Opinion: Daniel Levy needs to step aside as Tottenham chairman

Daniel Levy
Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Daniel Levy has long been a controversial figure amongst Spurs fans, one who very much divides opinion. Some will tell you he’s one of the best things to ever happen to the club, and some will tell you he’s the worst.

For me, I think it’s becoming more and more evident that he’s part of the problem.

If you want to bang on about the stadium and the revenue he’s bringing in for the club, by all means, go ahead.

But the way he’s let us regress so much on the pitch in the last few years is a disgrace, and ultimately, when you look at what’s happened, it all traces back to him being the root of the problem.

Failure to properly replace key players such as Walker, Vertonghen, Alderwerield, Dembele, and Eriksen is because the board Levy has surrounded himself with (prior to Paratici, it was a board full of yes men from the outside looking in) is incompetent and Levy/ENIC aren’t willing to invest the big bucks into the team.

Missing out on key targets because he wouldn’t spend that extra few million more. Also, his desire to hold onto players for longer than we should have is hampering this club.

Failure to cash in on the likes of Kane, Eriksen, Dier, etc, at the right times, who we’ve had massive bids on the table for over the years, has led to this squad being stagnant and us struggling to be able to rebuild.

All because, lots of times Levy couldn’t put his ego aside, he was desperate to break the “selling club” notation so much that he let it get in the way of us actually doing well as a club.

Through his actions, he has allowed this squad to rot and become a stale, rubbish mess.

I think this sums up Daniel Levy’s incompetence in a nutshell:

  • A little less than 2 years ago, Daniel Levy sacked Mauricio Pochettino as Tottenham head coach. Spurs were in awful form at the time, however, Pochettino was adamant it was because the squad was stale and in need of repair, but Levy ignored those suggestions and sacked him for the opportunity to take on his vanity project, in getting Jose Mourinho, a man he’d wanted at Tottenham for many years.
  • Now, here we are, less than two years later, and it’s clear Levy is on his knees for Pochettino to leave/be dismissed at PSG so he can bring him back to Tottenham. Spurs spent millions of dollars to dismiss Pochettino and bring in Mourinho, and spent a fair bit on players for Mourinho who don’t fit the profile a rebuilding club would typically be in the market for. Spurs have wasted so much money trying to avoid the rebuild for the last 18 months, and now, millions of dollars down the drain later, are potentially willing to embrace the idea should the Argentine come back.
  • For a guy who’s supposedly a good businessman, he’s had a financial nightmare there. All the money Spurs have spent trying to avoid this rebuild that Pochettino asked for could’ve been used to give Pochettino, a man who earned the chance to go again with Tottenham, the rebuild he was crying out for.

Levy has just continued to dig his grave by making bad decisions after bad decisions.

It all starts with signing no one for 18 months over the course of 2018 and 2019, at a time when it was clear Spurs needed to start retooling the squad and looking towards the future, Levy didn’t invest money into the team and also rejected bids for certain players that simply put should’ve been accepted so we could refresh the side.

Then, instead of admitting his mistake at that time and embracing the rebuild, he sacks Pochettino and hires Mourinho, and does what I discussed above, putting off the rebuild even more and allowing the state of the club to deteriorate even further.

Then comes the time when Jose Mourinho was under pressure. After the 3-0 loss to Dinamo Zagreb, Daniel Levy could’ve dismissed Mourinho easily. Julian Nagelsmann was still available, and the Bayern Munich job was not expected to be vacant. Spurs could’ve got their man, but Levy sat on his hands, once again letting his ego get in the way because he didn’t want to admit his vanity project had backfired massively.

To make matters worse was the timing of Mourinho’s eventual sacking. This is coming from someone who was staunchly Mourinho out, what was the point of not dismissing him after the Zagreb disaster if you weren’t going to let him manage the cup final? It makes you wonder where Levy’s priorities really are.

Then comes the manager search. By taking their time to dismiss Mourinho, Spurs missed the boat Nagelsmann who would have been a great fit.

Next in line were Brendan Rodgers and Graham Potter. Potter turned Spurs away, despite being at decidedly “lesser” clubs, because of a lack of desire to work with Daniel Levy, as he felt it could come to harm their reputation to do so. Rodgers made it pretty clear that he felt safer working within the confines of Leicester than at Tottenham with Levy.

However, despite all that, Levy was given one last lifeline to salvage this managerial search. Antonio Conte, a man who would likely to be on the radar of any top club with a coaching vacancy, decided he’d be seriously open to coaching Spurs and sitting down with Levy.

Levy failed to come to an agreement with Conte, with the ambitions the manager wanted Spurs to have in the market and on the pitch supposedly being too much for Levy’s liking.

He compounded this misery even further by appointing a man who completely went against the type of manager he told fans would be appointed, in Nuno.

Levy said to supporters in an open letter before the Aston Villa match last season: “We shall focus on the recruitment of a new Head Coach. We are acutely aware of the need to select someone whose values reflect those of our great Club and return to playing football with the style for which we are known – free-flowing, attacking and entertaining – whilst continuing to embrace our desire to see young players flourish from our Academy alongside experienced talent.”

Anyone who watched Nuno at Wolves would know, attacking-minded is not the term that comes to mind when watching his teams play football.

He struggled massively in his last season there, with most supporters saying it was a borefest to watch them, and Wolves being humiliated by teams that really they should’ve been expected to beat (a 4-0 home loss to Burnley stands out)

Everton chose not to put faith in him, failed to find an agreement with Crystal Palace, and parted ways with Wolves, yet Levy decided he was the right man for Tottenham.

Granted, Nuno’s start to life at Tottenham was promising, even I wrote about that, however it’s become evident now that he’s well out of his depth here, unfortunately.

If you want to blame Paratici for Nuno’s appointment, it’s important to remember Levy hired him in the first place. If Paratici wanted a different type of manager to the one Levy himself said the club would target, why appoint him in the first place? Ralf Rangnick and Luis Campos were right there to be had, both free agents.

Now, Levy is under pressure to dismiss Nuno less than 100 days into his tenure, which says it all really.

Levy has got this club in the gutter thanks to his incompetence, and there’s nothing to suggest that he is the right man to fix this. Tottenham fans should be putting as much pressure as possible on him to step down.

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  1. I agree pretty much with all of that. The one thing that was perhaps omitted is that keeping Poch wasn’t really an option in the end after deciding not to back him financially. He looked hungover from champions League final and generally frustrated for some time. The team was playing dreadfully for a long time before his eventual sacking. He should’ve been backed and we needed to move players on rhough. I was all up for selling Dele at his peak as he was always a skillful player without s position. Kane should’ve gone this summer without a doubt. Tbh we probably need a bit of a firesale to shift some squad players also.


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