It was a bit of a gamble last year when Tottenham Chairman Daniel Levy parted company with manager Harry Redknapp, and replaced him with the youthful André Villas Boas, who had only recently been sacked by Chelsea.
Tottenham fans were split over Harry's departure, of course, but many were even more perplexed by the appointment of Villas Boas, a man who had seemingly proved he couldn't cope with life at a big Premiership club, and whose 'chippy' nature and arrogant manner were said to have been a major cause of his problems at Chelsea, where he lasted for all of 9 months.
The fact is, however, that Roman Abramovich did Tottenham a huge favour when he gave Villas Boas the boot, for he provided Villas Boas with the opportunity to take a long hard look at himself. And the result is the young, engaging Tottenham manager that we see today - a manager who gets on well with his players, and goes out of his way to publicly support them (witness how he handled Emmanuel Adebayor's late return from The African Cup of Nations).
Villas Boas is now confident and in control when he is in front of the media, and genuinely appears to be enjoying his time in the spotlight (something that clearly wasn't the case at Chelsea).
It's all going very well for Villas Boas at Tottenham, of course, and his real test will come when the club goes through a rocky period (as it undoubtedly will at some stage). But you can't help wondering whether Villas Boas has actually found his spiritual home at Spurs (at least for now), and that he will find acceptance in a way that could never have been the case at Chelsea.
As things currently stand, Daniel Levy needs a big pat on the back for having the good judgement to see that Villas Boas was a man on a mission to restore his reputation, and someone who had learned a lot from his torrid time at Chelsea. Many thought (including this writer) that Villas Boas would quickly return with his tail between his legs to coach in Portugal after his Chelsea debacle, but he was up for the fight and is now seemingly on the verge of redemption. Cynically, next stop Real Madrid ?
images: © Vladimir Maiorov