Remember Tottenham 2008, Mr Levy – So What’s Changed?


Daniel Levy [Photo: Alan Hill]I believe Daniel Levy and Joe Lewis really do have Tottenham Hotspur’s interests at heart and love the club. Even when most of us think they have got it right it has never quite come together though. Well, it did under Harry Redknapp but somehow the end there seemed inevitable after the end of season collapse and the England fiasco.

Smiling AVB [Photo: Alan Hill]When Levy took the decision to sack Juande Ramos and his team in 2008. The continental director of football and coach approach had failed and we were bottom of the league. Daniel wrote an open Letter to Spurs fans explaining why he did it and why he had sacked them and said he thought the traditional style of English management was the way ahead for Spurs. After Harry’s departure, he employed Andre Villas-Boas and returned to the continental approach again with more success than last time points-wise but boring performances and intermittent thrashings this season. So AVB gets the sack at the start of the week.

If you read the following extracts from his letter in 2008, he could be describing the situation today. Just change the names and it is almost uncanny.

“How quickly things change in football. Our pre-season form, our start to the transfer window and early summer signings had everyone optimistic for the season ahead. The last few days of that window and our poor start to the season has seen all that change. This has been a difficult period for the Club and many questions are being asked and much criticism levelled. I should like to update you on some important developments announced a short while ago, to answer some of your questions and also to outline our thinking as we look to improve our current position going forward.

Today, as formally announced by the Club, I have made one such important judgement call and in doing so I have taken some very difficult decisions. Relieving Juande Ramos, our Head Coach, and Juande’s assistants, Gus Poyet and Marcos Alvarez, of their posts is not something I have undertaken lightly.

Unfortunately, our record of just three League wins since our memorable Carling Cup victory against Chelsea last February, combined with our extremely poor start to the season, led the Board and I to determine that significant change was necessary as a matter of urgency. We are grateful to Juande, Gus and Marcos for all their hard work – they are incredibly professional, committed individuals and I regret that their time in the Premier League has not gone as well as we had all hoped..

The English Premier League is an unforgiving competition – time was no longer on our side and was a luxury we simply could not afford. We have quite clearly not performed to the best of our ability for many months now and our poor run of form is not something we could allow to continue unchecked. In my opinion, and with the benefit that comes with running our Club with and without a Sporting Director in the past seven years, the successful management of a football club is not about structures or job titles. As in most businesses, it’s about people: their personal qualities, their knowledge, their experience, their relationships, communication skills, interaction with colleagues, leadership and, of course, their ability.

In Harry, we are also accepting with his appointment that now is the right time for us to move back to a more traditional style of football management at our Club, one which we believe will be capable of initiating our climb back up the Premier League table and to maintaining our challenge in the UEFA, Carling and FA Cup competitions. We have all been subjected to much criticism – myself, the Board, coaching staff and players – having now made what I considered to be necessary, sweeping changes to our football management team, we must re-assert ourselves, regain our focus, and answer our critics in the best way possible – by winning games again.

Secondly, we must prepare ourselves to take advantage of the January transfer window. Harry’s experience of the UK and international transfer market will be of critical importance and I shall be looking to Harry for clarity on our priorities. As Chairman, and as previously in our former structure, I must, ultimately, rely on the knowledge and judgement of my technical staff to give me a clear football-based view and recommendation on our transfer targets.

I can assure you that everyone here, from the Board to our most junior staff member, shares the frustration and disappointment of the season so far, but I can also assure you that all of us in every area of the Club are doing what we can to help the players to produce the level of performance and the consistent good results our fans expect and all of us crave.”…

The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters Trust today requested a statement from Daniel Levy explaining AVB’s sacking and clearly stating his plans moving forward. They say that fans are frustrated and angry.  Before he makes a decision on any reply it might pay Mr. Levy to look again at what he said in 2008. We seem to have come full circle.

Mr. Hoddle is waiting…