We all know how AVB's Chelsea story. Tried to change too much, upset too many of the senior players, lost the squad, lost his job. AVB told us that he learnt from that experience. He did. However, I would argue he has over-corrected.
We saw it very early in AVB's tenure when it took an age for AVB to replace Brad Friedel with Hugo Lloris. Ever since, there has been an extreme level of cautiousness in how he has handled his team selections. Often, it appears his first consideration is how not to rock the boat. Or you might say more generously, what's best for his player's welfare.
New signings are integrated very slowly into the side, and tend to get their opportunities only when injuries allow AVB to promote them. Indeed, I would suggest that if you're looking to stay in the Spurs first 11, the first bit of advice is not to get injured, and also try not to have too much of a taxing routine when you're off on international duty.
Indeed, the commentators last weekend even noted that Lamela's and Lennon's inclusion came at the expense of Townsend and Siggurdson who had more taxing international commitments. Vlad's injury also gave AVB the perfect excuse to give Kaboul a Premiership hit-out. Indeed, if you go back through many of AVB's selections you'll see the same recurring patterns. AVB has seemed intent to rotate his squad, largely based on who has been healthiest at any point in time rather than on any tactical basis.
I will say this. I believe that the selection process has allowed each and every senior player in our squad to demonstrate what they are capable of. There isn't a player in our side now, who is an unknown quantity; each has had the opportunity to impress or fail at Premier League level. My mathematics, has us so far using 23 of our players for at least a full half of football at Premier League level. On top of that others have had many minutes at European level. Now that Emmanuel Adebeyor has been given his shot, there really isn't anyone outside of Gomes who can complain they've not had an opportunity.
It's time now for AVB to start making more ruthless and tactical team selections. That's going to upset a few players - there isn't a lot of difference between our second 11 and our first, and those in the second 11 would consider themselves starters.
However, to my mind it's pretty clear who should be in our top 11. That 11 now need the opportunity to gel and form combinations.
It's possible, I've got this wrong and I'm reaching for some logic behind illogical team selections. I guess that's what we'll see now. If Tottenham can go on any sort of run in the second half of the season they'll make the Top Four, and AVB's gently gently approach to integrating a new side together will look like genius.