The curtain is lowered on another unsuccessful run by manager André Villas-Boas at a London club. This time it is Tottenham Hotspurs who are giving the hapless AVB his walking papers. Previously he'd been let go by Chelsea.
The move to sack Villas-Boas came a day after the Spurs suffered a humiliating 0-5 defeat at home to a superior Liverpool side. The club had still been reeling from the 6-0 away loss to Manchester City in late November. But in truth, signs of trouble had begun to surface even before then.
Arguably the Villas-Boas-led Spurs put the first nail in the coffin when they sold the much talked about Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for the astronomical fee of about $125 million. Whether Bale will prove to be worth that amount of money to Real Madrid is a separate matter altogether. In Gareth Bale, AVB had a player who was capable of rescuing his side from humiliating defeats. He had an ability to score much needed goals and get results.
Since his departure, the Spurs have only scored an abysmal fifteen goals. That's less than every other side in the top half of the English Premier League table. Liverpool's Luis Suarez, the league's current lead goal scorer, has 17 goals on his own, 2 of which happened at White Hart Lane on Sunday.
Tottenham Spurs do not look like the team that anyone expected. This is supposed a team of big names, millions of pounds spent, and heavy aspirations to challenge for a top four position. The failure of expensive players to impress and a lack of replacement for Bale had left AVB unable to justify his squad's mediocrity to impatient club owners and disgusted Spurs fans.
The crushing home defeat served as the final nail in the coffin; André Villas-Boas would not be given anymore chances.
We can announce agreement has been reached with Head Coach, Andre Villas-Boas, for the termination of his services http://t.co/at9ZjSiA13
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) December 16, 2013
In truth, AVB didn't leave his future replacement with too big of a hill to climb. Depending on his capabilities, the squad is promising. The Spurs are only a few points off the Top 5 teams, with more than half a season left to play. There is time for strategies and comebacks, but the club will have to choose wisely. The wrong manager could lead the ambitious club to a table position that would make what AVB helped provide seem enviable.