Ferguson credits AVB for taking Spurs challenge after Chelsea madness

10:40 19 January 2013

Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur's manager Andre Villas Boas before the Barclays Premier League match at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland. Picture: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Sir Alex Ferguson would not have been surprised if Andre Villas-Boas had turned his back on the “mad” English game following his ill-fated spell at Chelsea.

Villas-Boas lasted just eight months at Stamford Bridge before he was booted out by ruthless owner Roman Abramovich.

It was a chastening experience for the 35-year-old, who had made such a positive impression in his native Portugal and whom Abramovich clearly felt had the potential to emulate fellow countryman Jose Mourinho.

Yet it was symptomatic of a league in which increasingly bizarre decisions are made, including today’s axing of Nigel Adkins by Southampton, which Ferguson has labelled “unfair”.

But Villas-Boas stuck it out, accepting the offer of chairman Daniel Levy to coach Tottenham following their own pretty clinical dismissal of Harry Redknapp.

Spurs have gained a reward though, with the London outfit presently fourth in the Premier League - ahead of Arsenal - prior to Manchester United’s visit on Sunday.

“He had that short spell at Chelsea and could have said I will stay in Portugal because it is a bit mad in England,” said Ferguson.

“But he has taken the challenge.

“In fairness he has gone to a good club with a good history.

“That has been the persuader really and he has coped well.

“He has got them playing the way he wants them, which is what every coach wants.

“He has got his philosophy and ideas across and that has got them to a really good position.

“They will be challenging for the top four. I don’t think there is any doubt about that.”

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