Andre Villas-Boas has paid the price for a trio of heavy defeats in charge of Tottenham Hotspur, the latest of which came on Sunday afternoon.
Despite losing star player Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a world record fee in the summer, Spurs were expected to launch a title bid this season after £100million was invested in the likes of Erik Lamela, Roberto Soldado, Paulinho and Christian Eriksen. However, they have lost five of their 16 matches, and are currently lying in seventh position.
The board have on Monday taken the decision to terminate Villas-Boas’ contract, just hours after their embarrassing 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool. This was the third heavy loss of the season, following on from the 3-0 loss to West Ham United, again at White Hart Lane, and the comprehensive 6-0 hammering at Manchester City last month.
A Spurs statement confirmed this morning: “The club can announce that agreement has been reached with head coach, Andre Villas-Boas, for the termination of his services. The decision was by mutual consent and in the interests of all parties.”
Villas-Boas was part of Jose Mourinho’s backroom staff during his successful first spell at Chelsea, before taking charge of Porto in his homeland. He delivered four trophies during his single season at the Estadio do Dragao, and this led to him returning to Stamford Bridge as head coach. However, he lasted just a matter of months with the Blues, who went on to win the UEFA Champions League under Roberto Di Matteo after sacking him.
This didn’t dissuade Tottenham appointing him when they sacked Harry Redknapp in the summer of 2012, and he enjoyed an impressive debut season back in the capital. A particular highlight of his early days was a 3-2 win at the home of Manchester United, which was the club’s first triumph at Old Trafford in over 20 years. They finished fifth in the table, yet their haul of 72 points was the largest tally not to have resulted in a top-four place.
Villas-Boas claims to have had offers from Paris St Germain and Real Madrid ahead of the current season, but turned them down to continue with Spurs. The 36-year-old may now regret this decision after collecting his P45 less than a fortnight before Christmas.