Paul Parker

Four things AVB must change

Paul Parker

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Andre Villas-Boas crouches on the touchline at Chelsea (PA Photos)

Andre Villas-Boas is an exciting appointment for Tottenham, but he is also high-risk.

He has the ability to push Tottenham on to the next level, but he must learn from his time at Chelsea and change.

1-First of all, he has to stop crouching in his technical area. It sounds like a silly thing, but football is a game best watched from above - if your head is at the same level as everyone else's knees, I don't know how you expect to see anything. For a man who is so interested in tactical intricacies, it amazes me that he take a position that compromises his view so badly.

2-While he's at it, he could also lose the raincoat. Again, it seems superficial, but once the media grab on to something and start to ridicule you, it can become a real millstone. No England manager will ever use an umbrella at a match again because of the negative symbolism, and you can be sure nobody at Liverpool suggested wearing cream suits for last season's FA Cup final. These things shouldn't matter, but in the media age they do.

3-Another way he can keep people onside is to smile a bit more. If you are prepared to show personality, people will give you a lot more slack than if you are completely serious and morose. It certainly didn't help last season, when there was talk of discontent at Chelsea, to see a stony-faced AVB complaining about the referees in the post-match interview.

4-There is also a man-management issue. Of course he was harshly treated at Chelsea - he received no backing from an owner that paid a fortune to hire him, he was on the end of a furious backlash from senior players who feared for their futures, and the way Chelsea stepped up a gear after his departure illustrated that the team simply were not giving 100 per cent for him. Hopefully he will not encounter such problems at Spurs, but you do hear stories about him being over-controlling with his players and staff - he would be well-served to show a bit more trust and allow some freedom.

However, none of those things relate to Villas-Boas's fundamental ability as a coach, which he showed during an exceptional career in Portugal.

The board took a big risk in ditching Harry Redknapp, and replacing him with a very different boss, and you hope they will therefore give him more time than he got at Chelsea.

There was a lot of sympathy for him after he was sacked, and if he manages to get off on the right foot, he could easily turn his image around.

While Redknapp's approach suited players like Scott Parker, others might welcome a more tactically astute manager - Gareth Bale was not used properly at times last season, and I would back AVB to put that right.

Spurs face a huge battle to keep hold of Luka Modric, but he is the sort of intelligent player who might respond well to the new man's more detailed instructions.

The main area Villas-Boas needs to improve is in central defence. Ledley King's future is still in the balance, but you have to imagine he will now be let go.

His form dipped alarmingly last season, and if AVB intends to use his high defensive line he cannot afford to use a player who has lost all of his pace. Michael Dawson could also find his place under threat if Jan Vertonghen comes in from Ajax.

Further forward, Modric will obviously need to be replaced if he leaves. The perfect candidate would be Portugal's Joao Moutinho, who played under Villas-Boas at Porto.

If anyone thinks this is an easy job after Chelsea, they are wrong. Tottenham fans will demand quality football and another top-four finish.

With Villas-Boas in charge it could end in triumph or disaster - he is a risk, but one worth taking.

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