In Depth

Why did Spurs sack AVB? Levy and Adebayor hold the key

Theories abound over the reasons why Villas-Boas was sacked, as fans question chairman

ANDRE VILLAS-BOAS was sacked as Spurs coach after the breakdown of his relationship with Daniel Levy and a row over the future of striker Emmanuel Adebayor, it has been claimed.

 The "inside story" of AVB's departure is revealed in the Daily Telegraph, which claims that the writing was already on the wall when AVB met chairman Levy in the wake of Liverpool's 5-0 win on Sunday. "Levy sought answers, Villas-Boas bristled," claims the paper. And it goes on to suggest that an argument over the most divisive figure at White Hart Lane, Emmanuel Adebayor, contributed to the tension. "The conversation turned to whether Spurs could employ two strikers," writes Jason Burt. "Villas-Boas interpreted this as a suggestion that he should play Emmanuel Adebayor who he wanted out of the club, who had been a source of friction and who has been a crushing disappointment, despite being the highest earner. The conversation was not constructive." The Daily Mail goes further and claims Levy demanded the "re-integration" of the controversial striker into the team. However, the paper explains: "Up at Tottenham's magnificent new training complex in Enfield, north London, it is common knowledge that Villas-Boas and Adebayor cannot stand the sight of each other." The paper also claims that AVB had also fallen out with assistant Steffen Freund after what it calls a "huge disagreement over the team's approach and the substitutions" following defeat to Arsenal. But despite claims of feuds with Adebayor and Freund, it was the collapse of AVB's relationship with Levy was the primary cause of his exit, says The Times. Even when things are going well for a Tottenham manager on the field "results will bring only limited protection unless you can get along with Daniel Levy", explains Oliver Kay. He likens the departure of AVB to that of Harry Redknapp in 2012. And he has little positive to say about the Spurs chairman, describing him as a man "who prides himself on taking Tottenham to within touching distance of their goals and then blames the shortcomings of others for failing to finish off the masterpiece that he has put in front of them". The fans may also be starting to turn against Levy, says Owen Gibson in The Guardian. "Widespread admiration at Levy's ability to walk a financial tightrope and produce a Spurs side capable of challenging for the top four is rapidly being replaced by a creeping unease at the methods of their sometimes prickly and frequently inscrutable chairman," he writes. Levy had expected a title challenge, writes Doiminc Fifield, also in the Guardian, but when it failed to materialise he turned on the manager. But, claims Fifield, it was Levy who did the damage by sanctioning the sale of Spurs' number one asset, Gareth Bale. AVB lost his star in the summer and was "ultimately undermined by an inability to coax immediate form from a swath of recruits, talented players with no experience of English domestic football", who replaced him.

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