One look at Serie A tells us AVB is not the only man to blame for £110.5m disaster

Erik Lamela

Andre Villas-Boas is getting plenty of the stick - but should the finger also be pointed at Franco Baldini and Daniel Levy?

It started v West Ham and it looked ominous for Andre Villas-Boas after the 6-0 defeat to Manchester City at the weekend.

However the overtures from North London are now suggesting that he will be given more time to succeed at White Hart Lane - as the board acknowledge the difficulties he has faced over the season so far.

First of all, they did sell his star man. Gareth Bale left for Real Madrid in the summer - which of course would be a hammer blow to any manager.

But they have invested back into the club - splashing out a combined total of £110.5 million on new talent such as Erik Lamela, Roberto Soldado, Christian Eriksen and so on and so on.

Yet these were not AVB’s signings.

Villas-Boas said for his entire first season at the club that he wanted a director of football to deal with recruitment - he got his man in Franco Baldini.

Baldini used his connections to bring in Soldado, Paulinho and Lamela in particular - of course, all deals that were signed off by AVB as well (he is certainly not blameless).

But the newbies have so far struggled to settle into the groove. They are not alone, plenty of the old guard have struggled recently - but the likes of Soldado, Lamela and Capoue have been out of form, unsettled or injured.

Last season Roma finished sixth in Serie A - this season they currently sit second, unbeaten behind Juventus by just one point.

New manager Rudi Garcia has taken a far more hands on approach to player recruitment - directly influencing director of sport Walter Sabatini to bring in the likes of Maicon, Mehdi Benatia and in particular Gervinho - all of whom have been resounding successes.

The fact is, somewhere between the training ground, AVB, Baldini and the top office - something got lost in translation.

They now have a multi-lingual squad of isolated and ostracised talent not capable of playing as a fully functioning team - let alone hold a conversation together.

Meanwhile the likes of Jan Vertonghen - a stalwart last term has become fed up at being played out of position; Jermain Defoe tired of watching from the bench and Kyle Walker over-confident in the fact his right-back slot is unchallenged.

What Spurs have now is a pack of divided personalities that Villas-Boas is desperately trying to mould together into a winning outfit by showing them charts, diagrams, buzzwords and playing with fancy cones at Hotspur Way.

It is a confused and bizarre dynamic that has been translated onto the football pitch.

AVB is to blame, as is Baldini and the players, old and new - while Levy must also realise that his continued rush to get Spurs where he wants them to be will not be sorted by sacking AVB.

But it looks like the writing may already be on the wall.

image: © thearcticblues

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