Andre Villas Boas had been Tottenham Hostpurs’ coach for little over 18 months when he was sacked this week.
It came after two crushing defeats. First losing 6 – 0 away to Man City, then 0 – 5 at home to Liverpool.
Having spent £110m in the Summer, the board understandably felt that the Portuguese coach should have been getting better results.
But was Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, really right to give AVB his marching orders? Or should he have given him more time?
After all, Spurs finished well last season, and statistically AVB has had more wins per games than any other Spurs manager.
It’s an academic point now, with former England manager Fabio Capello favourite at 7/4 to replace AVB, according to Bwin sports.
But for the club, and the fans, the analysis must begin to establish just why the side has been humiliated so badly this season.
AVB’s biggest failure, and ultimately the one that appears to have cost him his job, was losing Gareth Bale in the summer.
Bale was arguably the world’s best player, and certainly the most expensive, having smashed Ronaldo’s previous transfer records with his £85.3m fee to Real Madrid.
With the Welshman in the side, Tottenham were capable of extraordinary wins. Bale could change a game in seconds with his lightning pace. Without him, Tottenham have looked a shadow of the side they were last season.
Keeping Bale was essential for success this season. It was foolish of Levy to push for a sale, and it was weak of AVB to allow Bale to leave.
What’s worse is that the players brought in – whoever was responsible for choosing them – haven’t even come close to replacing Bale. This is not surprising considering that the majority of them have not had Premier League experience.
The likes of the under-performing Roberto Soldado who cost £26m from Valencia, have struggled to adapt to the pace of the the most competitive league in the world,
Had AVB and Franco Baldini, Tottenham’s technical director who oversaw much of the summer spending, brought in a couple of experienced and solid Premier League players who are used to English football, instead of fashionable overseas star, then Tottenham would perhaps be sitting higher in the table than they currently are.
Even keeping Scott Parker – a dependable midfielder who could have supported the new players – would have bolstered Tottenham’s team.
Or perhaps AVB himself was the problem. Before arriving in England and overseeing a disastrous spell in charge of Chelsea, he had only managed in the comparatively tame Portuguese league. Having failed at two large London clubs, it seems that AVB has simply been out of his depth. If that’s the case, it was almost certainly time for him to leave.
AVB can find his feet at another club. For Tottenham, they must start to find some of the magic from their expensive haul of players. Or they could find themselves finishing in the bottom half of the table.