Harry: AVB should stop moaning

Blues boss Villas-Boas has come under fire recently for a poor run

of form that had seen his team drop out of the top four and on the

brink of Champions League elimination. Three consecutive 3-0 wins

have eased the pressure on the Portuguese, but questions remain

over whether he is capable of getting the best out of an ageing

Chelsea squad that is now 10 points behind leaders Manchester City.

Villas-Boas’ relief at his team’s upturn in form was clear on

Wednesday night when he launched into a tirade slamming the club’s

critics following the win over Valencia which put them through to

the last 16 of the Champions League. The 34-year-old said he felt

he and his team were being “persecuted” over their poor form, and

that the media were giving teams like Manchester City an easier

ride. Spurs manager Redknapp, a seasoned professional with 28

years’ experience in management, thinks Villas-Boas’ outburst was

ill-advised, and warned the former Porto manager that there are

other people, such as under-fire Blackburn boss Steve Kean, who are

in a far worse predicament than he is. “How would you like to be

Steve Kean? Look at what he has been through,” Redknapp said. “He

hasn’t complained about being victimised has he? “He celebrates

with Yakubu after they score a goal and the fans start booing him.

“When you’re not winning that goes with the territory. “You’ve just

got to get on with it. It’s no good complaining. It doesn’t help.

It only gets worse. The only way to stop it is to win.”

Villas-Boas’ persistence in using Frank Lampard as a substitute has

led to claims that the Chelsea playmaker may be nearing the end of

his time at Stamford Bridge. A player more than capable of filling

the England man’s shoes is Spurs’ Luka Modric, who Chelsea

relentlessly pursued this summer. Reports have linked the Blues

with another bid for the 26-year-old, but Redknapp yesterday

rebuffed talk of the Croatian leaving in January. “The chairman has

come out and said that he is not for sale so he is not for sale,”

Redknapp said. Tottenham will go six points ahead of fourth-placed

Chelsea if they stretch their unbeaten record to 12 games with a

win at Stoke on SUnday. Should they avoid defeat, it will be the

first time they have gone 12 games unbeaten since 1985.