If you’re a manager and can’t handle the “sacked in the morning” chant, you’ve got one of the thinnest skins in your profession. Either that, or the building pressure on you’re under has you feeling way too sensitive. Regardless, this move on Thursday by André Villas-Boas comes off as petulant, even in the often stubborn, vindictive world of high-level soccer managers.
During Tottenham’s 2-0 win Thursday over Tromsø, the Spurs manager had a Norweigan fan removed from behind Spurs bench for taunting the embattled boss. And to hear Reidar Stenersen’s side of the story, the 29-year-old Manchester United fan did nothing worse than what Villas-Boas hears at every away ground in the Premier League.
From the Guardian, who relied on Norway’s Nordlys for their report:
“I first sung after five minutes that he would be ‘sacked in the morning’ and he looked at me,” Stenersen told the Norwegian newspaper Nordlys. “At the half-time whistle, when it was still 0-0 and I started the same song, he pointed at me and suddenly the security came and threw me out.
“I know he is under a lot of pressure so I think my words hit him, even though I am only a little guy in little Tromso. He was being a bit petulant. This is the same thing that can be sung by 60,000 at the Emirates Stadium or other grounds.”
Stenersen was told he could continue watching the game from the other side of the stadium but declined to do so. According to stadium security, Villas-Boas had made a complain to a UEFA inspector, who then asked to have the fan moved:
“But I know that he [Villas-Boas] had spoken to the Uefa inspector who, in turn, spoke to our security. The situation was handled correctly. If there is verbal abuse shouted, the supporter should be spoken to and, in some cases, thrown out. In this type of match, there is greater security.”
If that’s the procedure and it’s there for Villa-Boas to use, so be it. But why is the Spurs boss all of a sudden worried about the Reidar Stenersen’s of the world? Perhaps because he’s not as immune to criticism as he thought. If Villas-Boas is feeling heat around White Hart Lane, this is how it comes out.