Fans have right to boo says Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas


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The Independent Football

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas thinks football fans are well within their rights to criticise their manager after a weekend which saw both Rafael Benitez and Arsene Wenger come under fire.

Chelsea supporters made their dissatisfaction clear over the appointment of Benitez as interim head coach at the weekend when they jeered the Spaniard and chanted the name of the man he replaced, Roberto Di Matteo, before the Blues' 0-0 draw against Manchester City.

Benitez was not the only manager to feel the heat from the terraces as Arsenal boss Wenger was also jeered for his decision to substitute Olivier Giroud for Francis Coquelin during their goalless draw at Aston Villa on Saturday.

Villas-Boas himself has been subjected to boos from some Spurs fans on occasion this season, but he insists supporters should be entitled to air their views if they think something is not right with their club.

Villas-Boas, who was sacked by Chelsea after less than nine months in charge of the club, told a press conference: "The fans have the right to everything in my opinion.

"They are the ones who breathe the biggest passion for the football club, they are the essence and they breathe the values of the football club.

"They are entitled to whatever they want to say or chant; disappointment, belief, encouragement, positiveness.

"It is all down to them, football is about them, it is about their passion. They have the right more than anybody to show that.

"(As a manager) you have to take it. Sometimes we don't like what we hear but that's life."

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has not suffered the same fate as Benitez and Wenger so far this season despite the Reds' mixed start to the season.

Rodgers, who signed a three-year deal at Anfield this summer, has only been able to guide Liverpool to 11th in the Barclays Premier League so far this season after a summer of upheaval on Merseyside.

Rodgers allowed 11 of his players to leave in the transfer window and put his faith in a raft of promising youngsters like Raheem Sterling, Andre Wisdom and Spanish forward Suso.

Villas-Boas will take on the Northern Irishman tomorrow when Liverpool come to White Hart Lane and he is convinced both he and Rodgers will do well at their respective clubs because of the time they spent together under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.

"I met Brendan on a coaching course," the 35-year-old said.

"I did not know we would cross paths again, but we did in 2004 when he was at Chelsea as a youth team coach.

"It has happened differently for both of us but we have both been lucky that we have been able to work with a top manager which has enabled us to strengthen our knowledge and use that experience.

"He is in a position where he deserves to be in with a bright future."

The main reason why Rodgers is not embroiled in a relegation battle this season is because of the form of Luis Suarez, who has scored 13 goals in 19 appearances.

Villas-Boas is fully aware of the danger that Suarez, who has reportedly attracted the interest of Manchester City this season, will pose in tomorrow's game at White Hart Lane.

"He is an extremely good player. The amount of riot he creates up front on his own is absolutely incredible," Villas-Boas said.

"His range of movements is immense. He has a strong mentality and that's what makes him the great player he is."

Villas-Boas has had a rampaging striker of his own to rely upon this season in Jermain Defoe.

Defoe scored his ninth and 10th goals of the season on Sunday in Tottenham's impressive 3-1 win over West Ham and Villas-Boas could not be happier with the 30-year-old's contribution so far this term.

"I'm extremely happy with him," the Spurs manager said.

"He is an excellent professional and works hard with a smile on his face.

"He has an extreme hunger for goal, which you require from your striker."