Tottenham do not start their season until Sunday afternoon at Crystal Palace, but Villas-Boas has already achieved something he has not done before – he is starting a season at the same club with which he finished the previous campaign. Villas-Boas completed just one campaign at Porto after spending eight months in his first post at Academica de Coimbra and then his reign at Chelsea came to an end just 256 days after he was appointed. The 35-year-old could have departed Spurs this summer. PSG, Barcelona and Real Madrid were all reportedly interested in making Villas-Boas their new manager, but the power, prestige and money was not enough to persuade the Portuguese to leave. Franco Baldini’s appointment as technical director, which Villas-Boas had been calling for all last year, has helped Tottenham land the players the manager thinks he needs to a mount a more effective assault on the top four this season. “(I turned the offers down) because this is my first opportunity to start a second year in the same club,” Villas-Boas said at the official Premier League launch at a south London school on Thursday. “I think that can give me an advantage and it is something I want to try. “I have been very welcomed, I have an excellent group of players, and the conditions and structures we have at Tottenham are fantastic and the arrival of Franco takes us to another level so these are things I had to measure. “I have great respect for the club and for (chairman) Daniel (Levy) and these are the reasons the couple of clubs that came knocking I told them that I wasn’t interested.” Baldini’s contacts in the game, and his scouting knowledge from across Europe, mean Spurs have been able to sign all their primary targets so far this summer. They smashed their transfer record twice within weeks to sign Paulinho and Roberto Soldado, while Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue have also joined from FC Twente and Toulouse respectively. Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed he turned down approaches from two clubs this summer, one of them thought to be Paris St Germain, because he believes Tottenham are on the verge of achieving something big. Press Association Villas-Boas has come in for criticism for not bringing in any British players, and selling England centre-back Steven Caulker, but he says the market for home grown players is simply too inflated. “There is one problem with English players in the English Premier League – the price,” Villas-Boas said. “They are rated for the top players. I think players in England cost you a lot more than what you can get out of Europe particularly in the case of Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue so at the moment it is a market we have been looking at with players that we have been following. “The other two (Paulinho and Soldado, who cost £17million and £26million respectively) are renowned internationals that we had to pay a very high price for but I think it is the right price for players of that level. “Eventually if a good deal at the right price for an English player arises I wouldn’t have any problem with that.” All four new signings are in Spurs’ squad for Sunday’s opener at Palace.
The Atlanta Falcons selected former Syracuse linebacker Marquis Spruill with the 28th pick in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft on Saturday.He was the 21st linebacker taken in the draft.Spruill’s 14.5 tackles for a loss tied the Orange’s team high with third-round pick defensive tackle Jay Bromley. Spruill was second in sacks with 5.5 and third in total tackles with 66. In a teleconference on April 24, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. projected Spruill to go in the sixth or seventh round after a strong performance at the NFLA Players Association Collegiate Bowl.Spruill is the second former SU player drafted, after Bromley went to the New York Giants with the 74th overall pick. In addition to linebacker, Spruill can also contribute on special teams.He joins offensive tackle Jake Matthews (sixth overall), defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman (37th overall), safety Dezmen Southward (68th overall), running back Devonta Freeman (103rd overall), linebacker Prince Shembo (139th overall) and cornerback Ricardo Allen (147th overall) as the newest members of the Falcons.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSpruill finished his SU football career in December and will graduate from Syracuse this weekend. Comments Published on May 10, 2014 at 3:30 pm Contact Matt: [email protected] | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+