Mauricio Pochettino & Daniel Levy; the right combination or not?

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

AVB and Sherwood were out in one season and now we’ve got a new manager in Mauricio Pochettino. I am sure we all will wish him well, but will he be given the time to develop? Personally, I don’t think AVB was given the time and putting Sherwood in his place was a joke. He was inexperienced so why in God’s name was AVB replaced by a novice? Was there some method is Levy’s madness or just naivety? Whichever way we look at it, it was in the past. Now we’ve been given a good and talented manager (according to the press) in Mauricio Pochettino. I hope he does us proud; however, the signs aren’t very encouraging. Not because he will be crap, but because of Daniel Levy’s itchy trigger finger.

Levy/ ENIC took over from Sugar in February 2001. Levy has been a Spurs fan since he was a child. So becoming a director of Spurs must have been a great joy for him. When Levy took over George “boring boring Arsenal” Graham was our manager. He lasted just over a month until he was replaced – temporarily – by David Pleat. Levy’s first proper acquisition was a hero to White Hart Lane in the name of Glenn Hoddle. A popular choice. Unfortunately Hoddle lasted just over 2 years. Hoddle was determined to make Spurs a top team. Alas, in his first season as Spurs manager his team finished 9th. But this was an improvement on the previous season of 11th. At least we were heading in the right direction. The following season (2003/4) Spurs dropped one place to 10th. Under the beady-eyes of Levy this wasn’t how the script was supposed to go. The vultures were circling for their first taste of blood under Levy. With a poor start to season 2003/4 the burden began to build upon Hoddle and he was eventually sacked in September 2003, in which the team picked up just four points from their opening six league games and lay in the Premiership relegation zone. His last game in charge of Spurs was against Southampton where they were crushed 3-1.

Again, David Pleat was dusted off and put in charge for a couple of months while Levy looked for a suitable replacement. That suitable replacement and new hope for future glory was to be Jacques Santini. In his case the vultures were already perched on his shoulder before he even entered White Hart Lane. He joined the club in June 2004 and was gone by November of the same year. He was in charge for just 13 games. Was Levy just unlucky or the orchestrator of his own ineptitude? But let us not be too hard on Levy at this stage as Santini was only his third managerial procurement. We are all entitled to get it wrong now and again.

So after the departure of Santini, we got Fatboy Slim i.e. Martin Jol. Jol started life at Spurs as a lackey or if you prefer Assistant manager to the quick draw Santini. On 8 November 2004, Jol was confirmed as Spurs new manager. In his first season he changed things around and scrapped the defensive play of Santini. He started well by winning 5 league games in a row. Spurs best run since 1992-3 season. Jol finished 10th. In August of 2005 he signed a new contract. So at this stage Levy was seeing dividends in Jol. Things seemed to be looking up for both director and manager. Season 2005/6 saw Spurs hardly drop out of the top 6th. Unfortunately on the last game of the season Spurs players were struck down with a virus and ended up being beaten by West Ham United, which meant that they missed out on 4th spot and a place in the European Champions league. But we finished 5th. A good omen for the future or just wishful thinking? We, as Spurs supporters, are good at jumping the gun. But at least we were in the UEFA cup. We also conceded fewest goals since 1971.

The Spurs fans were jumping with joy and looking forward to the 2006/7 season. Omens seemed good as we beat Chelsea for the first time since 1990. Tottenham took 27 points from their final 12 league games of that season. Again, we finished 5th and a place in the UEFA cup. We were getting there, or so we thought. Just another strong push the next season and hey presto we’ve won the league. Could our dreams get any better than that we thought?

In 2007, in the summer of, we signed a number of expensive stars (spending around £40 million). With such spending, expectations were high. But this season was to be “another one bites the dust” as Jol was sacked. At least he was the longest serving manager under Levy’s beady eyes. But the vultures were circling when Jol lost his first two games and two directors were photographed in a Spanish hotel with the Seville coach Juande Ramos.

So now we move onto Juande Ramos, who couldn’t speak a word of English (or not enough for it to matter). But until he could be appointed Spurs legend Clive Allan took over for a month.

Juande Ramos took over in October 2007 and a year later (October 2008) he was sacked with Spurs at the bottom of the Premier League (with just 2 points).

In comes wide-boy ‘Arry Rednapp, supposedly a stop gap, but taking us out of our relegation position and finally finishing 8th in his first season. He then went on to take us to our highest position in the Premier League, finishing in 4th position; which took us into the European Champions league. In his last season (2011/12) his eyes were on being manager of England (and a fans favourite to get that job) and he took his foot off the throttle, however, we still finished 4th. And for that he was sacked.

All eyes then were directed to Chelsea’s off cast and failure AVB. In his first season in charge he took Spurs to 5th and breaking a few records on the way. Before taking over he said to Levy the same as what he told Chelsea’s millionaire owner that he would need a couple of seasons to build a team to challenge for top honours. Levy agreed and he was gone the next season.

AVB was replaced by a green horn in the name of Tim “I am so lucky” Sherwood. Sherwood’s inexperience saw us finish 6th, just ahead of a very poor Manchester United. When AVB was manager we were in all competitions and in 5th position. Sherwood took over and we were quickly knocked out of all competitions.

Now we start another new season with our 9th manager under Levy’s guidance. Will Mauricio Pochettino be given the chance to build? Will he be able to have a say in what players play for Tottenham or will he be just another puppet for Levy’s amusement? Mauricio Pochettino is regarded as a bright prospect and came to Spurs with a glowing report. He did well for his previous club (Southampton) who wasn’t high flyers or a potential top 4 club. In his second season he took the club to 8th position. A good position in a club such as Southampton.

So all eyes will be on Levy’s vultures to see whether they will be circling, and if they are circling how quickly will they swoop for another frenzied feeding fest. Mauricio Pochettino success will be just as important for Levy (or should be just as important), as it will be for the fans, because if another manager hits the dust he will quickly become a laughing stock, not only to Spurs fans, but of the world of football. Also, there is only so much us loyal supporters will take before the shit really hits the fan and a mighty roar erupts and forces the owner of Spurs, one Joe Lewis, to take some action. And that action will surely point towards Daniel Levy. Then the vultures might just turn and swoop on its master. But let us end on a positive note; he has had 9 tries in trying employ the right manager that could be suitable for Spurs, let us hope that this time he has got it right and those Glory, glory days remerge from their dusty dark corner and that the cockerel can perch itself up high and again start crowing as it once did all those years ago.

COYS, come on Levy, give Mauricio Pochettino a chance. It is not just about our clubs standing in the Premier League and the world, but yours as well.

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In the 90's, I was a writer for many of the top Spurs Fanzines (The Spurs, Spur of the Moment, MEHSTG and many others). A Spurs loyalist since the 60/61 season and now a season ticket holder (Premium). I run a Spurs Facebook page (“Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ voice” and co-run another one with Don Scully called “Tottenham Hotspur FC: Inside Track”). There is also a Spurs Twitter account (@HotspurVoice). I travel with Spurs to away games (including Europe). I have my a Blog (My blogging travels with Tottenham Hotspur Premium). The articles that appear on the blog also appear on SpursWeb and other applications.

7 COMMENTS

  1. avb should have sooner,Sherwood given the time of his contract.Novice or not he was a damn sight better than the Porto twonk.Poncho a not overly experienced replacement with less points thanTS,hope he'll do a decent job but i for one am not optomistic.

  2. Graham didn't really work under Levy, I hoddle failed, santini quit, Jol reached his own limit but was given pleanty of time to do so, Ramos worked himself a sacking on purpose, Redkanpp disloyal, and AVB lost the dressing room and if you did your research wanted out. I make that 5 managers appointed by levy and 3 sacked. The rest were temps filling in.
    You call yourself a loyal fan? You want to read your own drivvle for a bit. Then look up the word loyalty.

    • Loyalty doesn’t mean one can’t criticise. That is subservience and blind loyalty. If we all criticised more we might have a few more explanations and a lot less cockups. And I did do my homework, unfortunately I didn’t have the time to make it too deep (which might have bored people if I had). But whichever way you look at it, it achieved one thing; you putting pen to paper and being part of the debate, and that is what this forum/ section is for.

  3. Mr Redknapp was giveb nearly four years – and there were multiple reasons why he had go go, not one of which was failing to get fourth (seen as he finished fourth in the season he was dismissed).

    We could debate AVB's merits and flaws, in how his methods translated onto the pitch, for a very long time, but the bottom dollar is there are very strong rumours that he went for behind-the-scenes issues. So it is pretty pointless really to go round and round in circles either bewailing him as an ultra great manager we let go too soon, or in decrying him as a fraudster chancer. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle, anyway.

    I was outspoken in saying everyone should get off Sherwood's case, and there were reasons at the time that made sense for employing him. Alas, he seemed a little out of his depth and really should go off now, finish his badges (if he hasn't done so), and iron out his ideas/methodologies at a lower level – where he isn't quite so exposed. I suspect he realised this, too, by the end.

    How about just everyone getting right behind Mr Pochettino :)

  4. Of course they are the right combination, it is another cheap skate appointment that keeps Levy in control of a puppet, every manager Levy signs will be the same, sorry but this seems a very naive question on a Spurs website, I can't believe anyone really believes a manager at Spurs has a choice at all, Baldini is only in place so Levy can sack him rather face the music when this all goes wrong, ENIC have an agenda and they are succeeding at it perfectly, they are making huge profits on players we sell on and are buying land and property everwhere, which ultimately goes back into their pockets for a profit when they sell the club, cheap is good and all they have to do is keep the club in the top 6 or 7 and keep spouting out the waffle to our fans that top 4 is on the agenda, no it bloody well is not or they would invest heavily into the team and pay the type of wages that gets us there. selling Gareth Bale and signing numpties is not the answer, Liverpool told Suarez he was staying and paid him top dollar, Spurs sell people, we don't deserve success operating like that and I don't want Levy or ENIC to succeed anyway, Levy is a C**t and I hope one day the entire fan base start to see it, tough times for me because I love Spurs but right now I want us to fail so the long term ends up brighter under a new owner and board. 700k net spend from a man worth 4.2 billion ? I call that tight and certainly not a spurs fan, I spend considerably more than 1/6000 th of my worth on Spurs per season.

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