Emmanuel Adebayor and Daniel Levy: Two to blame for AVB failure

Former Tottenham Hotspur boss Andre Villas-Boas has reason to feel hard done by.

Andre Villas-Boas may find himself unemployed right now, but when he applies for his next position in football management he will be able to argue he led Spurs to their highest ever Premier League points total.

So where did it all go wrong, he may rightly be asked?

AVB would do well to cite two instances where chairman Daniel Levy left him without a fighting chance of success in his debut season, and Emmanuel Adebayor was key in both of them.

His first transfer window and the Modric saga

AVB was never really given a fighting chance before his Tottenham side had even kicked a competitive football. Haggling over a price tag with Real Madrid meant the Luka Modric saga overshadowed the club's start to the season, with Daniel Levy refusing to release funds for transfers until he had been sold.

While Spurs struck gold with a £33 million sale, by that time the club had lost their first game of the season to Newcastle, and drawn at home to Norwich and West Bromwich Albion.

Meanwhile striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who could have been bought on the cheap, delayed such a deal thanks to his own haggling over wages, having to come off a very highly paid salary at Manchester City. If Adebayor cared more about playing football he would have taken the hit to ensure he had a pre-season with Spurs and was available for their opening games.

It meant Spurs didn't start the season with a full cohort of players, and won just two points from their opening three games. Those dropped points proved heart-breakingly crucial at the end of the season when Arsenal pipped them to fourth place by just one point.

Failure to sign a striker last January

Despite their poor start, Tottenham battled back to a position where they were in with a shot of a Champions League place, even overtaking rivals Arsenal who had a bad start of their own. 

Perfectly primed for a push, a situation over strikers raised it's head with Emmanuel Adebayor heading off to the African Nations Cup leaving Jermain Defoe as the only senior frontman. Tottenham were linked with reinforcing the frontline, with Alvaro Negredo and Leandro Damiao tipped to join.

Neither deal suited Tottenham it seemed, and when the transfer window closed without a striker, Jermain Defoe got injured for a month just one day later, highlighting the fallacy of the decision.

It placed a spotlight on Adebayor's farcical travel plans to get back from the AFCON, and when he did return his form was utterly woeful. The striker was in fact hardly any use before he left, showing the faith placed in signing him permanently in the first place was misguided. Was he even wanted by Andre Villas-Boas or simply thrust upon him?


The Gareth Bale saga served too to undermine AVB's position in the summer, but the facts are that the manager was simply not given a real opportunity to compete on all fronts last season.

This season has been a real mess and there is no escaping that, but if Daniel Levy and Emmanuel Adebayor had met their end of the bargain in their respective roles, Spurs could be playing Champions League football right now, and who knows, with Gareth Bale even.

image: © Doha Stadium Plus

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