One bout under AVB's belt, bring on bout number two

A year is a devil of a long time in the life of a Premier League football manager, none more so than our own AVB.

Hounded out of Chelsea by old men unwilling to change. The press were having a field day, punch after punch rained down on him. Abramovich stopped the fight and declared AVB the loser. The young pretender went away to lick his wounds. Daniel Levy saw his opportunity. One mistake doesn't suddenly mean a loss of ability, he just needed someone to have faith in him.

Joe Lewis wanted Harry Redknapp out, so Levy was in a strong position, a man of quality was available cheap. Unfortunately England didn't play ball and wouldn't pay the compensation to take Harry from us, so appointed a dinosaur on cheap wages to take the nation's football backwards. Never mind, a guy regarded as one of the best up and coming managers in world football was available and whilst Chelsea paid £15.5 million to get him, he was available on a free to Daniel, just the sort of deal he likes.

Out with the old, in with the new. A new young man with ambition, with vitality and a vision that matched our own, to build a dynasty of success based around youth.

Optimism abounded, a new world class training facility, a new season dawned, a new approach, new ideas, a new mentality, the no excuse culture was born. Time for his first bout.

Round One saw AVB saw gentle sparring, a no lose approach which saw forwards taken off for defensive players to protect what we had. Things did not go to plan, the opposition spotted our weakness and kept grabbing late points.

Round Two brought a change of approach. Hanging on was dispensed with, a subtle shift in Bale's role pushing him wider and further forward brought greater belief and the results started to flow.

Round Three saw more of the same, a period on top, picking off opponents as we went about our work.

Round Four again saw AVB make a tactical change, Bale was given a free role, the gamble that his attacking would outweigh the defensive problems it would create. A period of adjustment.

Round Five and we receive a blow, Sandro falls injured, we have to regroup and eek out points.

Round Six and we went for the knock out, racking up the points the end of the bout was in sight.

Round Seven and we started to tie up, tension, fear allowed opponents back in.

Round Eight and it's tight, we are fight on guts, it'll come down to a points decision. Alas it doesn't go our way.

His first bout for us and a narrow points defeat but there was promise, something to work on. The coach knows his boxer now and is working areas to take him to the next level.

Bring on bout number two.

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