Soccer-Spurs sack Villas-Boas after home humiliation

Reuters

* 17-month reign ends "by mutual consent"

* 5-0 home defeat by Liverpool sealed his fate (Adds Sherwood in temporary charge)

By Mitch Phillips

LONDON, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Andre Villas-Boas was sacked as Tottenham Hotspur manager on Monday as two Premier League thrashings in three weeks exposed the side's frailties despite a transfer outlay of over 100 million pounds.

Spurs were humiliated 5-0 by Liverpool in front of their own fans on Sunday, having been hammered 6-0 away by Manchester City last month, and the club announced the Portuguese coach's departure "by mutual consent" in a statement on their website (www.tottenhamhotspur.com).

The former Porto coach, who took over in July 2012, lasted longer than in his previous job at Chelsea, where he was sacked eight months into his first season.

Spurs brought in a host of new players in the last transfer window including Roberto Soldado - for 26 million pounds - Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen and Paulinho with the transfer booty received from the sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a world record 100 million euros ($137.30 million).

The vast number of new faces of varied nationalities have seemed to make it difficult for Villas-Boas to settle on a preferred side, resulting in an inconsistent season for the club.

Technical co-ordinator Tim Sherwood has assumed first-team coaching duties while the club "progresses discussions" and he will be assisted by Chris Ramsey and former Spurs striker Les Ferdinand.

Steffen Freund, assistant manager under Villas-Boas, continues as part of the coaching staff along with Tony Parks but Jose Mario Rocha, Luis Martins and Daniel Sousa have departed.

APPALLING DEFENDING

A paltry return of 15 goals in 16 league matches has left the fans frustrated, while some appalling defending contributed to the heavy defeats by Man City and Liverpool.

Although they are going strong in the Europa League and Capital One Cup, they are seventh in the league, eight points behind local rivals and leaders Arsenal.

Following Sunday's defeat, Villas-Boas was questioned about the players he is working with and said: "We had worked hard to build a strong team and we are happy with the signings.

"The players we have are top quality and we have to work hard to bond them together. We have been extremely unfortunate with injuries."

Pressed on his future, he said: "It's not my call. I can't control that. I have to get down to work. That's the only thing I can focus on. The call on that decision is not mine. I won't resign and I'm not a quitter.

"The only thing I can do is work hard with the players and try and get the results back on track."

Instead, he was not given the chance and becomes the fifth Premier League manager to lose his job this season after Paolo Di Canio (Sunderland), Ian Holloway (Crystal Palace), Martin Jol (Fulham) and Steve Clarke (West Bromwich Albion).

Russia coach and former England boss Fabio Capello, a friend of Spurs technical director Franco Baldini, is the bookmakers' favourite to replace Villas-Boas but would be unlikely to leave Moscow ahead of a World Cup.

Many fans on Twitter have voiced their support for ex-Spurs and England boss Glenn Hoddle to make a return to White Hart Lane.

"Would love to see Glenn Hoddle given another chance at this level. Has a brilliant football mind," said Gary Lineker. (Editing by Justin Palmer)

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