Andre Villas-Boas’s time in charge of Tottenham Hotspur came to an end on Monday morning when he told chairman Daniel Levy and technical director Franco Baldini that he would not select Emmanuel Adebayor, despite his side’s chronic lack of goals.
The three men had met at White Hart Lane in the immediate aftermath of the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool on Sunday night and agreed to meet again the following morning. In the course of their conversation on Monday it was intimated to Villas-Boas that he might wish to try a different, more attacking approach to solve the failure to score more than 15 goals in 16 league games.
Although Adebayor’s name was not mentioned by either Levy or Baldini, the Portuguese head coach took it to be a suggestion that he should recall the Togolese striker. He said that there would be no possibility of him recalling the striker, who has played just 45 minutes this season – the second half of the 6-0 defeat to Manchester City.
That was the tipping point for Levy to take the decision to sack the 36-year-old head coach. There has been a feeling at the club that Villas-Boas’s behaviour has suggested he has been challenging them to sack him – with his reluctance to budge on certain issues.
The club are minded to appoint Tim Sherwood, currently the club’s technical co-ordinator, overseeing the development teams, until the end of the season. They confirmed last night that Sherwood will be in charge for tomorrow’s Capital One Cup quarter-final at home to West Ham and the league game at Southampton on Sunday. He is yet to decide whether he wants the job long-term.
Sherwood, a former Spurs midfielder, who was capped three times for England, is well-regarded at Spurs. He will be given the opportunity to make the position his own. As a long-term champion of the club’s home-grown contingent, that is likely to mean more game time for Andros Townsend and potentially even a recall in January for Tom Carroll from his loan at Queen’s Park Rangers.
Despite the tensions over the signing of the seven players this summer – Erik Lamela, Roberto Soldado, Christian Eriksen, Etienne Capoue, Nacer Chadli, Paulinho and Vlad Chiriches – the club have always maintained that buying the players this summer was done as a team effort.
Villas-Boas is expected to be paid up on a contract that ran to the end of next season.
There is no possibility of Baldini championing a move for Fabio Capello. Although the two worked together for the Football Association during Capello’s time in charge of the England team, their connection is not particularly strong. A more likely contender, should Spurs appoint from outside the club this summer, would be the Ajax coach Frank de Boer.
A club statement last night said: “The club can announce that Tim Sherwood, Chris Ramsey and Les Ferdinand will take charge of the first team whilst the club progresses discussions. Steffen Freund and Tony Parks continue as part of the coaching staff. Jose Mario Rocha, Luis Martins and Daniel Sousa leave the coaching staff and we wish them well for the future.”
Spurs’ summer signings: hit or miss?
Settled in well but dismissal against Liverpool on Sunday proved very costly.
Argentine winger signed for a club record £27m but has only started two league matches.
Injury-prone Belgian has yet to make any impact after joining from FC Twente.
Frenchman impressed before ankle injury but has been used as makeshift defender since return.
A solid if unspectacular start for cultured Romanian. Scored in win over Fulham.
A disappointing return until his hat-trick in the Europa League last week.
Dane made a promising start but picked up ankle injury on international duty.