In defence of Daniel Levy, Tottenham's ‘necessary evil’

Discussion in 'Featured' started by Josh Bolton, November 22, 2019.

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  1. Josh Bolton

    Josh Bolton Active Member Blogger

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    Did you hear the one about the football chairman who values intense privacy but generates extreme publicity? From offering punchlines and anecdotes for Sky Sports’ ensemble cast to triggering Twitter trends and adding extra inches to newspaper columns, Daniel Levy has a perverse habit of encouraging others to speak about him despite having said little himself.



    Many claim to know exactly who this allusive figure is, and more than ever the cult of personality surrounding the businessman has become an overblown caricature. Sundering man from myth is now an impossible task; the waters more muddied than ever. Many are driven to ask, who is the real Daniel Levy? But that doesn’t really matter. All that matters is: Daniel Levy is whoever you want him to be.

    Recent events have proved it so. From Tuesday night onwards, Levy may as well have been Thomas Crown wearing a bowler hat in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art — there was a Levy to suit everyone’s taste. By sacking Pochettino, the club’s “greatest manager in recent history”, he was the traitor, the villain, the unwanted one. But less than 24 hours later — assisted by a three-minute video featuring a flattering Portuguese on the charm offensive — he was the visionary, the mastermind, the ambitious one.

    Like many in society, football supporters are often guilty of projecting traits onto others; seeing people as who they want them to be rather than who they truly are. The star striker wearing your colours is an unquestionable hero you must defend at all costs, but your rival’s equivalent? Well, he’s a mercenary who not only cheats but is overrated too. We effectively choose to see what we desire by ignoring the facts. As a result, our vision becomes blinkered as well as tainted.

    This was ultimately the case with Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham over time. The talented manager had worked wonders at the club since his arrival, but supporters’ hardened sense of loyalty to the Argentine, allied with the cliched concept of “credit in the bank”, had transmorphed into something detrimental, as if it were a Gremlin coming into contact with water.

    Pochettino suddenly became the messiah who could not put a foot wrong. Whenever he made mistakes — which were on the rise as his tenure wore on — supporters couldn’t fathom or accept it. Rather than coming to the realisation that their manager had lost his magic touch, the façade remained as the blame was pinned onto someone they felt more deserving. Enter Daniel Levy.

    The ENIC chief has become a sort of Boogeyman for Tottenham fans: a personification or metonym of everything they see as rotten within the team. Sitting 14th in the table after 12 games? Levy’s fault for not backing Poch. Disenchanted players who perform for country but not for club? Levy’s fault for not paying the players what they’re worth. Players still at the club that Poch wanted gone despite there being little interest from elsewhere? Levy’s fault for being a contemptible penny-pincher.

    Of course, Levy isn’t without a lengthy rap sheet of his own. But perhaps we’d unknowingly softened to Pochettino’s mistakes because he’s — in the past at least — been the affable character we get to see every week in press conferences. It’s a place where he can explain his decisions; a place where he has carte blanche to reveal he may resign after the biggest match in his team’s history.

    Like most chairmen, Levy isn’t expected to explain his mistakes to the masses, and from this it’s much easier to blame the aloof man in the directors’ box than it is the smiling one on the TV. On top of that, many of us fans consider ourselves amateur football managers at heart — we talk tactics, team selection and transfers — so remain better equipped to empathise with Pochettino.

    In comparison, very few of us understand what it’s like to be the chairman of a football club. In the same vein as someone who labels “all politicians the same” because it’s easier to arrive at a negative opinion than do due diligence and understand a manifesto, it’s simpler for fans to criticise Levy than understand him and his decisions.

    And who’s to say fans know best? In the commotion of Tuesday’s breaking news, fierce loyalty had soon erupted into futile foolery. Some supporters, possibly in a case of one-upmanship, said they would still back the manager even if the side were bottom of the league.

    So, is Daniel Levy Tottenham’s “necessary evil” — a figure who eschews popularity to save us from ourselves? Is he handsomely paid because he is tasked with making decisions no-one else would dare to? In fact, one of those decisions was hiring a young manager from Southampton in 2014 when many were demanding “proven winners” in the form of Louis van Gaal or Frank de Boer. Whisper that one extra quietly.
     
    Last edited: November 22, 2019
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  3. Cheshuntboy Guest

    Much to agree with, but I'm not sure that it isn't letting both Levy and Pochettino off too lightly - however blind to both men's faults (together, separately or in opposition to each other) many of the supporters clearly are, they/we aren't responsible for the obvious failings on the pitch in terms of turgid play, tactical inflexibility, poor use of subs, favouritism, you name it. We can't be blamed either for off-pitch parsimony reflected in uncompetitive players wages, refusal to face reality in terms of transfer fees (both buying or selling) or failing to build on the strong foundations of two or three years ago by investing in the team. Neither man is perhaps quite as bad as their detractors paint them, but both are far from the paragons their admirers believe, and I imagine we'll all sooner or later be re-running the battles of the past few years, with Mourinho in place of Redknapp/AVB/Sherwood/Pochettino and Levy probably still representing the unacceptable face of capitalism, with us as the poor bloody infantry, the only constant. Unless we've won a couple of PLs and the odd CL between now and 2023, of course!
     
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  4. shamrockcoys New Member

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    In mr.levy we trust! spurs have a soft under belly,others call us the bottlers,not finishing the job at the last hurdle,falling flat after brilliance to get us into the biggest stages in world football, Danial levy is not part of that soft under belly you can be sure of that,some fans very much are part of the problem , seeing spurs not as a giant of world football,but, like a local u8 boys team, kind of fluffy and doing there best,no criticism aloud even when they fall very much short of the mark, your not a real fan if you do, poch ,fantastic manager, would he eventually win a trophy with more team investment, no !. he has had enough chances. would a rival team say liverpool or arsenal accept his 5 year record, no !. no trophy football is about competing in competitions to see who wins, will jose work out? dont know. but he will be fired if he dont win a trophy. executions will continue till bottling and failure ends, in mr.levy we trust COYS!
     
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  5. Spurporter Active Member

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    The club then had the different objections than now. Neither then or now those objections were to win some silverware.
    We were getting into new stadium construction and Levy needed an inexpensive industrious individual able to keep the club from from falling down in the table for that period, keeping Europa League was highly desirable.
    Now the objection is to sell the club. THFC has tripled its revenues during Poch tenure. It doubled its value since and that value can only go down in the near future. There is no long term future for Lewis, he is very old. They will sell the club to make Levy's haters happy, but it is the ultimate goal with Mourinho brand, not winning. Wining is a welcome fringe benefit in that deal.
     
  6. Preed

    Preed Member

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    Spurporter you mean objectives not objections and why are you obsessed with Lewis selling club because he is old .Does he not have a family.You never know we might attract a oil millionaire like city and then we would be a massive club according to your definition
     
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  7. Felon82 Well-Known Member Blogger

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    With regards to Levy it's his meddling and shenanigans regarding Transfer Deals that are the biggest gripe I have with him.
    We seem to be the only club that makes a simple signing like playing an excruciating game of chess that either just about drags over the line or backfires spectacularly.
    If you support a buisness then he's the man you want , if you support a football team then he is a massive burden.
    There has been many an occasion over the last 10/15 years whenever we've been on the cusp of something or needed just a bit extra he's always left us wanting which imo has held us back numerous times and has caused a lot of unnecessary casualties along the way.
    Squeezing top dollar out of everyone and everything but drip feeding the least he can get away with is forever proof that Money not Trophies is the priority at all times.
    We have a great training facility , the Stadium is great we have improved from original take over but it's now long over due that the Team took priority over everything else.
    Pochettino did a good job helped by many external circumstances, had 2 stand out seasons for me 2nd & 3rd the rest was very average imo apart from a freak accident of getting to the CL final which glossed over what was a crumbling empire for a while , it was time to go and Levy has now appointed a winner at last.
    At least now we have a manager that won't be happy with just ticking along which is exactly what I want, set the bar at being the best and at least give it everything you've got, that's what sport is about not accepting where you are and being happy about it.
     
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  8. Felon82 Well-Known Member Blogger

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    What a shot in the arm anyone still pining for Poch ?????
     
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  9. voiceofreason Active Member

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    I would say that was a fairly similar performance to the rest of the season albeit against a very poor whu
    Positives were Ali finding his form and I thought Davies played well, simple stuff but often first to the ball
    Shape was a bit different with Aurier and Davies staying further back.
    Attack was good, Spn Kane and Moura moves around well not convinced Dier has done enough to keep a spot although José likes someone playing defensive in front of back 4
    3 points, above arsenal
    COYS
     
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  10. Preed

    Preed Member

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    Still making me sweat last 15 minutes but what a difference in Ali .Looked the player he used to be.It will take time for Mourino to assess all the players but at least we have stopped the messing about at goal kicks.Still don’t think Sanchez is up to it .He looks good for an hour and then gets knocked off ball by smaller forwards as in Hammers second goal. Maybe Mourino can turn him into a proper defender.At last a manager who appreciates width and uses Moura properly. A steady start let’s hope for more to come
     
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  11. voiceofreason Active Member

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    Have to admit, the reduction in passes from goalie to defender in the box was good for my heart

    Be interesting to see what happens with Lloris when he is fit. Since José has no previous with Hugo I expect he will keep Gazza in unless he starts having some poor games
     
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  12. Remy Uwilin

    Remy Uwilin Active Member

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    I have to admit, letting Poch go was the right move. Especially being able to bring in a happy Mourihno! Hell of a start, Poch's message had become stale and the players weren't really responding to him anymore.

    Mourihno is a winner and that experience is what the squad really needs. Levy needs to back him, get him what he needs; should be able to maybe even keep some of the players who are winding the contract down.

    COYS!!
     
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  13. Big fran Guest

    Don't talk nonsense.. Palace apart at HOME we've played nothing like that first 70mins this season or for a long time..
     
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  14. Big fran Guest

    It's all basic stuff tho ain't it. Full bks not going awol no more than 10 yards between each defender, no playing out from goal kicks. Double pivot with winks licence to play more a no 8. Alli in no 10 getting closer to Kane. Wide players playing wide.
    All of a sudden we look only 2 to 3 players away from being a good side capable of challenging for honours again.
     
  15. Felon82 Well-Known Member Blogger

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    Exactly what I thought Fran just simple balance and sensible tactics.
    Width , pace , players playing where they're most effective.
    The 2nd half intensity dropped as it can at 0-3 and no coincidence when Alli & Moura came off and the waste of space CE and the Rugby League player Sissoko replaced them.
    Given a window or 2 to sort out a couple of positions I'm positive that Mourinho can build a proper side again.
     
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  16. Luckyluciano New Member

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    There were a few differences Aurier actually running back to defend, Winks passing forward taking risks unfortunately for quite some time we played slow possession football more concerned about not losing than actually trying to win. Unlike others (not here) I won't get too excited we need at least 3 players in Jan (CB, RB and a striker). We need to get harder to beat and we probably got the man to do that.
     
  17. Bazza47

    Bazza47 Well-Known Member

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    I'll take that. Refreshing up to 70 mins, pace, no faffing across the back, Dele of old, two wingers with pace, Kane always involved...

    Not so good - fell away, I'll take Mourinho's explanation of tired after international travels. Sanchez losing his player - must do much better.

    Win Tuesday and that will be a good start by the Humble One....
     
  18. voiceofreason Active Member

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    I’m not disagreeing that we have played really bad at times this year. But we have also had some good moments and the best two games were against a very poor European side

    West Ham were really really bad in that first half Easily on a par with those European games.

    First half against Bayern, at least half against Leicester, most of first half against Arsenal , we played really well and against Crystal Palace we played better than today

    Don’t t get me wrong, I’m not knocking it and I liked the small changes but we need some harder tests than that
    But like I said Ali and a more conservative defence strategy was welcomed and there did seem to have been a bit of a reset, - I liked Ali and Son with the crowd at the end
    Hopefully game management will improve as we can’t go 3-0 up and end up at 3-2 to that level of team

    onwards and upwards
     
  19. Thomas New Member

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    The result was not flattering but there was something different that I like about this game.

    Under Pochettino, full backs were advance on the pitch and were often caught out of position. Too much risk to take if the team is just passing side ways and more focused on keeping possession and not creating chances. Now they stay back while the rest of the team play quicker, more direct, create chances and are not afraid to lose the ball because they know they have sufficient numbers in defence. They are able to attack before the opposition get back in numbers.
     
    Last edited: November 24, 2019
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  20. palmover Active Member

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    Agree with Big Fran the 4231 set up was simply and made sense with the right players playing in their best positions.
    The biggest positive for me apart from winning is that all of the front 3 scored and Dele played well.
    IMO spurs need a top notch DM in Jan it's one area Where spurs lack quality, apart from that i think the main business of sorting out the defence whose (staying/leaving) can be done in the summer. Long term spurs need another wide attacker and Lcb. FB is one area where there is confusion, however, serge played well so maybe the humble one can get a good tune out of him. Coys
     
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  21. Thomas New Member

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    In Levy's mind when he embarked on his vision, he might have thought of getting a more experienced manager once the stadium is ready. Pochettino might have met Levy's expectations but once the stadium was completed and with Pochettino looking elsewhere and unlikely to turn the team around let alone win anything, Levy took the opportunity to replace him. I can remember him giving Tim Sherwood the job when everyone knows he's going to be replaced end of the season. It makes no sense to invest in a stadium, training facilities, etc just to be content being a Top 4 team without winning anything. Whether ENIC intends to sell the club or not, it is still in their best interests to develop the club into a team that can challenge for the title and cups while at the same time competing in the UCL. I believe there will be more investments in the future though not to the extent that City have invested.
     
    Last edited: November 24, 2019

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