Apparently Daniel Levy’s gag order on Andre Villas-Boas has expired. The former manager of Tottenham, Chelsea, and Zenit St. Petersburg opened up today at the Aspire Academy Global Summit on Football Performance & Science in Amsterdam, and didn’t mince words about the way that his relationship with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy ended.
“Daniel Levy is an expert in sacking managers. There’s no time for long term projects in the Premier League.”
Hi, Andre. Have you met the new guy, Mauricio Pochettino, and his long term project?
AVB’s no doubt upset with the way he left the club, but it really wasn’t much of a surprise when it happened. The club was still reeling from the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, the incoming players that replaced him hadn’t fully bedded in, and Spurs had just lost 6-0 at Manchester City and 5-0 at home to Liverpool. Spurs looked adrift, and there were rumors of discord between Villas-Boas and Levy right up until he left the club.
Also, it’s not clear that AVB was in fact fired. The line from the club was that Spurs and Villas-Boas had mutually agreed... oh, who am I kidding, AVB was totally sacked.
Anyway, enough time has now passed that Villas-Boas can (or is legally able to) speak about his previous managerial appointments in the Premier League. He also had some choice quotes about his time at Chelsea under Roman Abramovitch, saying he took the job too soon in his career and that he was out of his depth.
“The Chelsea experience was too much too soon. I wasn’t flexible as a manager at that time. I was communicative, but I wasn’t flexible in my approach. At Tottenham I learnt to be different.
“In professional football you have to live the day-to-day. The objective is the group performance, but every single individual requires a different response from a manager – you can’t be the same person to each player.
"At Chelsea the group was more important, I stuck to my methods too much.”
Truth be told, I don’t hate AVB. I thought he was a very good hire when he came to Spurs. Although things fell apart and he probably never was a great fit, he took us to fifth place in 2012-13, one point behind Arsenal, and with a then-record 72 points in the table. He righted the ship post-Harry Redknapp and had the best winning percentage of any Tottenham manager up to that point. He probably has a right to be angry at Levy, and Levy has every right to be dissatisfied with the first half of 2013-14, considering how he lost the dressing room.
At any rate, I suspect this might be the tip of the iceberg regarding AVB’s comments about his tenure at Spurs. I, for one, can’t wait to read his book.