The Blame Game: Who’s At Fault For The Mess at Tottenham?


Who’s responsible for the situation Tottenham currently find themselves in – the manager, the players, Andre Villas-Boas, Franco Baldini or Daniel Levy?

Last summer, we were told that the hierarchy at Tottenham felt that this season, with other top clubs under new management, would be an opportunity for Spurs to challenge for the Premier League title. Such grand ambitions have proved to be well beyond the team as has the runners-up prize of their annual battle for a place in the top-4 with Champions League qualification. The ‘booby’ prize of yet another season in the Europa League is also slipping away from Spurs – some would say, “Thankfully!”

So after setting out last August with such high ideals, who’s to blame for the mess Spurs are in as we move into April, with 6 league games to play? There are plenty of culprits to point the finger at.

The Managers

AVB’s last game against Liverpool. [Photo: Alan Hill]Andre Villas-Boas

AVB started the season with a side lacking in ambition, pace and few creative ideas. Teams quickly realised that by defending in depth they could nullify any threat from Spurs especially at White Hart Lane. Results were better away from home where Spurs could counter-attack but against top teams, Spurs lacked drive and capitulated. He persisted with his system even though it was clearly not working and with a constantly changing side, the new players found it difficult to adapt to the pressure of the Premier League. With Roberto Soldado struggling through lack of service and support, the manager refused to play Emmanuel Adebayor. Stubbornness and a belief that he knew best brought about his downfall.

Tim Sherwood [Photo: Alan Hill]Tim Sherwood

Sherwood was appointed from within as no-one would take on the position in mid-season when Andre Villas-Boas was sacked last December. With no managerial experience but with a high opinion of his own abilities, he started positively and brought Adebayor into the team but those early successes have turned suddenly to performances lacking drive, desire, direction or any organisation. Sherwood has stepped into football at the highest level and he’s out of his depth in so many ways.

The Players

Spurs v Southampton [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]The Tottenham team has lacked leadership and drive on the pitch. The new players have taken time to settle while those with experience have lacked the inclination to support them or to set an example. Injuries have been a constant issue this season with players out for lengthy periods. Many of the players with World Cup ambitions for the summer, have been more concerned about their international future rather than their performances for Spurs. Before the dismissal of AVB, the players put in some very lethargic performances, especially in heavy defeats to Manchester City and Liverpool. They lifted their game when Sherwood took over but recently we have seen a return of players who have no energy or commitment. Players get managers sacked.

The Technical Director

Franco Baldini

AVB was reported to have requested the appointment of a Technical Director and the arrival of Franco Baldini suggested that Tottenham were putting in place a system with which the manager was satisfied. The question is, however, ‘Who decided on signings?’

Tottenham squandered the Gareth Bale money in signing 7 players with no experience of the Premier League and all have struggled to make an impression. None of the 7 started against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge last month. Baldini was credited with having a great knowledge of football across the globe but obviously not of players who could immediately perform in English football.

Unhappy Tottenham fans [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]

The Chairman

Daniel Levy

Daniel Levy

Daniel Levy appointed AVB with a new vision for the future of the club but within 18 months the manager was gone. With no alternative in place, he gave the position to Tim Sherwood who had no experience of management. A risk that has failed and so the club will presumably be looking for another manager come the summer.

Can Daniel Levy be trusted to get it right this time after so many failed attempts to find a successful manager?

Some supporters think he can’t with placards at White Hart Lane for the game against Arsenal while others have set up an e-petition against ENIC.

Who’s to Blame?