A drubbing – and make no mistake that is exactly what it was – occurred at the Etihad today.
It showed that not only do Manchester City have the deepest squad in the league – Edin Dzeko did not even get off the bench during the rout, but they are excellent at home. Away days may still be blue for the club, but in East Manchester, they are as good as it gets.
Tottenham meanwhile are facing the very real possibility that their season could well fizzle out before Christmas. It all started so well for Andre Villas Boas this season. Despite the loss of Gareth Bale, the North London club were called early title contenders. Now it seems they would be lucky to finish in the top four.
Their expensively assembled squad seem to function better as eleven individuals than a team, and that is the very least of their worries. Spurs have the lowest shot to goal conversion of anyone in the league. All that is despite having some very talented players up top.
The running joke of ‘Soldado Pen’ saving them cannot go on. Now it seems more like a nightmare. Losing to Newcastle was bad enough, but to fall to such a defeat against ‘title rivals’ City is something else entirely. The performance, the attitude and the result all spoke volumes and the level is becoming worryingly deafening.
So what is AVB to do? Well making the same mistakes he did at Chelsea is not an option. Nor is backing away. This is a long term project, and the club have invested huge amounts of money in his vision for their squad.
The question of when the manager will finally learn has to be one that is asked. AVB may have a huge amount of talent, both at his disposal and also as a manager, but he needs to learn when to admit he has made a mistake. He is still so young, we cannot forget that, but at some point, advice has to be taken and he has to take some of the blame.
At Chelsea, excluding the old guard turned out to be a huge error, not to mention the way he treated his out of favour players. He made enemies of the media, the fans and the vast majority of the dressing room.
Questions about that period in time still rankle – not in the least because interim manager Roberto Di Matteo managed to swoop in and win both the FA Cup and the deeply coveted Champions League.
Back to the present and calls for a formation change and the admittance that two up top are needed have been doing the rounds for some time now, but where can AVB turn? Bringing Defoe out from the cold seems the most likely course of action. Adebayor is not in the cold, the forward is in the Artic.
Yes, he has his problems, and most of them are well documented, but whilst the club are paying him, the option of playing him should be there. Given the pig headedness of AVB, it does not seem like it will be.
Another major issue for the manager of late was his decision to ignore medical advice and allow goalkeeper Hugo Lloris back onto the field of play after a massive head injury. Lloris did not even know what day it was, but wanted to carry on. Against advice – a common theme in the AVB world – the Portuguese manager allowed him to.
That decision has been much discussed – not to mention criticised, and this is not the time or place to reignite that debate. What it does do however, is signify a much bigger problem for the manager. AVB simply cannot take advice. If something or someone disagrees with him, he is unable to see the bigger picture, or worse still, admit he was wrong.
It is that which will cause the bigger problem for Spurs this season, and indeed during his career. His time at Chelsea was arguably doomed from the start, but many of the problems AVB faced were of his own making – or more accurately his refusal to listen to advice, both from his staff and players.
January may hail the purchase of another striker, but failing to put the ball in the back of the net is a symptom, not the cause of the problem. That is much closer to home, and it sits in the dug out.
Will AVB finally admit his mistakes? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet us @LaFootyettes.