Andre Villas-Boas is going to be under a lot of pressure next season and it seems he’s trying to protect himself by focusing the attention onto other managers, significantly, his main rivals.
AVB has a lot on his plate to deal with this summer so it’s not surprising that he’s using the conventional tactics of the media and mind games to try and remove himself from the spotlight.
He’s even gone as far as to suggest that Jose Mourinho will be the most talked about and most focused on manager in London next season. A spotlight he may just be hoping to avoid.
“It won't be possible to take your eyes away from Mourinho. One of his characteristics - and I don't say it in a negative way - is to deviate attentions, positive and negative, in such a way that the team is only worried about winning,” said Tottenham’s boss.
It’s possible that he could be trying to take all of the sting out of Tottenham's transfer issues so he can focus on putting together a realistic sense of expectation ahead of next season.
The Bale issue is something which continues to plague Tottenham so it may actually be a clever tactic to try and protect the club’s interests and his thinking over the matter and possible replacements.
As for his comments about David Moyes, I’m not really sure why he’s made them.
AVB has implied that Moyes will not have the fear and aura at Manchester United the club possessed while Sir Alex Ferguson was in charge.
“The aura that Sir Alex had, David Moyes does not yet have. This could have a direct influence on the players of Manchester and their opponents. United had, because of Sir Alex’s history of winning, an aura of invincibility,” he said in the Times.
That could be an inadvertent reaction to United’s perceived interest in Bale, which hasn’t exactly made AVB’s life in England very easy.
It could also just be a superb start to the mind games which are going to plague the Premier League next season and AVB is simply trying to get stuck in straight away.
He has to be very careful because the common theme in sport is that if you’re not worried or don’t feel threatened by an opponent, you don’t generally talk about them in a big and open way as AVB has done here.
Come the start of next month, he’s going to have to work even harder to get that focus away from himself and the club.
Why do you think AVB is talking about other bosses? What’s he up to?
image: © Vladimir Maiorov