On Wednesday 13th June Harry Redknapp was sacked as the manager of Tottenham Hotspur. He had been heavily linked with the vacant England job, at the time he even admitted he would have left Spurs if he had been offered the job. Redknapp guided Tottenham to fourth place last season only for Chelsea to win the Champions League and knock them out of a qualifying spot. Third place had seemed to be nailed on but they struggled at the back end of the season picking up just 19 points from their final 14 games and Arsenal ended up pipping them to definite qualification.
David Moyes had been the favourite for the Spurs job and when Villas-Boas was appointed many fans believed they would be taking a step backward instead of forwards. AVB endured a disastrous spell at Chelsea, leaving them in 5th place, 20 points off leaders Manchester City. Villas-Boas Chelsea record:
Ten games into the new season Spurs are in fifth position with 17 points from 10 games with a first win at Old Trafford in 23 years under their belt. AVB has brought in players like Dempsey, Vertonghen, Sigurdsson, Dembele, Caulker and Lloris but which manager had the better starting line-up?
Harry Redknapp most selected starting line-up:
Assou-Ekotto Kaboul King Walker
Bale Modric Parker Lennon
Van Der Vaart
Andre Villas-Boas last selected Tottenham side to play Wigan:
Vertonghen Caulker Gallas Walker
Bale Dempsey Lennon
Personally I think Harry Redknapp’s starting line-up is the strongest, Modric and Van der Vaart are a big miss to Tottenham as they would be for any other Premiership side. However, Villas-Boas has a stronger squad with players like Dembele and Sigurdsson not starting. The signing of Vertonghen and of course Hugo Lloris to replace Friedel when he imminently retires are good additions to an already strong squad. Jermain Defoe who had been mainly used a substitute under Redknapp starts as a lone striker in the place of Adebayor and has already scored five goals so far this season.
On Saturday Spurs went down 1-0 at the hands of a Wigan side which in 2009 they had beat 9-1 with Defoe scoring five. The players were booed off after a second straight defeat at White Hart Lane and it was the first time they have failed to score so far this season and this was against a side that lost to Bradford in mid-week. Next week Villas-Boas’ men face a trip to the Etihad to face a Man City side who are unbeaten in the Premier League and a match against Arsenal away awaits them the week-end after. Tottenham will have to look to pick up points where possible to avoid slipping down the table. Their fixture with Arsenal always provides fireworks, like their match in February where Arsenal won 5-2. Below: Tottenham’s record v Arsenal