Keeping Mr Popular

Spurger King

can't smile without glue
Jul 22, 2008
Thread starter #1
With Madrid pursuing Bale's signature with all the subtlety of a drunk Brian Blessed wielding a chainsaw, it's perhaps easy to overlook the other highly coveted asset at our club - AVB.

After reports appeared a few weeks ago claiming that the next new-money giants in Europe, PSG and Monaco, were both apparently interested in bringing in the bearded one to spearhead their respective projects as billionaire playthings (with some reports suggesting that PSG were willing to meet AVB's £10m buyout clause) it raises some interesting questions, such as:

When was the last time we had such a desirable manager, and how might this affect Levy's transfer strategy?

One answer could be Harry. After the events of last February, with Capello walking out of the England job just as Redknapp endeared himself to the general public with a court case revealing such virtues as an inability to write, use modern technology, or keep track of his own finances ("aw but he loved his dog Rosie, he did"), there was a media-driven campaign to bring Harry in. However back then it was mid-season, and involving a manager that, if reports are to be believed, was not exactly seeing eye to eye with Daniel Levy.

The speculation derailed our season, and as if to add insult to injury, Harry was passed over for the job anyway. Levy (and/or possibly the shadowy figure that is Joe Lewis) made the decision to sack Harry and bring in supposedly damaged goods in the shape of AVB.

The important part here is that this was the board's decision. Harry joined the likes of Ramos, Jol, Hoddle, and Graham in getting the boot out of The Lane, and into the High Road.

Fast forward to this summer, where Levy suddenly found himself in unfamiliar territory. For the first in Levy's tenure at the club he found himself working with a coach that was reportedly attracting serious interest from multiple clubs around Europe (including Madrid) - clubs with more money, and (with the exception of Monaco), the promise of Champions League football. One thing in Levy's favour was the faith he had shown in believing in the AVB project, despite the (admittedly steady stream of) negativity pumping out of Stamford Bridge. No doubt AVB himself wanted to protect his mending reputation by repaying the risk taken by Levy - but staying would come at a price...

If Levy wanted to prove that he believed in the AVB project he was going to have to back him. Not tentatively through opportunistic signings that in many cases AVB supposedly had little real say in, but instead through giving AVB the tools to take the club to another level.

So far this summer we've not only seen AVB's preferred Director of Football - Franco Baldini - brought in from Roma, but also quotes appearing saying that AVB had been "assured" that our jewel in our crown, Gareth 'Superman' Bale, was going nowhere. Furthermore it's been all but confirmed that following an impressive Confederations Cup tournament, Paulinho, the midfield general of the Brazilian national side, will be joining Spurs in what will be close to (or possibly surpassing), our record transfer fee.

It doesn't stop there. One of the glitterati of world football - David Villa - is believed to be close to signing for us following a fruitful phone conversation with AVB, while other targets continue to be pursued with a greater sense of optimism.

Of course AVB knows there are certain realities attached to a club like Spurs. It's unlikely that we'll be able to retain a player like Bale in the long-term, and we lack the financial clout to bring in the Cavani's of this world, however for the first time in recent history we have a manager being circled by some of the biggest and/or richest teams in football.

How do you keep Mr Popular? You take him seriously, you trust his judgement, and you back him as much as you possibly can. To dare, as they say, is to do...


Active Member
Aug 31, 2012
We are lucky to have AVB, and AVB is lucky to have Spurs as his employer.
One reason why AVB's stock is one the rise is because at Spurs, he has a group of young players who are receptive to his ideas; while at Chelsea, the likes of Terry and Lampard were openly hostile to his strategies. At a time when press and pundits were second guessing his every move, the actions of the Spurs young lads led a revival in the AVB brand.


Active Member
Dec 10, 2006
I have major concerns though. We buy the players he 'wants' and bring in the DoF then next season he moves on to one of these 'bigger' clubs, leaving us where exactly? After all he got Porto into the CL then left for the 'glamour' of Chelsea.
He has always intimated in interviews he doesn't see football management as his long term future so he will surely want to try his hand at managing these other clubs like Real etc in the next few years. Very worrying imo


Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2004
I think Levy deserves a lot of credit here. There was a lot of complaining from people about how Harry conducted business and whored himself to the press, but how many of us would actually have sacked him? - 5-10% I reckon.

And of that percentage how many would have chosen AVB as his replacement? Certainly not me.

He's done that and we retained our level of performances, unlucky (in my opinion) in the end not to get top 4. We did it without backing AVB in the transfer market or having his preffered system incudling a DOF.

So its pretty obvious to keep him we need to back him and it looks to me like Levy/Lewis are of the same opinion.

This season we have Lloris for the whole season. Sandro back. Paulinho. Gareth Bale is a different player now to the start of last season. We will have the newer better version for the whole of this new season. We might even have David Villa as our main striker, and if not I certainly expect a big upgrade on last seasons strikeforce.

If we don't make top 4 with that then I will despair to the point of finally accepting the need for a billionaire owner if we really do want regular CL footie. Because I don't know what else we can do within the current budget.

We're really going all or nothing this season by the looks of it :nailbiting:


"I am Shodan"
Aug 5, 2009
As I have said before, AVB is a very lucky man and if he sits down has a think and realises the opportunity he has got... The opportunity to build an entire club in his own image for decades to come.

Am I dreaming? Maybe

Yes we we may not have the financial clout of some teams left unspoken, but what Chelsea, Real Madrid and Co have shown is that they have no class what-so-ever. They are the football equivalent of an STD. You just cannot buy class and this is one of our biggest assets, the Little team, with a great plan, with class and doing it the right way, whilst still mixing it with the big boys (not financially).

Today is a good day to be a Spurs fan :)


SC Supporter
Nov 16, 2006
He left Porto pretty quickly a club he supposedly supported most of his life and had just got into the CL, I don't doubt he'll stay here for at least another season but I can't see him being with us for much longer once Real come begging again.


SC Supporter
Jun 13, 2006
Billy, yours is a valid point, but AVB isn't short of brass so he doesn't need a repeat of his experiences at Chelsea.

Life as a coach at almost all of Europe's "big clubs" means living with constant and unreasonable expectation 24/7, having trophy signings foisted on you by an egocentric owner, and expecting the sack any time after the initial 6 month honeymoon is over.

Bill Nicholson explained that it's all about Glory. AVB achieved Glory with Porto and he can hope to achieve Glory again with Spurs. There's no Glory on offer at Real Madrid etc., just short-lived Celebrity.


Well-Known Member
Sep 2, 2003
I have major concerns though. We buy the players he 'wants' and bring in the DoF then next season he moves on to one of these 'bigger' clubs, leaving us where exactly?
It will leave us with the highly-regarded Baldini, a vastly upgraded squad, and probably CL football. These factors should make it relatively easy to bring in another top-class manager - and more top-class players - to continue the work.

I don't want AVB to go, but if he does we will be in a pretty good position, much improved from when he arrived.