Daniel Levy, the Tottenham Chairman, is in control of every major decision taken at White Hart Lane. Through the Premier League era, Spurs have had to play ‘catch-up’ with their north London neighbours and rivals, Arsenal, who have been the dominant force for far too long. A headline in yesterday’s Daily Mail caught my attention and should act as a sharp warning to the Tottenham Chairman not to follow the investment restraints which are reported to be currently in place at the Emirates.
The Arsenal in Crisis article written by Sami Mokbel, contained a sub-heading which Daniel Levy needs to take heed of:
Arsenal are paying a heavy price for refusing to spend
In the 1960s, it was Tottenham who set the trends in the ‘derby’ rivalry between the two clubs, winning the ‘Double’ with attacking stylish football. Arsenal achieved that feat a decade later and became more dominant in the George Graham era with success based on a “one-nil to the Arsenal” philosophy. Following the arrival of Arsene Wenger, however, Spurs found themselves playing second fiddle in every aspect of the game as they struggled from one crisis to the next. Arsenal had taken on the style of Tottenham and there was nothing the White Hart Lane club could do about it. Only in recent seasons have Spurs come within reach of their neighbours but have still failed to break their stranglehold.
In this game of catch-up, Tottenham have tried to emulate some of the successful ways adopted by their neighbours. Spurs appointed foreign managers and they put a Director of Football in place to work with the manager in the way that David Dein supported Arsene Wenger but they still failed to find success. Spurs have developed excellent new training facilities and are belatedly in the process of building a new stadium but it still remains a number of years away from completion.
Arsenal’s last trophy win was the 2005 FA Cup success and their supporters are very dissatisfied. The home defeat to Blackburn Rovers at the weekend has added to their anxiety and anger with Wenger. They hold the manager responsible and, as the newspaper article suggests, they identify a lack of investment in new players as the main reason for the downturn in the club’s fortunes.
Daniel Levy is a very shrewd operator when controlling the Tottenham finances. He quite rightly wants to ensure the long-term future of the club and avoid any irresponsible over expenditure. He has displayed a reluctance in the past two January transfer windows to speculate to ensure Champions League football which can be such a source of income. He has also failed to sign the top quality striker that many feel the team requires.
The failure to strengthen the squad twelve months ago with quality players was one of the contributing factors to Tottenham failing to qualify for this season’s Champions League. Not signing a striker last month, has Spurs trying to cope with only one fit striker and having to rely on the talent of Gareth Bale as their main source of goals.
The lack of investment by Arsenal in recent seasons has had a detrimental affect of the team and the club. Daniel Levy, please take note of the situation at the Emirates and ensure that Tottenham don’t fall into the same trap of selling quality players and not investing the funds to strengthen the team. It is only success on the pitch that counts in football!