In a recent interview, Jermain Defoe told the media that in terms of team spirit, the current Tottenham is the best he has experienced while at the club: "I've been here for many years now and in my opinion, in terms of team spirit, this is the best it has been," (...) "The buzz around the training ground is fantastic. Everyone is putting their work in and even the players who are injured are working really hard to get back.”
Defoe also claimed that the winning mentality that André Villas-Boas has imprinted in the team is probably one of the keys behind the successful campaign: “That winning mentality we have got now helps us to keep going when things are not going our way. That is a good thing to have.” (...) "I have to say I think this is the best squad since I've been here.”
At the end of the interview, Defoe told that he is thankful to André Villas-Boas for what he has done for him: "The boss has done a lot for me," (...) "The main thing was giving me the opportunity to play minutes on the pitch. That helps, especially being a forward and when you are scoring goals, it's even better."
André Villas-Boas’ work with the Spurs is remarkable and it has some similarities with what he did from and with FC Porto in past. André Villas-Boas arrived at FC Porto after SL Benfica had won the Portuguese League title and he soon managed to change the team’s mentality. In the first training sessions and before their usual team meetings, AVB showed the team several videos of SL Benfica’s players celebrating the title and asked FC Porto players if they wanted to go through that all over again. It worked just perfectly. He united the team around his mentality and revived FC Porto’s courage to win every major competition the team played that season.
I know that several Tottenham fans have raised their eyebrows in doubt when AVB arrived at the club but I guess, by now, those doubts concerning the Portuguese manager are already gone. On the other hand, Chelsea fans and Abramovich might now be wondering how foolish they were to have doubted and questioned AVB’s skills. All they have now is a wannabe-manager called Rafa “The Failure” Benitez.