30million for the player with Real Madrid.
Villas-Boas knows it will be hard to replace Modric, who has been outstanding over the last couple of years for the London club.
Worryingly for Spurs fans, the Portuguese admitted his preferred replacement, Porto’s Joao Moutinho, looks unlikely to join.
“It will be very difficult to sign him,” said the former Porto boss.
“I have experience of Porto and it is a club that sells good products but they are expensive,
“It has been like that with numerous amounts of players and that is why it is very difficult.”
Another target, Rennes’ Yann M’Vila, is also unlikely to sign.
“He is an interesting player, but I don’t think he will join Tottenham,” Villas-Boas said.
“The player is a player of defensive characteristics.
“We had initial interest in M’Vila but we have moved on from that one and are now looking for a more creative player.”
Villas-Boas is not concerned that he will run out of time to find a suitable replacement for Modric, though.
“The targets are identified, it’s just a question of how quickly we can close the deals,” he added.
“It will be dramatic for the club if we cannot find the right replacement but we are looking to strengthen the squad immediately if eventually the transfer goes through.”