Villas-Boas loses his cool after weekend of managerial turmoil
Spurs boss lets rip after Manchester United draw, but defeat for Fulham means the end for Martin Jol
A WEEKEND of managerial intruigue in the Premier League has ended with an angry rant from under fire Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas and a denial from new Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen that he stabbed his predecessor Martin Jol in the back.
Just to add fuel to the fire, West Ham boss Sam Allardyce, whose side were responsible for the end of Jol's reign when they beat Fulham on Saturday, has now weighed into the debate over AVB, telling the unhappy Spurs man that he should take criticism "on the chin".
Villas-Boas snapped after days of heavy criticism following the 6-0 defeat to Man City last weekend. But after emerging from the game against Man United with a creditable 2-2 draw, he went on the offensive.
The Portuguese has lost the backing of many fans this term, and have even been reports that Spurs have drawn up a list of possible replacements for him. Former Tottenham owner Alan Sugar has been among the critics, and said he would like Alex Ferguson to come out of retirement and take over at White Hart Lane.
It has prompted AVB to demand more respect as he "railed against what he believes is a sinister agenda to undermine him", according to The Guardian.
"A couple of people insult my integrity, my human values, my professionalism... insult the success that I have achieved in other clubs and I don't think it's fair. I think it's a lack of respect and an attack on a person's integrity," he said.
In taking on Sugar AVB also tried to win back the supporters. "It's their team, their passion and they don't trade it for anything else," he said of the fans. "Not like Alan Sugar, who trades it for money," he added in a pointed reference to Sugar's decision to sell his stake in the club.
Whether or not it works remains to be seen. "His relationship with many Tottenham supporters clearly also remains tense and there was loud booing when Aaron Lennon was substituted," notes the Daily Telegraph.
Meanwhile, says the Guardian, West Ham boss Allardyce told Talksport radio that AVB had shown a "little bit of immaturity" in reacting to the criticism. "It can get under your skin, but you can't let that happen because you're not going to win."
Spurs' next game is against Fulham on Wednesday, which will be the Cottagers' first outing under Meulensteen, who has been given the reins after Jol was fired.
Meulensteen only arrived at Fulham last month, and insisted he had nothing to do with Jol's departure. "It was definitely not something I was anticipating," he said. "We wanted to turn this corner together."
Jol was not the only manager to lose his job at the weekend, there were also casualties in the Championship, where Sheffield Wednesday sacked Dave Jones and Owen Coyle parted company with Wigan Athletic. ·