There are essentially three approaches to dealing with being jilted and since arriving at White Hart Lane, Tottenham’s latest manager has demonstrated all three in record time.
Following the trauma of last season, when he not only witnessed his lover run away with a trusted friend but then had to sit back and watch them happily cavort in public across the playing fields of Europe, AVB has been busily sharing the ABC of recovering from a broken heart. Observers of some of the more popular newspaper agony aunts columns might recognise the key stages.
1. Her loss, my gain. The first public utterances about the split with Chelsea were to remind us that those who quit on a relationship early doors patently lack faith and resolve.
“I told him (Abramovich) that for me it was him quitting on me when he had been so much involved in the beginning in bringing me in and he was the one also who was not putting up to the things he promised.”
2. I made her what she is today. Moving through the gears without a whisker of immodesty, the bearded wonder went on to claim responsibility for Chelsea’s eventual triumph in the Champions League. Remarkably this utterance contained not a shred of irony that this would actually make him the architect of his new club’s downfall, whose exclusion from next season’s Champions League arrived with Chelsea’s success.
“I was honoured I could put that team together and I would say that some of what they achieved was down to me.”
3. I’ve now found a greater love. The word ‘rebound’ is possibly football’s only contribution to the lexicon of love, but perish the thought that AVB’s arrival at Spurs should be construed as anything other than the discovery of a greater love.
“I think the warmth of the (Tottenham) group is excellent to see, and you know two different groups react differently. The spirit within this group has been fantastic – it’s different from what I had in the last year”.
With heart repaired and a new project to command his affection, all that remains is the trifling matter of assembling a squad to achieve the top four finish that his new employers will doubtless regard as a minimum goal. If along the way he can sow seeds of doubt in a certain Russian’s mind that he really was a special one, this may outshine all of the baubles he intends to add to the Spurs trophy cabinet.