I like Andre Villas-Boas because he's just some guy, like me. He isn't your usual model of seasoned ex-pro, having already enjoyed a playing career unobtainable to us footballing incompetent hoi-polloi, then becoming doubly enviable with their next career move upstairs. He is just some guy who managed to become a football manager.
This past weekend cost two notable Premier League managers their jobs, with Andre Villas Boas's sacking from Spurs being the most high-profile. The Portuguese manager got the axe on Monday morning after his Tottenham side slumped to a thumping 5-0 mauling at the hands of Liverpool in front of their own White Hart Lane faithful on Sunday afternoon.
The Y-word debate is once more encompassing the footballing community. To opponents of its usage, it is an abhorrent term that never should have found its way into match-day vocabulary. Contrastingly, advocates of the term contend that language is understood in context, not just one word. As such, chanting 'yid army' does not equate to condoning anti-Semitism.
At primary school, boys in my class would come to verbal and physical blows over it. It left me perplexed, that level of identification. "We" didn't thrash you at the weekend, Arsenal did. You had nothing to do with it as far as I can tell. You aren't Arsenal, or Man City, or whoever. Now that I'm older I can recognize the thought process behind identifying yourself with a larger group. And so it makes sense to me that fans should feel such a way, even if I don't feel it... yet.
The virtually unanimous praise of Villas-Boas from Spurs players and even Monday's mass celebration on the touchline show a team that's united, happy and fully behind their manager. Either that or the Spurs squad are more deserving than Daniel Day-Lewis of an Academy Award for good acting at hiding their dislike so well.