- Premier League
Villas-Boas on the brink of the sack - reports
Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas is "clinging" to his position after Sunday's 6-0 defeat at Manchester City, with chairman Daniel Levy and owner Joe Lewis said to be losing patience with the head coach as he has "sought to blame everybody bar himself for the recent difficulties".
The Guardian reports that Spurs must secure a positive result when they host Manchester United on Sunday if the board are to avoid making a change.
The claims follow a similar report in the Daily Mail, which added that the players were "furious" that the Portuguese said the team should be "ashamed" of the performance at the Etihad Stadium - although defender Jan Vertonghen subsequently insisted the players still back the coach.
Pressure mounting on AVB
- As Tottenham slip to a worrying ninth place after a six-goal mauling at Manchester City, alarm bells sound and awkward questions are being asked.
- Read Ian Darke's thoughts on why AVB needs a win
Speaking to talkSPORT, Queens Park Rangers boss Harry Redknapp was critical of the display at City and that his former side look like "a bunch of strangers". He also said the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid had exposed flaws in the squad.
"For the first time, Tottenham did look like a bunch of strangers on Sunday," Redknapp, who was replaced by Villas-Boas in the summer of 2012 after leading Tottenham to a fourth-placed Premier League finish, said. "They have got lots of attacking players. They have almost become overloaded with the same type of player.
"In the past, when they had Gareth Bale, he was such a fantastic talent that he would pull them out of trouble. There were lots of games where there were two minutes to go and suddenly a bit of magic from Gareth Bale and three points were in the bag. Well, they have lost that magic now.
"He was special. It has been difficult to replace him and that is a big problem for them." Nonetheless, he said he expected Spurs to "pick up" and felt the meeting with United was an ideal opportunity to do so.
"They have got a great game this weekend," he said. "If I was managing Tottenham, I would be happier playing Man United than I would Stoke. It's a game where Tottenham can have a real go. I'd rather have that than a game playing a team that you are expected to win against and it goes wrong again."
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