Daniel Levy: Finally We See A Pattern...

After wild swings hither and thither, it looks very much like Daniel Levy has settled on a 'type'. Ignore Tim Sherwood, Mauricio Pochettino is the successor to AVB...

Last Updated: 29/05/14 at 10:06 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Woodward - A Man Thrust Into An Uneasy Spotlight

14 comments

Ed Woodward gets plenty of criticism (and some of it richly deserved), but Nick Miller describes a numbers man pushed into the Old Trafford limelight. It's not easy...

Old Philosophy Is Dead, Long Live The New Philosophy

12 comments

It's been a long time in the making, that Southampton Philosophy. And in one summer, it's all been ripped asunder. Has it been replaced by another or the same old?

All Articles

It's become popular in recent years, as Spurs lurch from one clusterf*** of varying degree to another, to point the finger of blame not at the latest manager to prove inadequate, but rather the man who appointed them all. The old Brian Clough maxim of "if a chairman sacks the manager he initially appointed, he should go as well," is certainly tempting, a credo that would lead to a few problems in terms of smooth admin (and what else do we follow this great game for?), but might well place a little more responsibility at the feet of those upstairs.

Daniel Levy has a couple of reputations, firstly as an arch-negotiator, the man able to wring money from even the shortest-armed/longest-pocketed clubs in the land, and secondly as a man who is fond of the old knee-jerk, of the sacking on a whim and the eating of managers.

The first is a little exaggerated, for while this is the chairman who managed to turn a profit on Mido and snapped up Rafa van der Vaart for a mere £8million, he is also the man who spent £17million on David Bentley, thought Roman Pavlyuchenko was worth £14million and paid £15million for Jermain Defoe a year after selling him for half that much. Levy the transfer negotiator, like most of us in all walks of life, has his good and bad days.

The second is perhaps a touch unfair too. In Levy's 13 years in the job, nine managers have been called into his office and been given the sweet goodbye, which certainly sounds like a lot but two of those (David Pleat and Tim Sherwood) were very much interim appointments, while George Graham was inherited and thus not Levy's choice. In addition, in the same time Chelsea have had ten managers (assuming you count Jose Mourinho twice), Aston Villa have had eight, West Ham seven, Newcastle eight - we could go on. So while Tottenham's number is larger than some, the idea of Levy as some mini bald Massimo Cellino is perhaps a little erroneous.

One justified accusation is that Levy is guilty of confused thinking, of wild swings between ideas of how his team should be run. Ex-Arsenal hero Graham's disciplinarian approach was replaced by Spurs royalty in the more technical Glenn Hoddle, the pressure on whom was so great that he failed and the safe hands of Pleat were brought back. Jacques Santini was a gamble that backfired in a matter of months and his successor Martin Jol, originally the Frenchman's assistant, was sort of appointed by accident, initially because there was nobody else around, but then his results demanded he stayed.

After the avuncular Jol was ditched during match (very much the football equivalent of Phil Collins divorcing his wife via fax*) the colder Juande Ramos came in to work with director of football Damien Comolli, who had been operating a 'European' system of one man taking the transfers, another taking the team. When that was deemed a failure, Levy pulled the trigger on that continental system, called the most English man he could think of and got Harry Redknapp to run the whole show, but when that eventually became tiresome he reverted right back to a man in a suit buying the players with a fashionable European type on the touchline. And of course Andre Villas-Boas didn't last too long, replaced by the second most English man Levy could think of.

And breathe.

However, is the appointment of Mauricio Pochettino the first example of what you might call 'joined-up thinking' on Levy's part? Sherwood was so obviously (well, obvious to everyone except Tim himself) an interim manager and not part of the wider scheme that Spurs might as well have given him a fat suit and a goatee and called him Rafa, so for an indication of Levy's thinking one must skip back one, to Villas-Boas. The gravel-voiced part-time manager, part-time meadow model has a similar approach to Pochettino, favouring a high-energy, high-pressing system with a fluid forward line, and will of course operate under a director of football, with Franco Baldini thus far surviving Levy's revolving door policy.

It's almost as if - and stick with me on this one - Levy has...a plan. It's like he has a relatively clear idea of how he wants Tottenham to operate now and in the future. It is very nearly - and lord forgive us all for using this word - a philosophy.

Of course, there's a decent chance Pochettino will be sacked in October and replaced by a dream team of Sam Allardyce, Peter Reid and John Sitton, but until that day comes, sit back and enjoy the relative novelty of Daniel Levy: the clear thinker.

* Yes, that story probably is apocryphal, but if you don't want to instinctively think the worst of Phil Collins, then unfortunately we can't be friends.

Nick Miller - follow him on the Twitter

Gizmooo - I think it's a fair assumption that Sherwood was intended as a stop gap, he was the best qualified from within the club and was appointed as caretaker. The only reason there was a contract was because he (quite rightly) insisted upon it. Probably knowing that it would be the end of his employment at Spurs in any form at the end of the season and he would at least get some kind of severance pay.
- dryice

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

think all those names linked to United exits make sense. Kagawa has never really looked like hitting the form he had at Dortmund and Fellaini is radioactive after last season (even though I think he's been unfairly singled out for criticism). Nani and Anderson have had more than their fair share of chances so they are done, and Hernandez deserves better than warming a bench.

ted, manchester
The Insecure Gossip

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

Latest Photos

Footer 365

Champions League: John Collins claims Celtic will have to be at best to get past Legia Warsaw

John Collins says Legia Warsaw pose a huge threat to his dream of Champions League football with Celtic this season.

Premier League: Daniel Sturridge confident Liverpool can shine without Luis Suarez

Daniel Sturridge believes Liverpool have the squad to handle Luis Suarez's exit and will challenge for top honours.

Transfer news: Simon Mignolet backs Liverpool target Divock Origi and welcomes Pepe Reina return

Liverpool are closing in on Divock Origi and the Belgium youngster has been tipped to shine in the Premier League.

Mail Box

Don't You Worry About Southampton...

We can't help but agree with one mailboxer who tries to calm the crisis-mongers gathering around Southampton, while we have mails on Man United's squad...

No Wonder Wenger Doesn't Buy British

That's if reports that Calum Chambers cost Arsenal £16m are to be believed. The English premium shows no signs of disappearing. Plus, worrying about poor Southampton...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property