The mutiny latest: It's over. Did it ever begin?
In case you weren't aware, a ridiculous headline in The Sun appeared on Saturday morning, proclaiming; "Mutiny: Spurs in turmoil."
The article suggested players held showdown talks with their boss over tactics and double training sessions, and went onto state 'AVB is said to have been left reeling by the mutiny, which reportedly follows bust-ups with some of the club’s old guard behind the scenes.'
Fast forward a few hours to Saturday night, and Tottenham's players looked anything but mutinous, more united than ever, while their coach wrote his way into Premier League history as the first Spurs manager to win at Old Trafford in 23 years.
It wasn't just the result which defied the narrative, it was the manner of the performance. From the pre-game huddle, Spurs sent a message to the watching world that they were together and battling for the club.
Nobody exemplified this more than Jan Vertonghen, a centre-back signed in the summer by AVB, deployed at left-back thanks to an injury to Assou-Ekotto. The Belgian could have sulked about being played out of position, but instead put on a potent attacking display which saw him stride forward in the second minute of the game and hit the opening goal of the match.
As the game went on, United threatened their inevitable comeback, via a Nani goal, but this Tottenham team showed they had the prickly character of their manager and refused to be ground down, rising up instantly to hit what proved to be a winner through Clint Dempsey.
The morning's 'story' isn't the first piece of ridiculous undermining of AVB by the tabloid press; for further evidence see his time at Chelsea last season, a crazy story in the Express in July which claimed 'stars' were queuing to quit days into his management. (Closer inspection revealed the 'stars' to be Dos Santos, Gomes, and Modric, who all wanted out long before he arrived.
Then there is the Hugo Lloris knife twisting, after Didier Deschamps threw the red tops a bone, they ran with it and have attempted to exploit the 'frustration' of the new signing at every possible turn.
With reference to this latest Sun story, it needs to be remembered who their columnist is; a certain deposed Tottenham boss, Harry Redknapp. One of his most recent articles was headlined 'Di Matteo shows AVB how it is done.'
An agenda? The Sun? Never.
For AVB, he is suddenly looking down the table at Arsenal, two points ahead. Mind the Gap indeed. Can he hang on? There is a long way to go, but he is moving in the right direction. Talk of mutiny appears simply nonsense.
images: © Vladimir Maiorov