Every now and then, you get a young pretender who talks high and mighty and threatens to dominate their chosen profession (Amir Khan a prime example). Usually the pretender enthuses his audience with promises of grandeur and exhuberance, before fading away to be remembered fleetingly as a has-been. Let’s now put this into a football context . . .
Every pre-season, this naive bouncy “little” football club called Tottenham Hotspur get linked with every top player in world football – Villa, Ronaldinho, Arshavin, Robinho, Capel, Milito to name a few. They huff and puff through a summer transfer window and fail to sign any of the top recognised names, instead settling on players a tier below – who may develop but also often just fade away. And then when you get a player, it’s all about retaining them so that a platform can be built to ensure the team improves and progresses. So goodbye Messrs Berbatov, Keane, Campbell, Gascoigne and Carrick before them . . .
So let’s cut to the point – and the point is that Tottenham Hotspur is being seriously mis-managed. And I am not talking about the manager here, who relies on a sporting director to recruit talent and yet only acts like a wife let loose on her husband’s visa – it seemed a bargain at the time but then when I got it home, it did not quite do the job. I am actually talking about the chairman – Daniel Levy.
On Mr Levy, let’s make a few obvious observations. On BBC Radio 5 live, at half time versus Portsmouth on Sunday, it was stated “Tottenham Hotspur have over £80 million worth of talent on show today but they seem talentless – they have been absolutely dire”. Spurs have an ok defence (improved but still needs improving), an ok midfield (again better but lacks real creativity) and used to have a stellar forward line that was sold and has just not been replaced. This situation has been promoted by Daniel’s lack of delegation and empowerment of his coaches.
So why the lack of quality in the areas that matter most? Well that will be because our Daniel (bless him) decided that his personal stand and personality was bigger than the club itself. And so back to the transfer window where Spurs played a poor deck – hanging out for the best prices for Berbatov and Keane, whilst giving the manager and staff no opportunity to replace them – but at least we stood up to Liverpool and Man United only to drop all charges . . .
This is where football has gone mad. Levy should stick to raising cash and empowering a management team to spend it wisely. Comolli should just go – he has spent millions and millions on expensive flops and seems to have no way of retaining the good players. And finally Mr Ramos – he’s the one who is getting all the stick. But in reality, his hands are tied behind his back and he is unable to take control – a good manager yet again destined to fail at a club who have tried to manage with a football director since Christian Gross and consistently failed.
Listen to your customers, accept feedback, put yourself in the shoes of the fans – they are sick of rich business academics pretending they know how to manage – let the football people manage the football aspects and sort it out (or face the consequences).
And Mr Levy you are kidding no one.