AVB: WHL negativity affected Tottenham players


Andre Villas-Boas felt the Spurs fans had created a negative atmosphere which had affected his players.

It took 81 minutes for Tottenham to break down Hull City through a controversial penalty decision, but Spurs fans will be split over AVB’s comments about the support from the WHL crowd.

He told the press: “It was very difficult to get in to situations where we could create danger,”

“Hull came with one objective which was to prevent us scoring the first goal. We tried hard and were persistent, it was different to the game against West Ham, we kept our cool today.

“We played in a very difficult atmosphere, very tense, very negative and we looked like the away team but we kept our cool.

“We had to dig deep within ourselves because we weren’t getting help from anybody, the stadium reflected this atmosphere, very tense and without a lot of support until the first goal.”

He insisted he was not trying to criticise the club’s support, but suggested the negativity played into Hull’s hands.

“I’m particularly happy with the way the players fought hard against that anxiety and kept their cool to take the three points,” he said.

“I’m extremely happy with the crowd normally, fans for me represent the essence of football. The away support has been immense.

“Sometimes at home it is difficult and it looks like it drags the ball in to our goal rather than our opponent’s goal.

“I don’t intend with this message to send them a warning, neither do I intend to hurt their feelings but this is something that is felt within the group. It is a feeling that invades us in fixtures like this.

“You need that help. We are great believers in emotion and motivation and that is always decisive when you play at home.”


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  1. This is great news for the next Palace Manager – as he now has "Inside Information" – which enables him to avoid signing any "Jellyfish" from Spurs!!!

  2. Seriously, AVB can go do one!
    That's 3 1-0 wins with dodgy penalties against teams that are shit!
    His tactics are a joke!
    Utter clown.
    Levy shouldn't let him a have a penny in january 'cos he'll probably buy another defensive midfielder!

  3. I was in the West Stand today and could see all round the ground the frustration going on with most fans. Thousands of eyes wrong?! No.

    Ok Hull, like so many teams coming to WHL park the bus (5 defenders and three midfielders aligned & always inside there own half with HUD leading them) Yet Spurs were very static. They just didn't create much movement – Jan Vertonghen spent a lot of time in the first half 'tied' to the left line awaiting a pass that never came (we looked like we were playing with 10 men) and Lennon never offered anything on the left either – timelessly coming inside. Nothing came left.

    Most the action was on the right and Hull did a grand job blocking/stopping Walker and Townsend with 3 of their defence. Nothing much worked thru the centre either and Sandro was having one of those off days – Paulino was pretty quiet too. Holtby and him produced little for Soldado to get his teeth into.

    Glaringly obvious was the fact that Spurs perpetually crossed balls across the park when there was no need to. Defensive build-ups proved that Dawson and Chireches had plenty of time – to come forward with the ball and attack – proven when Chireches made an excellent run with the ball unchallenged until he was brought down on the edge of the box. Please – more of this when we are faced with teams parking the bus.

    If away teams don't wanna come out at us until a breakaway then we have learn to adapt better and make use of these sort of spaces they offer us.

    I agree with the fans – we could see the spaces, we could see how static we were, we could see where the penetration should be made. So why couldn't AVB?

    Don't blame the fans – the tactics make the fans despondent.

  4. We'll if the team played wit habit more guile and creativity and played at a tempo to un nerve the opposition like we did last year against man utd and man city it would stop the fans being nervy and tense.we been through the mill so many times against these type of teams it's no wonder.give us something to sing about

  5. I'm torn on this one. I was in the West stand and yes the frustration did get worse. Playing through the middle of a packed 10 man defence was stupid. Too many static midfielders and they fail to make creative runs bar Andros. Also we play at such a slow tempo its really frustrating. Yes the players are learning. but they look nervous. almost scared to make a mistake. So when the crowd are tense it just perpetuates things. Harsh to blame us, bur expectations have been raised and patience is in short supply. We are third, 3 points from the top so there is still hope. COYS

  6. As long as we play like an away team when at home we will struggle. 5 -5- 1 may work away but will not break teams down at home. AVB needs to have more faith in his strikers.

    • but who does he play? defoe doesn't seem a fit with soldado, and he has fallen out with the lazy african. this lack of options is worrying. fingers crossed for benteke as an xmas present!!!!!

  7. so its the fault of the fans? that is pathetic. rather reminiscent of that twitching p**** who thought we were idiots. with the squad we have, its worrying that we cannot score in open play and have no plan b when teams are parking the bus. i have never liked avb but want him to succeed, its just that i don't believe he will. arrogant and hasn't yet adapted to the different game in the premiership. also need to stop playing good players in the uefa cup – its going to cost us 4th again at this rate.

  8. AVB should remember this from Blanchflower back in 1972 " The great fallacy is that the game is first and last about winning. It is nothing of the kind. The game is about glory, it is about doing things in style and with a flourish, about going out and beating the other lot, not waiting for them to die of boredom."

    Or even another: " a bad workman always blames his tools"

    No disrespect but the guy is on a different planet. We have a £45M training complex that's harder to get in than Fort Knox and we churn out such a boring, sideways orientated style of football. It's too early to judge whether the £80M odd he has spent makes any difference but so far it is very painful and totally unconvincing. Lets judge him in January.

  9. Are you all f*cking stupid??

    It was a difficult game as teams are placing 10 men behind the ball.

    We won the game and now up to 4th, yet it’s not enough for some spurs fans.

    AVB is 100% right in criticising the support, because it does cause a negative affect. And reading the messages on here, it doesnt look like te support will get better.

    Get a bloody life you so called tottenham fans.

    • Well, I've been a Spurs fan since 1982, and the last two games are the first ones ever in all that time where I've switched the TV over from boredom. I just can't take it any more. Winning may be one thing, but Spurs have a proud tradition of playing attractive attacking football. We've been arguably the most attractive in the league for maybe the last three seasons. I think sombody needs to tell AVB what it means to be a Spurs fan, and what we expect, because boring, monotonous football is not it.

      Honestly, I would rather be entertained all season and finish fifth than watch this drivel and finish fourth.

  10. Tavel to Away Europa League games is taking it's toll. Taking the middle of the week off to get to away games is disruptng training. No first team player should miss training for Europa travel to way group matches. Play a strong team at home. He has a 2 team squad plus Harry Kane type U21 players.

    Plus rejecting every player that disagrees with him is immature. Now he's rejecting the fans! He needs to bring the best out of Ade and BAE. Adebayor is the world class striker Spurs need. He just needs 'Arry. 'Arry just neded AVB's money

  11. Besides theres probably 40k 'real' fans on the waiting list locked out by the predominantly wealthy ageing dumb liberals who sit out most of the ground. Most away supporters sound louder than our home fans and have done for years.

  12. Dr dumbnuts… It tells me there’s a lot of idiots out there.

    We won, we are 4th and only 3 points from top.

    Seriously… What is the problem??

  13. I agree with AVB, although he, too, has to take responsibility with some unbalanced team-selections.

    The difference between the home support and the travelling is support is HUGE, in terms of noise, encouragement and patience. I have attended a few Spurs home matches, now, and EVERYTIME I have been, the opposing fans COMFORTABLY out-sang the WHL faithful, who seemed more interest in jeering misplaced passes or booing referee decisions, rather than giving the team their backing.
    AVB is NOT doing the team, or himself many favours though with the BALANCE of his starting line-ups often open to question. If Spurs are to start the match, as they usually end, then Villas-Boas must learn that ONLY once Tottenham field a BALANCED team, will performances and goals begin to flow.

    Below are just a few of the areas AVB MUST look at:

    Naughton and Sigurdsson ( on the left)

    This pairing ultimately falls down straight away when you consider BOTH players are right-sided, and that neither individual is playing in their favoured/most naturally position. Having one player not playing off his strongest side (on the flanks) is manageable, as the BALANCE of the team can usually be restored by the other, but having two people doing, ultimately, the same thing leaves the unit completely lop-sided (especially whilst in possession) (or whilst defending a counter-attack, as the advanced player, i.e. Sigurdsson, will potentially, quite frequently, be caught in-field, leaving his covering full-back exposed to a 2 on 1 situations )

    Sandro and Paulinho (as a pairing in the centre)

    The midfield pairing of of Sandro and Paulinho simply does NOT work, especially against opposition that flood the midfield, apply a high press and sit deep, in two solid blocks.
    Neither Brazilian is renowned for their creative/imaginative passing, ability to manufacture space for themselves in tight areas, or their capacity to beat a man, making Spurs attacks EXTREMELY predictable.
    Both Brazilians struggle to collect the ball of the back-four and use it EFFECTIVELY, meaning that Holtby is having to drop deep and do that job for them, instead of receiving the ball further up the pitch where he can do the most damage.
    Paulinho has been disappointing, for me, in recent weeks, with the Brazilian international taking it upon himself to vacate the midfield area FAR too EARLY, instead of TIMING his runs from deep. Until AVB had a word with him midway through the second half, Paulinho was operating almost as a 2nd striker which was again upsetting the BALANCE of the side.
    Tendencies like this often leaves Sandro/Dembele with few options, whilst in possession, in central areas of the park. Holtby is trying to make up for Paulies LACK of tactical awareness, and drop into his position, but that should not be the Germans primary role in this team.

    Paulinho MUST curb his enthusiasm if he isn't to continue to adversely effect the teams BALANCE with his somewhat RECKLESS forays/ventures forward.

    I believe Villas-Boas dropping the Brazilian and going for the tried and trusted midfield pairing of Dembele and Sandro is the way forward. Dembele and Sandro were OUTSTANDING as a partnership before the latter got injured midway through last season. Mousa, at his best, is Tottenhams most complete midfielder with his drive, dribbling ability and capacity to CONSISTENTLY link the midfield to the attack just what the team needs at the moment.

    Playing as a unit, Dembele and Sandro would both unquestionably know what their respective roles are within the side. Dembele instigates the attacks, whilst not neglecting his box- to- box duties, while Sandro sits, allowing the Belgian to go forward without trepidation.

    At the moment, when Dembele plays with Paulinho, it is Mousa who is playing the holding midfielder role while the latter operates further up field. IT SHOULD BE THE OTHER WAY AROUND!!! As Dembele is the more threatening of the two in possession, with his driving runs drawing the oppositions attentions toward him, thus free up space for others.

    Spurs have enjoyed success over the years by deploying a central midfielder (i.e. Modric) who was capable of carrying the ball from deep, beating a man and feeding the likes of VDV, Bale and Lennon in dangerous areas. The only one of Spurs current midfield with a similar skill-set is Mousa Dembele.

  14. ….
    Two inverted wingers

    Having two inverted wingers is not ideal at anytime, in my opinion, but it can work quite well providing that BOTH your full-backs have the stamina, tactical awareness, offensive/defensive prowess, pace and delivery to make up for the lack of 'natural' width. Until Rose returns from injury, Spurs simply do NOT have TWO full-backs who can enable the the side to, purposefully, play that way. Credit to AVB, he realised that in the 2nd half and put swapped Townsend and Lennon around.

    AVB is making a habit of NEEDING to using all 3 substitutions, in MOST of the games, this season, (despite RARELY falling behind in the scoreline), just to remedy the mistakes he has made in his selection of his starting line-up. This has to stop if Spurs are going to become more consistent in their displays/performances over the course of 90 mins.

    Don't get me wrong, I am FULLY behind AVB, and I do believe he is the right man to take Spurs forward, but he MUST start to give serious consideration to the teams BALANCE before he puts a team out on the field, if he is to make the most of this AMAZING squad of players we have amassed.

    There is NOT much wrong with this Spurs side, just some basic tweaks needed. Winning ugly is not a bad trait to have, but it can be frustrating given the talent we have at our disposal.


    • 100% agree. unless your wingbacks can bomb on, that is if avb ha even green lighted them too, which sometimes i dont even think he does, then there is NO point in inverting the wingers, just leads to banging the ball over from 25 yards again and again..

  15. Maybe we could play a 3-5-2 against teams that 'park the bus'. Man city have used 3 at the back pn such occasions and if we want to crack hard working teams and take risks to get the 3 points we have to develop tactically. AVB should be open to changing our style when needed. Spurs have always been known for attackiny football and we do need some kind of spark to ignite the team, With 3 at the back we could play a tricky suarez type striker alongside soldado ! COYS

  16. We could develop a 3-5-2 formation in the upcoming eurppa lge games. Liverpool are playing 3 at the back and 2 strikers and getting loads of goals from open play. 2 strikers obviously means we have men in the danger area where it couts. AVB is very much a lone striker manager but i hope hes open to a change as i cant see this issue going away ! Attack attack attack. COYS.


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