Sport: AVB under Fire

Under-fire Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas survived a crisis meeting with chairman Daniel Levy and technical director Franco Baldini after Spurs’ 5-0 humbling at home to Liverpool.

Despite backing from Levy in the highly-charged meeting, they are short-term guarantees and Villas-Boas knows he could be sacked at a moment’s notice. The Spurs chairman is already sounding out potential replacements.

Villas-Boas plummeted in the betting markets for next Premier League manager to be shown the door after the defeat, which came just three weeks after the 6-0 thrashing at Manchester City.

Levy is already lining up a successor to Villas-Boas – possibly in the form of a temporary manager – and will axe the former Chelsea boss if he can secure his man.

However, Villas-Boas pledged not to resign, despite admitting he has never faced a worse home loss in his career than the drubbing at the hands of Brendan Rodgers’ rampant Reds.

Liverpool captain Luis Suarez ran wild at White Hart Lane, scoring twice and having a hand in the goals for Jordan Henderson, John Flanagan and Raheem Sterling.

And the Portuguese refused to give up on a top-four Premier League finish.

Asked how much time he would be given at Spurs, Villas-Boas said: ‘That’s the only thing I can’t control, it’s not my call so I can’t say anything else.

‘I have to get down to work, that’s the only thing I can focus on.

‘The call to make that decision is not mine, because obviously I won’t resign and I’m not a quitter.

‘The only thing I can do is work hard with the players to get them back on track.

‘This is a top-four squad but in our Premier League form we are not there.

‘It’s not the points tally that’s the problem, it’s the expression of the results.

‘It’s the second expressive scoreline that we’ve suffered in the season, and we admit that in the Premier League things aren’t going in any shape or form the way we want.

‘All of us had high expectations for this season, we still have them. Again I repeat that we are not far off, but the distance is increasing for those Champions League spots.

‘And because of the expressive result it makes it even more difficult for us to bounce back.’

Villas-Boas offered no argument with defeat, but felt Paulinho’s second-half red card allowed Liverpool to pile on the goals, and the misery.

Confirming he would try to appeal that red card, Villas-Boas labelled the decision ‘an extremely poor call’.

He said: ‘I think it was a bit harsh because I don’t think there was intention to hurt Suarez.

‘His foot was high, definitely a yellow card, but a straight red I think is a bit too much, because Paulinho is not that type of player.

‘I think it was an extremely poor call that has an influence, not on the victory of Liverpool but on the expressive result.

‘I will try (to appeal the red card), hopefully there can be some sensitivity into it.’

Wow.. So now its a bad time for the club everybody has been looking up to.


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