Andre Villas-Boas is doing that thing again where he says something very reasonable and absolutely true, but something that is also easy to spin into a huge negative.
Hey guys, did you know that Andre Villas-Boas is the manager of Tottenham Hotspur? Did you know that the English media doesn't like him very much? Did you know that he doesn't care about this, and regularly feeds them no-BS, extremely direct quotes that allow the media to print stories that portray him as a man who doesn't understand or respect his players?
Yes, you probably knew all of that. This post by ESPN FC isn't horribly unbalanced or anything, but the writer does a pretty good job of using Villas-Boas' own quotes to lead the reader into thinking that he's a bit of a jerk who is on the verge of pissing off one of his only two strikers.
Villas-Boas subbed off Jermain Defoe this weekend against Wigan, and Defoe wasn't happy about it. He sulked his way down the tunnel, and AVB was not too happy with his sulking.
"For sure it is not something that is very pleasing to see. The most important thing for the players to realize is that we do things for the benefit of the team. We understand individual frustrations but we, as a team, are more important. The game wasn't going well for Defoe in our thought process. Maybe he could think the opposite but we don't take him off to punish him. We took him off to improve the team."
Emphasis is mine. Any rational person can see that Villas-Boas meant that having a bigger striker who holds the ball and wins aerial duels was more beneficial to the team at that moment in time than a fast striker who finishes well, but I'm hoping Defoe doesn't surf the internet for Tottenham news. He (or any Defoe fanboy) could read that and easily come to the conclusion that Villas-Boas thinks Tottenham is a better team without Defoe on the pitch.
This is probably a non-issue and a non-story. I'm going to assume -- because I am an eternal optimist -- that Villas-Boas spoke to Defoe about the substitution in training and that they have an understanding with each other. If that didn't happen ... well, we're going to start hearing a lot of Chelsea comparisons.