Well looky what we have here then…. an extremely tasty clash at the Lane on Saturday lunchtime with so many sub-plots it feels like it’s been written by the Breaking Bad team!
Master vs Mentor
First things first, the managers. So AVB has come out and spoken quite frankly of his relationship (or lack-thereof) with Jose Mourinho. JM apparently didn’t want anyone getting too close to him at Inter and so when AVB approached him about becoming an assistant he was gradually faded out and encouraged to look for different opportunities. Nowadays though, Mourinho surely sees AVB as a big threat to his Chelsea side. Is it totally coincidence that the players that ‘forced’ AVB out of Chelsea were the stalwarts of Mourinho’s reign at the club? Anyway, I’m sure there’ll be handshakes before and after the game and pleasantries exchanged but other than that, this could intensify into one of the great managerial rivalries over the next few seasons.
Levy vs Abramovich
According to many sources these two just do not see eye to eye at all. Many people think it stems back to Spurs not letting Modric go for £40million a couple of seasons back. This season Abramovich got his own back (or thinks he did) by first of all pipping Spurs to the signing of Willian (which made me soooo happy) for £32million. He then refused to entertain the idea of selling Juan Mata, a player AVB brought to Chelsea. This is understandable, as Man United proved, you don’t sell your best players to your rivals, even if Mourinho seemingly still can’t see that Mata is one of, if not his best player. Two clubs with lots of money and new found ambitions will always have rivalries at the top such as this, thankfully the football overshadows these petty squabbles.
AVB vs Abramovich
Andre Villa Boas is out to prove a point. Not just to the footballing world that he is, or can be a world class manager, but also to his former employer who made him “false promises” and didn’t believe in his project. AVB has admitted that he may have tried to change too much too soon at Chelsea but his project was never backed in full and he needed time and commitment from players, staff and especially the owner! He didn’t get any this, thankfully for Spurs. A year and a half later and he is being given all of those things and more from Tottenham. If Spurs get a victory tomorrow, most of the papers will say AVB got one over on Jose Mourinho but I’ve a feeling a victory with his new Spurs project over Abramovich and his wild spending and love of hiring and firing managers will give him much more comfort.
Spurs vs Chelsea
Let’s not forget there’s actually a football match to be played. Spurs might go in as slight favourites and with both sides lack of scoring in the premier league it could be a low scoring affair. That being said, both teams have an embarrassment of riches in the creative and attacking positions. Lennon looks like he’ll make the bench, Danny Rose is back, which is good as he’s had a good start to the season and is great going forward. Expect Soldado to come back into the starting line up with Eriksen too. It seems harsh on Holtby and Defoe, but they know they are not going to be picked to start although I expect them to make some sort of contribution. Sandro and Paulinho will have their work cut out in the centre of the park trying to get close to their skilful little mid-fielders but if they do, we have the width, pace and creativity to really hurt Chelsea. Townsend may come in for Lamela who has played a lot recently and he’ll probably play on the right. The only position which I can’t really call is left wing, there’s a couple of options but Gylfi may get the nod over Chadli. If our defence stays as strong as it’s been so far this season and we can grab the first goal, I can’t see Chelsea getting back into it.
It really is one of the most anticipated matches of the season so far and should be a cracker, enjoy!
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