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Another one bites the dust

As a lifelong Tottenham Hotspur fan, I admit to being somewhat perplexed by what is going on with my club. Today it sacked Andre Villas Boas, a manager with a better win ratio than any (and there have been many) manager since the early 1990s Terry Venables' side that boasted Gary Lineker and Paul Gascogne. True, this current Spurs squad is performing badly relative to expectations, especially considering that in February the club was 10 points clear of North London rivals Arsenal, a seemingly unassailable lead in a race to qualify for the champions league. Yet we fell away at the last, and despite all the new additions at the club, Villas Boas doesn't convince as a manger who can get the club into the all important top four. His tactics have been overly rigid, playing as he does with one lone striker and wide players who cut infield instead of running to the byline. Nevertheless, this is to all intents and purposes a wholly new team and to sack someone who has only been in the job 18 months is a sop to the media-frenzy that gorges on potential managerial layoffs. Villas Boas never convinced me, yet any Spurs fan must appreciate the next level that his coaching took Gareth Bale, perhaps the best British player of 2013 and to whom Real Madrid saw fit to pay €100 million for.

Ultimately, we will never know if Villas Boas would have turned things around. Had Sir Alex Ferguson been ousted after the same period of time at Manchester United, that team may never have become the most successful in English premier league history. Indeed, Ferguson's stewardship 18 months in was in an arguably worse state than AVB's, especially after the team lost at home quite emphatically to a Spurs side in the winter of 1989-90, with none other than Gary Lineker on the scoresheet. Yet after that, one club made a habit of sacking their managers, and one team didn't. The rest is, as they say, history.

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