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.