AVB's battle to emerge from Redknapp's shadow at Spurs
00:01 GMT, 14 November 2012
Andre Villas-Boas has a major problem as manager of Tottenham – his name isn’t Harry Redknapp.
Every decision, every tactical switch and every selection is gauged against Redknapp’s achievements.
Alternate goalkeepers Hugo Lloris and Brad Friedel Oh, Harry would have handled it differently.
Lurking: Andre Villas-Boas is quietly attempting to make his mark
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Put the players through detailed DVD presentations before matches Harry did it a different way.
Drop Jermain Defoe after a hat-trick against Maribor and replace him with Emmanuel Adebayor for the trip to champions Manchester City Harry would never have done that.
Everything Villas-Boas is doing at Spurs is being judged against the backdrop of Redknapp’s three-and-a-half year spell at White Hart Lane.
He stalks every corridor at Tottenham, with conversations still centred around his achievements at the club.
Redknapp restored order after Juande Ramos’ chaotic regime and turned Tottenham into a genuine force in English football again.
They returned to Wembley under Redknapp in 2009 for the Carling Cup final and were eventually beaten on penalties by Manchester United.
A year later, Redknapp was named manager of the year after guiding Tottenham to a fourth-placed finish and Champions League football.
They went on a spell-binding journey in Europe, thrilling crowds at Inter Milan and AC Milan with their exuberance before they fell away in the quarter-final against Real Madrid.
Redknapp spoke of his Spurs team being one of the most exciting sides since Bill Nicholson’s Double winners.
Gareth Bale, among others, flourished in a forward-thinking team that Redknapp was convinced could go on to challenge for the title.
Fans' favourite: Harry Redknapp's shadow hangs over Tottenham
Last season they finished fourth, but Tottenham wanted a change of direction under a young, ambitious new coach.
It was the choice of Daniel Levy, a decision that appeared to be based on personalities rather than league position.
It is time for Tottenham to move on.
Redknapp is part of Tottenham’s history, a successful manager who was moved on by the board at the end of the season
He is highly-regarded by Spurs supporters and staff, quite rightly after their three thrilling seasons under his leadership.
Nearly six months on and he is still being talked about in Spurs circles, a shadow over Villas-Boas as he makes his own changes.
It was always going to be difficult to replace a man of Redknapp’s standing within the game, particularly after the Portuguese coach’s chastening experience at Chelsea.
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Villas-Boas is a complicated character, but he is the man entrusted to take the team into the top four. He has his own methods and no-one at Tottenham is able to fault his work ethic.
There have been changes to the training ground approach and the serious side to Villas-Boas has been transmitted to the players.
He is paid to make decisions and although there are major doubts about Villas-Boas’ managerial acumen, he is the man Tottenham backed in favour of Redknapp.
It is a big call by Levy, but it is his appointment.
There is no going back, too late to turn back the clock after the events that led to Redknapp departing in the summer.
Villas-Boas is a different beast, but Tottenham believe in his methods and he should have their unequivocal backing.
They are aware of his character traits and it is taking time for those ideas to be ingrained in the players’ psyche.
Focus: Villas-Boas is desperate for success at White Hart Lane
The target is the top four and beyond, but it has been a difficult start to his career at Spurs.
Naturally, as a former Chelsea coach, there is an element of doubt among Spurs supporters. He arrived as an outsider and it is taking their time to warm to him.
At Tottenham has the platform to succeed, a maturing squad with the ability to challenge for Champions League football.
Despite a disjointed start to the season they have had their moments, notably the 3-2 victory at Manchester United when Villas-Boas was coming under increasing scrutiny.
This weekend they are playing Arsenal at the Emirates, an opportunity for the Portuguese coach to carve his way into north London history.
Spurs are above Arsene Wenger’s team in the Premier League, a point ahead as they prepare for kick-off on Saturday lunchtime.
If they can get something from the game, it might just turn out to be an even bigger result for Villas-Boas.