In the leading up to Tottenham’s visit to West Ham on Friday, Mauricio Pochettino went out of his way to give credit to club chairman Daniel Levy.
Levy often occupies the role of scapegoat at Tottenham, blamed for missed opportunities and disastrous moves in equal measure.
To some extent that blame is rightly his, but only because it is his final word that matters most when it comes to transfers. So when a player like, say, Moussa Sissoko fails to live up to the money spent on him, fingers inevitably point to Levy.
Pochettino has defended his chairman before, and on Thursday went further to credit Levy with much of Spurs’ success. Per the Guardian:
"“Daniel is the first person who is creating a massive club for us and the fans because he is thinking, in the next few years, to take the club to the final level. With our signings and our work, we are creating a team that can, when we get the new stadium, be one of the best teams in the world.”"
Blaming Levy for Spurs’ ailments ignores much of the good he does for the club. He’s in the midst of overseeing a massive new stadium project that, when complete, will see Spurs’ status increase dramatically. Throughout it all, he’s made money available for the construction of a new training center in Enfield as well as keeping the transfer kitty stocked with funds.
Levy’s legacy will rest mostly on the faith he’s shown to Pochettino over the three years of the Argentine’s tenure. Though he had earned a reputation for impatience with a slew of manager firings over the prior decade, with Pochettino he’s developed an unprecedented rapport and trust.
"“Daniel deserves a lot of credit in the three seasons I’ve been here. The support from him is massive. The good thing at Tottenham is that all the decisions are club decisions. Not mine or Daniel’s – all the decisions are shared and that’s so important to success in football. If you have a great chairman, it’s important to recognize that. We are showing we are strong and that we try to fight for big things in the future. We are going in the right way.”"
Such coordination and mutual respect between chairman and manager should be the envy of other Premier League clubs. Levy and Pochettino’s relationship is at the core of the revolution currently underway at Spurs, and with any luck will only mature as the club moves into its new home and beyond.
The true test of Levy and Pochettino’s bond will come this summer and next season however. Once again, the herd needs to be culled of players that don’t meet Pochettino’s expections, and then they need to be replaced.
Should the club pull that feat off, they will then have to worry about adjusting to life at Wembley next season. With performances there this season lacking in a real way, any dip in form at their temporary home might strain the limits of Levy’s patience.