Andre Villas-Boas risks re-opening feud with Romelu Lukaku after suggesting Everton striker could have avoided collision with Hugo Lloris

Spurs manager responds to criticism for failing to take the goalkeeper off after he suffered a blow to the head

Andre Villas-Boas has risked reopening his personal feud with Romelu Lukaku by suggesting that the on-loan Everton striker could have avoided Hugo Lloris in the incident that saw the French goalkeeper knocked unconscious.

After being condemned by the Professional Footballers’ Association and brain injury charity Headway for failing to substitute Lloris in Sunday’s 0-0 draw, the Tottenham Hotspur manager launched a furious attack on the “incompetent people” who questioned his decision and defended his club’s medical staff.

Most surprising was Villas-Boas’s rebuke for the striker who was one of his first signings as Chelsea manager in August 2011. Lukaku was scathing after being frozen out at Stamford Bridge in his first season in England, saying he would “never forgive” Villas-Boas for the way he was treated and that he had “learned nothing” during his spell under him.

That all appeared to have been consigned to the past in the build-up to Sunday’s game, when the Spurs manager described Lukaku as having the “potential for greatness”, yet his latest words are likely to reignite the ill feeling between the two.   

“I want to believe that Lukaku’s leg was not left late to clash into Hugo’s head. I find it remarkable as well that nobody has dedicated themselves to find out if the player could have avoided the keeper and I’m disappointed that Lukaku hasn’t contacted Hugo,” Villas-Boas said.

“Lukaku is a fantastic footballer and I don’t question his integrity or his human side. We had a warm hug on the pitch before the game so I have maximum respect for him and I think he has for me. But amid all this negative excitement I find it surprising that no time was lost to actually study the incident.”

Lloris took a full part in Tottenham’s training session ahead of tonight’s Europa League tie against FC Sheriff Tiraspol at White Hart Lane but could be rested as a precaution. Spurs insist he was  passed fit to continue playing at Goodison Park after thorough checks by club doctor Shabaaz Mughal and physio Geoff Scott.

The pair were part of the team that helped save Fabrice Muamba’s life at White Hart Lane when he suffered a cardiac arrest two seasons ago, and the criticism of their role on Sunday caused a fiery response. “I stand absolutely by the decision I took and I stand by the decision that the medical department took following the checks that they made on the player,” Villas-Boas said.

“All the checks were according to the book. I have registered the fact that a couple of people have taken this opportunity to find the chance to get themselves publicised who have no experience whatever in these type of situations.

“And I find it extremely disappointing that two people – a great doctor and a great physio, who saved the life of Muamba – were heavily put into question by lots of incompetent people, with absolutely no experience on the pitch, no experience in the action, no experience in the moment. That is extremely serious and disappointing.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us