When Chelsea travel to White Hart Lane this weekend (28.9.13) it will be the first time the Portuguese managers Jose Mourinho and AvB have come head–to-head. Both have followed the same Porto-path to Chelsea although AvB’s reign at Stamford Bridge was cut short before his first Christmas in the Premiership only to suffer the ignominy of Roberto Di Matteo taking over and leading the blues to their first ever Champions League success (which in theory was the reason why AvB was imported into the Premiership).
Despite his terrible experience at Chelsea, André Villas-Boas has rode out a difficult start at White Hart Lane when Tottenham fans would regularly call for his head on the talksport phone on match-day evenings. Daniel Levy has given him unrelenting support in the transfer market and he is perfectly positioned to deliver Spurs their first trophy as their manager. This season will be more than a bit topsy-turvy, as all the big-guns have already suffered early defeats. The last time Spurs won the league was a very very very long time ago and they will really fancy their chances of re-writing their history books.
As for Mourinho, we all expected the charismatic ‘special one’ to waltz into the Bridge and wave his magic wand but it has not exactly worked out that way. Football pundits along with Chelsea fans have been questioning the wisdom of letting Romelu Lukaku go out to loan to Everton after his hugely successful spell at West Brom, particularly after journeyman Samuel Et’o was brought in on a mega-bucks contract from Anzhi Makhachkala. Jose has been unusually reserved in post-match interviews and he has not quite got the balance right, particularly in his midfield with Mata the noticeable absentee.
The game is sure to be full of fireworks and the result could go either way. This will be another test for AvB and given the money he has spent at Spurs Levy will be looking and expecting three points, otherwise there could be trouble at the Lane.