André Villas-Boas’ time at Chelsea has been well documented as it ended just eight months after it began, and Tottenham fans would have been forgiven for fearing the worst when the Portuguese was announced as Harry Redknapp’s replacement at White Hart Lane.
Reports of the former Porto boss losing the dressing room at Stamford Bridge have been widely publicised, with the 34-year old’s age cited as the main reason as to why he couldn’t gain the respect of a side which had largely been built by Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti.
The likes of Frank Lampard, John Terry and Didier Drogba were amongst the players who failed to see eye-to-eye with AVB, but it seems that he has learnt from what happened last season during his first few weeks in charge in North London.
The sale of Rafael van der Vaart to Hamburg on transfer deadline day follows the departures of fellow established names Luka Modric and Vedran Corluka from Spurs, and Villas-Boas looks like he wants to build his own side rather than keep the same players that may not be as suited to his system.
Roman Abramhovich gave the Europa League winning manager the task of building for the future at Chelsea, believing that the players that were assembled by the former managers of the club were good enough to challenge for silverware. This saw a number of young players join the club, with Juan Mata the only established name brought in to strengthen the first eleven.
This left AVB with a squad of players who were not his own, and after a run of terrible results at the beginning of 2012, he was relieved of his duties by the Russian billionaire.
Now across the capital, Villas-Boas has decided that he isn’t going to make the same error twice and has begun to build a squad of players and not just try and get the best out of Redknapp’s side of the last few years.
The three previously mentioned departures and the acceptance of a bid from QPR for club captain Michael Dawson earlier in the window show that the new manager is not afraid to allow settled players to leave, whilst the proposed transfers of Hugo Lloris and Joao Moutinho go to prove that Daniel Levy is willing to back his new man’s vision.
Whether AVB can bring success to White Hart Lane remains to be seen, but the transfer window has shown that he isn’t going to risk not being respected by players who much preferred his predecessors.