Everybody has heard of the famous idiom “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” and whilst any long suffering husband would entirely agree with this, I believe there is one more section of society you do not want to irritate.
Step forward fans of Totthenham Hotspur.
Having many friends who are die-hard Spurs fans, I saw first hand on Saturday how much faith they have in Andre Villas-Boas. As much as I would like to sugarcoat this, the young Portuguese manager hasn’t endured himself to the club’s supporters after a disjointed start to his first season in charge.
Now other club’s fans might have felt surprised at the level of the supporter’s displeasure on Saturday because Spurs currently sit in a healthy 5th place in the Premier League, one place higher than their local rivals Arsenal. However, this has not stopped the disapproval aimed at the players and management team. When Spurs fans are unhappy, they are not shy about expressing it.
So why are the White Hart Lane natives so restless?
Nick’s Harris’ 5 Points to ponder tackles Spurs' problems on the pitch, whereas I am looking slightly further afield.
You do not have to be a fully qualified Sports Psychologist to unearth the crux of the main issue. White Hart Lane is suffering from post-Harry syndrome, a situation that is clearly undermining AVB’s position.
If the supporters, and the players to a certain extent, continue to compare the current administration’s football tactics to the Redknapp’s tenure, the club will only end up in a downward spiral. Yes, Harry Redknapp did a good job, but he was not the messiah that some Spurs fans are making him out to be. It reminds me of the Liverpool fans turning against Roy Hodgson before he had even inked his contract. As with that situation, attempting to hound the new manager out of the club so quickly will only make things worse in the long run.
But to place the blame squarely on AVB and the supporters would be unfair, as Chairman Daniel Levy has also made some seismic errors. During his 11-year reign, he has seemingly pressed the self-destruct button by hiring and firing managers in the most bizarre of circumstances. If you ask Martin Jol what he thinks about Levy, the X-rated language might even offend Quentin Tarantino.
Daniel Levy also appears to meddle in the club’s transfer activities, which is never going to equate to a harmonious working relationship with his manager. Harry and Daniel’s relationship looked like bucking that trend, but firing Redknapp after a successful season and replacing him with a man who failed at Chelsea has not put him on the Christmas card list of many Spurs supporters. Far from being the man to avert a crisis, he appears to instigate them.
That said, I would argue that Spurs are far from crisis, more in a period of transition. But the fans need to have patience and allow that transition to come to fruition.
Everything takes time in football and AVB needs to be given chance to breathe without angry fans treating him like an he’s an undercover Arsenal spy. As I said above, Harry Redknapp did a good job but lets not kid ourselves, some fans disliked his brand of football and were only too happy when he was fired by Daniel Levy. It is time for Spurs to exorcise the ghost of Harry and unite behind AVB.
image: © Doha Stadium Plus