I wrote a blog a few weeks back talking about Daniel Levy and ENIC and their time at the club, looking at some facts and then applying my opinions to what I felt has been done right and done wrong and I am well aware it is a subject matter that is talked to death amongst Spurs fans.
In the last few days however an interview in Spain with former manager Mauricio Pochettino has been circulated and in it he said something which felt very familiar so I did some research and what I found was quite thought provoking.
The Argentinian manager who spent five and a half years in charge at Spurs said the following about his departure: “After Champions League final, four years in the top-four, then two years without signing, a different management strategy was needed. Sometimes the vision of a coaching staff isn’t accepted by club management.”
Obviously like every interview or press conference in the history of Pochettino its quite guarded but you can read between the lines quite easily here that he is saying that he feels as the manager he was not backed in terms of what he felt we needed to do to be able to take that final step and win a trophy. There are countless examples in transfers where we “nearly” signed or got pipped to the signing of and it could be argued that made a big difference and Pochettino is clearly pointing to that as to why he feels he was not able to achieve what he wanted at the club.
As I said earlier something felt familiar so I took a quick look back over the years and this is what I found:
Juande Ramos about his time at Tottenham: “….the departures of Keane and Berbatov, important players in the team for not only their technical abilities but also human qualities in the squad was to hard of a blow.” “I did not feel I was supported in my decisions, I know and those in charge know what our targets were and what ended up with.”
Harry Redknapp said about his time at Spurs; “….I was managing a Tottenham team that I really believed was capable of winning the title. I was trying to secure players for us like Suarez and Hazard. I was provided with Saha and Nelson. Two good boys who helped balance the squad but not the players to help us go on and win something.”
André Villas-Boas on his time in charge of Tottenham; “The size of the club, the fan base and the infrastructure in place and being put in place (talking of stadium plans as interview was pre construction) it makes you believe that you can win things but the philosophy at the top stops that….”
It would be really easy to dismiss each of the above as simply former managers blaming their own failures on someone else and I think on each occasion I have likely thought that when I read them however as I said there was something about reading that from Pochettino and then looking back over others there is a real clear pattern and that brings us up to date and to our current manager; Jose Mourinho.
We all know his CV as he is not someone who is shy about talking about it but just as a brief reminder he has never failed to win a trophy at every club he has managed. He is driven by trophy success, it is quite literally the be all and end all to him. His CV, his legacy and although I am not his biggest fan I can respect that about him and you cannot be anything other than respectful when looking at his achievements.
So I titled this blog about it being Daniel Levy’s last chance and I actually believe that to be true. With a more pragmatic style of football under Jose the Tottenham fans were ready to riot during project restart as results and performances were poor, a lot directed their anger where the media told them – Jose – however an ever increasing number looked beyond the headlines and actually blamed the owners / chairman. This did not go unnoticed and a concerted PR campaign has happened since in the hope that some of that damage can be repaired. The more cynical amongst you likely have already noticed that.
With Jose’s CV and his history we all know he is aiming at trophies and lets imagine for a moment he doesn’t feel the support in achieving that goal; do we think he will toe the company line like Pochettino did? Two words; hell no. He will walk into his next press conference and jump on a question and set off a bomb in the media. He has done it before, he will do it again as he knows his legacy is at risk here. He knows he has to make it clear if things are going wrong its not his fault.
So this is why I believe this is make or break for Daniel Levy. ENIC will never sack him unless they have no choice but the fans really turning on him, which I have to believe will happen should they be stirred up by a sitting manager, given all what has happened in the past it will leave them no choice. Remember being a chairman is not just about being good at your job; its image. Sponsors will not want to be associated with the club if there are protests, banners flying over the stadium, chants at every game or even worse for the club fans staying away entirely to protest pricing and the lack of success.
Something which the COVID-19 outbreak has shown fans of every club not just Tottenham is how important they are to clubs. If when fans can return a significant number didnt in protest the club would feel that and would have to act.
José Mourinho needs to be backed by Levy, he needs to be given the tools otherwise you just know he will go after the chairman and we as fans will be left with our heads in our hands once again.
– Admin SJ