Friday, 29 November 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Enrique first choice to replace under-fire AVB with Swans boss Laudrup Plan B

In the mix: Luis Enrique (left) could make a shock move to Tottenham if Andre Villas-Boas leaves the club
Former Roma coach Luis Enrique is the shock name in the frame at Tottenham if they decide to pull the trigger on Andre Villas-Boas.

Enrique, now back in Spain with La Liga strugglers Celta Vigo, worked with Spurs director of football Franco Baldini in Rome.

The former Barcelona B coach had been earmarked for the top job at the Nou Camp but quit for Serie A.

His coaching career has been mixed but he is committed to the Barcelona philosophy of attractive football.

Enrique, 43, spent three years coaching Barcelona B before he spent a season with Baldini at Roma. 

They finished sixth in Serie A last season and he was sacked when Baldini quit Italy to take up his new role at Spurs.

Speaking ahead of Thursday’s Europa League tie in Tromso, Villas-Boas insisted: ‘I am immune right now. I used to read a lot into situations like this but not any more. 

'I am very indifferent. There is only one quarter that I come under pressure from, which is the press. I have the confidence of the board [and] of my players.’
Villas-Boas has abandoned Tottenham’s attacking principles and replaced them with a more cautious approach.

That is just one reason why Enrique’s name is now freely in circulation as Tottenham consider their options.

Michael Laudrup, who has done a brilliant job at Swansea, also fits the job and is likely to be  considered if a change is made.

Villas-Boas is under increasing pressure after the 6-0 mauling at Manchester City and he must get a reaction from the players both on Thursday and at home to Manchester United on Sunday.

Tottenham’s principal shareholder Joe Lewis and chairman Daniel Levy have become increasingly concerned with the club’s slide down the table.

They stand ninth after last Sunday’s defeat at City.

Despite the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid in the summer for a world-record fee, Lewis authorised a massive summer spending spree to try to win the title.

Lewis believed three managerial changes at the top three clubs — champions United, City, and Chelsea — would leave them vulnerable to a surprise attack.

It is one of the reasons Lewis allowed Villas-Boas free reign to bring in the players he believed could land the club’s first league title since 1961.

But after just 12 games of the season, they are already eight points behind leaders Arsenal. 
They have scored just nine goals and the new signings have yet to make their mark.

Villas-Boas spent £107m in the summer and broke the transfer record three times to sign Paulinho, Roberto Soldado and Erik Lamela.

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