Tottenham's Villas-Boas unruffled by Redknapp's remark
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE:Andre Villas-Boas refused to be drawn into a war of words with the man he replaced at Tottenham after Harry Redknapp was perceived to have mocked the Portuguese for failing to achieve success at Chelsea.
Redknapp was accused in some quarters of firing a sly jibe at Villas-Boas last week when, questioned about the likelihood of Rafael Benitez thriving at Stamford Bridge, he said: “You’d have to be a dope to mess it up with that group of players.”
Villas-Boas was sacked by Chelsea last year nine months into a three-year contract and his assistant, Roberto Di Matteo, took over and led the team to Champions League and FA Cup triumphs.
Villas-Boas professed to being unruffled by Redknapp’s remark, simply noting that the Queens Park Rangers manager is in no position to venture an opinion on the singular goings-on at Chelsea since he has never worked at that club.
“Only when you manage it you can find out about it,” said Tottenham’s manager, who will come face to face with Redknapp at Loftus Road tomorrow. “You have to be able to access a club like that to experience it. It’s a different type of club and you have to experience it and survive it.”
Villas-Boas said his reputation was dented by his stint at Stamford Bridge but believes he and Tottenham are poised to reach new heights. He is relishing the stability he has found at White Hart Lane – he took care not to contrast overtly that atmosphere with what he endured at Chelsea or, indeed, with the uncertainty that engulfed Tottenham last season when Redknapp refused to rule himself out of the running for the England job, a stance that was said to have annoyed the club’s chairman, Daniel Levy, and contributed towards the decision to seek a new manager.
“That was a club decision and I can’t expand on the reasons for it,” said Villas-Boas, who said he and his team are revelling in their unity of purpose. “Stability is always important. Even on the players’ confidence, and they are the ones that make the difference. When they feel comfortable about their football, they do things better on the pitch and that is what they are doing now.”