We like nothing more than a quick rush to judgement in English football, it suits the boom-bust nature of the media coverage that surrounds the game. Andre Villas-Boas is presumably a keen advocate of patience, and after his experience at Chelsea he would probably also preach the virtues of sticking with long term objectives even when they’re not showing an immediate dividend.
Regardless, he needs to start well at Tottenham.
Daniel Levy is not Roman Abramovich, and Tottenham fans are not comparable to their instant success-demanding Chelsea counterparts – but a poor series of results to begin his Tottenham career will heap pressure on Villas-Boas.
In spite of the obvious differences between the two clubs, press treatment of Villas-Boas will be largely the same. What hurt the Portuguese at Chelsea, was the eagerness of several members of his first-team squad to bitch and whine to the tabloids when they weren’t being selected. Rob Beasley and his Chelsea-loving friends were only too happy to print derogatory columns to keep ‘Frankie’ and ‘JT’ happy – it was all very petty and childish, but that’s how the press works here: on agendas.
Should Tottenham get turned over at Newcastle on the opening day, the same writers will be back to making snide remarks about Villas-Boas, be certain of that. Tottenham’s manager will always have an uneasy relationship with the media, for reasons beyond just the Chelsea debacle. He’s well-educated, he’s perceived to be from a privileged background, and he didn’t play the game professionally. Reporters like the old style of manager; the Harry Redknapp’s of this world who ‘know how the system’ works – the new, modern manager makes them feel like outsiders. The friendly soundbites aren’t there, the transfer tip-offs don’t get texted through – managers like Villas-Boas challenge the sportswriters’ mistaken belief that they are as important a part of the game as the players and clubs themselves.
Tottenham could and should get throw the first three games with at least seven points, at which point Villas-Boas can get on with the task of elevating his side to the levels Daniel Levy craves, but combine defeat in the North-East with a slip up at home to Norwich or West Brom, and the same familiar vultures will be ready to reprint all the negativity that’s been kept on file.
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