It really depends on personal opinion on whether your glass is half full or half empty…
In the 12 years since Daniel Levy became our Chairman, replacing Alan Sugar, has the club stagnated, progressed or regressed?
The Stadium: Twelve years ago, White Hart Lane was one of the top Premiership grounds, arguably behind Villa Park, Old Trafford and Anfield but now we are also behind The Emirates, Etihad, Stamford Bridge, to name but a few. We are not only behind but at least 12 years behind and soon, West Ham will have the Olympic Stadium. Depending on who you listen to, we are 3-5 years away from the opening of our new stadium so this has been extremely frustrating. My view: Regressed
Finances: Lord Sugar was excellent with the books but Mr Levy is even better. Does that mean we are stronger or weaker, that’s a different question but on financial stability, the building of the new Training Ground and international image of THFC to overseas players, I think we have progressed.
Transfers: Alan Sugar would pay whatever was required to land that big player but very few can say the same of Daniel Levy. If rumours are to be believed, we often miss out on that star player by just a few million. Take Leandro Damiao, I truly believe that if Daniel upped the transfer package by £5-£7m then Leandro would be parading around White Hart Lane, holding up our new kit. It’s also worth remembering that replacing top players is far harder than replacing an average player and although we may not have a team full of world class international players, we do have a strong squad. In Lloris, Vertonghen, Kaboul, Sandro, Paulinho and Bale, we have top international players who are household names all around the world. When was the last time we had two top Brazilian’s preparing to grace the Lane and as for Bale, a top world class player who is actually happy to play for the Lilywhites. My verdict on this one is a tough one, I’m sitting on the fence, indifferent.
Managers: Alan Sugar’s weakness in my view…Never chose the right man at the right time and never gave them long enough to make a difference. Some may say that we could have given them forever and they would still have failed. That’s my point! Under Daniel, the managers have been a succession of internationally qualified managers, top brass. World Cup winners, old favourites and new young and gifted managers, have all had the reins in recent years. Daniel has had a few disappointments though and it’s getting to the stage where we need somebody to form the team and tactics for at least five years. Definitely progressed.
Performance: This could be looked at two ways. Where have we finished in the table under Sugar compared to where we have finished under Levy. I’d like to take it a little deeper though…If we are the tenth best team in the league but finish sixth or seventh, then surely that is an achievement, especially if we win a trophy but some may ask, why are we only the tenth best team. In recent years I’ve honestly felt that we have been amongst the top three or four teams and only finishing fifth. In my mind, this is an underachievement and only one trophy in all this time is extremely disappointing. For now, I’m happy to give Mr Levy the thumbs up, progressed, but we really need to start winning trophies and finishing in the top four regularly. There comes a time when potential has to be realised…
THFC: So, is the Club going backwards or are we growing and going from strength to strength. This is a no-brainer. Daniel Levy has formulated a structure around future plans, finances, players, etc, that should enable us to continue growing. If Daniel can improve his weaknesses, learn from his mistakes and pay the money that is needed to secure the right players at the right time, then the future is bright, it’s Lilywhite!
Your views, as always, would be much appreciated…
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