giovedì 5 luglio 2012

Next stop: Tottenham

So, André is back. André Villas-Boas signed a three-years deal with the Tottenham Hotspurs. He beat out former France coach Laurent Blanc, Everton manager David Moyes and Wigan boss Roberto Martínez. He will face two challenges: to succeed Harry Redknapp and to succeed in his second job in English football after Chelsea's failure. Villas-Boas has now to show he learned from Chelsea mistakes. He has a contract that presumes another three-year to do it. His first task will be try to keep Luka Modric. The Croatian could be one of the interior midfielders. The other should be Van der Vaart but there is also the Hoffenheim's midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, the expected next team's sign. With both Modric - if he stays - and Sigurdsson, AVB could play his preferred play style: retain the ball and attack at the right moment. The appointment of AVB represents a move away from Herry Redknapp tactics. With AVB Tottenham will be more active and less reactive. At Chelsea, AVB had to change his mind long the way:
“Our No 6 [at Porto, the central midfielder] sometimes became a more attacking midfielder and we tried to do that here. We decided it doesn’t work here, so that’s one of the things I have adapted. You lose a little bit of balance in the Premier League if you play that way. Transitions here are much more direct, making the importance of the No 6 to stay in position most decisive.” (André Villas-Boas 2011)
AVB's interchanging midfield didn't work with the Blues due to the fact that transitions are much more direct in the Premier League, so the No 6 has to stay in position to defend counter-attacks. How Scott Parker can play in this role the way AVB wants?
 ADV isn't a Mourinhesque manager as it was expected and it's hard to notice similarities on the pitch. Villas-Boas prefers a 4-3-3 formation. He thinks the strenght of a team is the tactical organization over players' skills. By the way, at Chelsea he made some adjustments. At Porto, Villas-Boas played with a high defensive line and a strong pressing action up top. Unfortunely, Chelsea was full of old warriors with no oil left in their tank. There was too much slow players to play with a high defensive line. Teams exploited this weakness. So he went to change his mind becoming more cautious. And also he went from his loved 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 with Juan Mata as No. 10. But the bigger questions next stop will be around the way to defend. We will see how AVD will structure his side without the ball. The defensive potential isn't solid: Ledley King, Michael Dawson, and William Gallas aren't getting any younger so the team hopes to add Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen. A high defensive line is a logical consequence of a pressing action. His Porto featured heavy pressing to win the ball, so AVB could ask his players to get quickly up to press high. Also, would be povital for him to have the players getting behind the ball quickly in a compact unit when the ball is lost. We will see if Tottenham's roster will be suited to stick to AVB's footballing philosophy. On the flanks, AVB wants two fast and goal scoring inside forwards/wingers. At Porto they was Hulk and Silvestre Varela. At Chelsea Mata and Daniel Sturridge.  At London, Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon could be his guys.

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