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Villas-Boas says he’s immune to criticism; Reports suggest his departure

Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League

of Manchester City of Tottenham Hotspur during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Manchester, England.

Alex Livesey

Andre Villas-Boas’ managerial seat grows hotter by the hour and while the Spurs boss was making claims that nothing was wrong in his dressing room, other sources were calling his time at Tottenham all but over.

Reports of player unrest came on the heels of Villas-Boas’ claims that his players should be embarrassed by, well, an embarrassing 6-0 defeat by Manchester City at the Etihad in Round 12 this past weekened. The second-year man dismissed the claims.

Yet a scathing piece by David Hytner at the Guardian says Villas-Boas is “on the brink” of losing his job. He has a board of directors who are not thrilled that nearly 111 million pounds of summer-spending has found Spurs in the ninth spot in the table, and his club’s recent form has been even more troubling with consecutive losses to Newcastle and Manchester City. Those go with an uninspiring win over Hull and a 3-0 home-blasting from none other than 17th in the table West Ham.

Then there’s the chiding of the fans after the Hull match. Villas-Boas claimed the White Hart Lane supporters atmosphere was spiritually directing balls into the Tottenham goal instead of the visitors. He had to conjure something, as his players were having enough trouble putting the ball in the net, with just nine goals -- three from the penalty spot -- through 12 games. Many of the new signings are underperforming while several veterans don’t know where they fit into Villas-Boas’ plans.

Perhaps the most bizarre moment yet came today, when a confident Villas-Boas claimed to be “immune” to the criticism and that “the board and the players are completely behind me.”

Spurs are in Norway ahead of Thursday’s UEFA Europa League date with Tromso. It’s a competition they have found great success in, with a 4-0 mark in Group K rendering Thursday’s line-up to creativity.

So how confident is he? Will he want to build form for the weekend, or conduct some Thursday tinkering? Whatever his decision, it will lead to a pivotal match for his Spurs future... a Sunday morning visit from Manchester United. A loss would see them four points out of a Top Four spot... at a minimum.

Not the ideal spot for the cash splashers from North London.

Follow @nicholasmendola