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.