We’re in the midst of our most productive period of the season, just when it really counts. It’s not something that we’ve been used to in recent times and the run of results is a testament to the efforts of the players, manager and coaching staff.

However, as we sit rightfully in the highly-coveted fourth position and await an FA cup semi-final, it seems that one man more than any other should be given the credit for the extinction of the circus that usually encapsulates and capitulates a Spurs’ season: our chairman Daniel Levy.

It could all have been so different when he endured the fan’s wrath by ousting the popular Martin Jol in 2007 in the most Manchester City of methods. The decision was a shambles, disrespectful and it seemed that Levy was both out of touch with the fans’ views and even human decency. The removal of Jol became all the more lamentable when the period under the new manager Juande Ramos proved disastrous, despite the Carling Cup Final win.

The Director of Football position initiated by Levy proved to be misguided too, as the reaction to Frank Arnesen’s initial good work was soon eclipsed by sentiments of utter disgust as he jumped ship for Chelsea. The subsequent appointment of the Dane’s successor Damien Comolli proved a colossal misjudgement and will in fact rank as an equally monumental error by Levy, as that of the treatment of Jol.

However, Levy learned his lesson and upon the admission of the Ramos-Comolli failure, deconstructed the European club style set-up and appointed our super English Harry Redknapp to steady the ship. And that’s exactly what he’s done, so much so that we are almost unrecognisable, constructing a reputation as hard to beat on the road (even at Stoke), solid defensively, and even able to grind victories out despite numerous injuries and players forced to play out of position.

Spurs, thanks largely to Levy’s admission that he was wrong, are now a team grounded well and truly in the present, but with a firm grasp of future growth and stability. It should not go un-noticed that Levy has been busy securing a few notable off-field victories. The work he and his staff have done to secure the land for the new stadium and the plans for said arena are extremely impressive and add further support to the argument that we are no longer a profligate victim when it comes to financial management.

Where in the past we were being made a fool of in the transfer market and haemorrhaging money, we are now being managed in a very shrewd and calculated manner. Levy’s running of the club has in fact mirrored that of Harry’s canny acquisitions in the transfer market.  As even the bigger clubs fret over financial stability and debts to pay, Spurs have disappeared from the controversy and are just getting on with things now without fuss, developing as a stable, ambitious football club and business.

Popular players like Huddlestone and Dawson have been rewarded with new contracts, and Levy has just recently confirmed the signing of the Brazilian Sandro, subject to a work permit. Following the confirmation of the signing Redknapp said:

“The chairman has done a terrific job to make this happen… there are not too many chairmen that would fly half way around the world to get a deal done and he has flown to Brazil twice.”

There is a genuine perception now that Levy’s professionalism and acute sense of business acumen is matched by his passion for the club. We have someone who has married both aspects perfectly, the consequences of which are obvious now, both on and off the pitch.

People aren’t laughing at us any more; we can leave the meltdowns to Manchester City, Liverpool and Newcastle. We’ll retreat from the controversy and the comedy and make our own headlines in the results business.

Things are changing, things have already changed, and the man that started this new era is Daniel Levy. So, I thank him, and when we win the FA Cup in May I’d like to see him with the trophy during the celebrations; for he deserves some of the credit and certainly deserves the recognition.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. You don’t seem to realise that Mr Jol said he could not take Spurs into the CL, that he repeatedly threw away leads against Arsenal and Chelsea by taking off our attacking players, or that he said, while manager of Hamburg and having a 1-0 away goal lead, that his team was preparing for a penalty shoot out

  2. Hats off to Daniel Levy. He deserves as much kudos as ‘arry. I’m loving the team and being a fan. This season is already a success. Getting FA cup and 4th place will be an icing on it.
    Up spurs

  3. DL 11:35am – he hasn’t gone into detail about Jol at all… what he actually said was – Jol was popular, true… and that people were unhappy when he was sacked, also true… you seem to have concentrated on 1 tiny aspect of the article and missed the whole point!

  4. Well said and at a time when so many clubs are hitting the financial wall, this acknowledgement of the good work carried out by our chairman, is well-timed. I think his biggest mistake was not continuing with the DOF policy (which if you recall was reasonably successful under Pleat and then Arnesen) was the appointment of Commoli. Although, he was a good judge of talent, I felt he failed to work with any of the managers (especially Jol) to sign players to fit into a system. He was too arrogant for the role. Credit to Levy for acting relatively swiftly to address the decline under Comolli. Bringing in Harry was a bit of a no-brainer but I am glad to read reports that Levy plays a big role in approving transfer deals. Harry is not exactly the best at long-term planning.

  5. Naill,
    How correct you are, being a Spurs eat,sleep and drink fan since 1959 or so, Apart from being a kid at that time, I have walked the walk and ect, etc . But at this moment in time I feel we are in a better position now then I have seen since Bill Nick left or even his son Keith Burk ! I have seen them at Wembley almost everytime over the years I have mentioned except when I moved to Aus in 99.
    I now believe that with the guidance of Levy, a true THFC man that we are progressing at a great rate of knots, and with the new infrastructure and including the training facilities and the excellent managment of the team that the future is undoubtly bright and that we have no reason at this moment in time to fear the likes of woolich wanderers or the mob from the west or the mancs,..I rather fear that they would prefer to avoid us in the run in………and it would do a lot of the Tottenham faithfull to look at it in this way!
    Anyway enough said keep the faith,
    COYS>

    • I’ve played about 8 times this season and overall have been playing pretty well for my standards. However, yesterday, I played one of the worst rounds of my life and got really direausogcd. Does anyone have any hints, tips, or drills that may help me swing through the ball (not at it) and release the club (a term I’ve been hearing a lot lately)? Also, tips on staying down on the ball would be helpful. Thanks.

    • 04 Oct 28, 2007 8:30 pm Loretta – Hah. Sorry, that Swiffer comment got me. And I hear ya. I near sliced my pinky in half cutting bagels like a year ago. Granted it was a big serrated knife (not a paring one), but that really hurt. And to this day I can’t cut a bagel without putting it down on the counter and very slowly cutting and turning it. I need a “good” bagel slicer, which I can’t seem to find…

    • ola a todos los amantes del parkour los que seais de bilbao yquerais benir a una rt(reunion trazur) agregarme a p.d si no sois de bilbao y aun asi quereis benir agregarmesi tb quereis uniros ami grupo tb se admiten nobatos siempre que quieran aser parkourXD bueno saludos

    • the priest or deacon needs to know what his folks watch on TV & movies, reads, etc. And I have to say, I don't really want my priests knowing my taste in movies, you know? I just found out Ahnuld has agreed to a new Conan and RAN downstairs to tell Smiter…On happier note, I'm now reading Larry Correia's "Monster Hunter" and it's great braincandy. Like "Ghostbusters" for grown-ups.Happy Halloween!Xena Catolica

  6. well done levy, one of the best ……….. i hope im wrong but we still aint going to get 4th chaps, horrendous run in coming up and can see liverpool getting it ahead of city, then us. Those wolves games will cost us dear, even the hull draw would have been enough i reckon. So close yet so far.

  7. Absolutely glad to see Levy at healm of Spurs bcos he won’t bank roll the club for immediate success- I think past mistakes= commoli(the worse-though he did purchase some young talent) who was negative influence on Levy against Jol the fans favourite! Levy is good chairman and won’t be easily swayed by sentiment as possibily Arry may well be!

  8. Has to be said, it is a novel feeling to have Spurs looked upon as a well run club.

    Alan Sugar saved us from bankruptcy after awful mismanagement under previous owners. But he never quite grasped how to use money wisely in football. Daniel Levy took the solid business that Sugar had escured and has expanded it brilliantly. No debts, no regular losses. Just a strong income and money well spent putting together a very strong squad.

    He has stuck to our “brand” of fine football and hired managers accordingly. And a third cup final in three years would be symbolic of the major improvements he has overseen at Spurs.

  9. Totally agree that (when ?) we lift the cup Mr Levy should certainly be with the team and Arry. GR8 job Dan lets have another one. COYS

  10. Completely agree with the main argument: Levy deserves lots of credit – but your account of the Jol-Comolli-Ramos era is totally bizarre.

    Jol was out of his depth: long-ball, negative and passive in games. He got lucky in lots of games, with Berbatov saving us with good goals from Robinson long-punts. Also we were lucky to finish 5th the second time, and could easily have been 8th until the last day.

    Daniel Levy got the measure of him perfectly. Although he was funny – who can forget his dust-up with Ar5ene W1nker – he had to go.

    Ramos was the stand-out candidate, and Levy did the right thing to approach him. He showed the good sense and ambition that you are now praising him for, but he did it at the wrong time, and in the wrong way (and got caught). Ramos could have been amazing, but it all went against him: he joined mid-season, won a cup, made Huddlestone lose two stone, but then the players got on the booze and we had a disastrous summer in the transfer market, a disrupted pre-season, and he was given the bullet.

    Comolli signed some great young talent, who are now coming through, or were sold on at big profits. There was obviously a personality clash with him, though – but the structure was sound.

    As for Redknapp: this is obviously our best season for twenty-odd years – but let’s not get carried away. You talk of his “canny acquisitions in the transfer market”: what, like buying Robbie Keane for £15m? It’s not because he’s “super English” that he’s done well: the squad has been good for five or six years, with lots of money going into it.

    Harry was a stop-gap appointment to stop relegation, but he has exceeded all expectations, and I doff my hat to him and to Levy, but let’s not re-write history.

  11. DC Samuel – ‘ but your account of the Jol-Comolli-Ramos era is totally bizarre?’

    How do you figure that? All the guy has said is that the way Jol was treated was shambolic, which is true. He did a great job for us, was loved by the fans, and Levy’s cloak & dagger approach to getting rid of him, where we new before the man himself that he’d been fired, was shameful. He effectively tapped Ramos, a foreign coach with no english, and no experience outside of the Spanish game, and that was always be a risk.

    The issue with Comolli wasn’t so much the guy himself or his ability, it was the position and the influence on first team affairs he was allowed in it. The best decision Levy has made has been getting rid of that ridiculous system. When has it ever worked? What remotely successful club uses it? You can just imagine Fergie let his ‘Director of football’ pitch in with his views at half time can’t you? Other clubs used, shock horror, talent scouts to find young talent! They do the same thing but leave the running of the team to the manager. They way it should be.

    We’re on the up, being a spurs fan though you can’t help wondering know how long it will last. Will we get greedy again and try to oust Harry for Mourinho? Once the new stadium gets underway will Levy take the money and run? Or with the various cash-stapped circus’s above us, will our stability slowly but surely reel them in?

    Long live THFC!

  12. @McGarn: I take your point, it was ‘cloak and dagger’ and a shambles at the end, but I have to disagree with the overall idea that Jol did a great job. He clearly didn’t and I wasn’t the only one completely frustrated at his defensive decisions (for example, standing at Fulham away, when we were 3-1 up with 10 minutes to go, only for Jol to bring on two extra defenders, before we drew 3-3).

    As for this: “The best decision Levy has made has been getting rid of that ridiculous system. When has it ever worked? What remotely successful club uses it? You can just imagine Fergie let his ‘Director of football’ pitch in with his views at half time can’t you?”

    The DoF job is not to pitch in at half-time: it’s to scout and sign players. Why is it so hard to understand? As for which successful clubs have ever used it? Er, let me see: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Ajax, Bayern Munich…

    It’s about getting the right personnel in place who understand their role. After Phil Brown got sacked by Hull, you didn’t hear people going “Manager! Ridiculous system!” So why blame the Ramos/Comolli debacle on the ‘system’. It was to do with personnel, language and bad luck.

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