The coming meeting between Tottenham and Chelsea at White Hart lane on Saturday, October 20, will have an additional undercurrent of tension as former Chelsea manager, Andre Vilas-Boas, will seek to prove a point or two.
After the Portuguese manager’s sacking, Chelsea went on to win the Champions League under Di Matteo. Meanwhile, Vilas-Boas who was offered jobs at Valencia and Sao Paolo and turned them down when he had every reason to distance himself from English football chose to take the reins at the Lane.
And that decision has seen Vilas-Boas bounce back into the reckoning as one of football’s best coaches. Spurs have won four games on the trot and their 3-2 away victory at Manchester United has been the icing on the cake this season. A win against Chelsea will be even sweeter for Vilas-Boas who minces no words in his condemnation of his former boss, Abramovich, who according to the outspoken Tottenham coach reneged on his promises.
Once at the Lane, the new manager has lost no time in putting the house in order, spending 50 million pounds on new players while recouping 60 million on sales of old ones, with Van der Vaart and Modric being amongst the players despatched to other teams.
Spurs are yet to lose a game this season and credit for their performance must not be denied to players such as Sandro, Kyle Walker, Aaron Lennon, Steven Caulkner and Jake Livermore who have all risen to the task in the absence through injury of the likes of Scott Parker, Younes Kaboul, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Emmanuel Adebayor.
In their last game against Aston Villa, also at home, Caulkner and Lennon were among the goals in a 2-0 triumph. Gareth Bale and Jermain Defoe had scoring opportunites in the first half but the teams went into the interval level at 0-0. Spurs went ahead 13 minutes after the break when Defoe’s shot off a corner from Bale deflected off Caulkner into the Villa goal. Minutes later, Lennon got his first goal in nine months and the home team took away three full points from a game they could have won by a bigger margin.
Chelsea are currently at the top of the Premiership table with 19 points, five adrift of fifth-placed Tottenham. Six wins in seven matches speaks volumes for the nature of the Blues’ domination this season and their last match was a 4-1 thrashing of Norwich at Stamford Bridge. Torres, Lampard, Hazard and Ivanovic scored the goals after Holt gave Norwich a surprise lead on 11 minutes.The midfield domination of Mata, Hazard and Oscar was too much for Norwich to handle and the win served to put their off-field troubles (Terry’s racial abuse case and Cole’s criticism of the FA on Twitter) behind them.
Most players of both teams will be relatively fresh after the international break and Saturday’s game promises to be a battle of wits between Vilas-Boas and his former assistant at Stamford Bridge, Di Matteo.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.