An owner of a football club must generally have a great deal of knowledge about how football works besides the fact that he needs to have sufficient funds to run the club. When an owner decides to intervene every now and then in the club’s affairs, he surely should have a plan in mind especially when he owns a club that represents a certain group of people in London. Daniel Levy does not own any Premier League team, he owns Tottenham Hotspurs, a club that is deemed big enough to maintain itself among the league’s top half.
Since he became the chairman of the club, Levy has been the person who appointed and dismissed directors and managers and he even interfered in signing and selling players. In the summer of 2012, he appointed Andre Villas-Boas as the new manager for the club only to sack him earlier this month. Levy can only blame himself for the failure of the Tottenham and AVB combination because he knew what he signed up for all along.
Andre arrived at Tottenham following a stint at Chelsea that completely exposed him, he is a manager who sticks to his own philosophy in football and does not adapt to any situation. He plays his own game and his players have to adapt to him and not the other way around. In his first days at Tottenham, the players seemed puzzled and even goalkeeping coach at the club, Tony Parks, was critical of his own boss yet the players continued to work as the new manager wanted them and eventually they started delivering results very much thanks to the wonders of Gareth Bale, though they failed to break into the top four.
During summer, Franco Baldini joined Hotspurs as a director and many hailed his arrival yet he committed the same mistakes he did at former club Roma. Baldini signed seven new players from different nationalities and different leagues, the players are quite good and they are Premier League material but the sum the club paid for them is simply absurd. Roberto Soldado deserves to be at a club like Tottenham but he definitely is not worth the money Tottenham had to pay and the same goes for most of the others. Baldini expected to build an instant team out of them, but they were never going to play well from their first few months together especially when their rivals have retained most of their players and began preparing for this season way ahead of Spurs. Until today, a few of the new players still cannot communicate in English with their team-mates which is a disadvantage due to low team chemistry.
Nacer Chadli and Andros Townsend were deployed as wingers in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Soldado being the lone striker up front, yet the former duo seemed to eliminate the role of the Spanish striker as they very often were selfish and tried to attempt to take shots on goal rather than cross to their striker which limited the latter’s ability to blend into Tottenham’s play. Soldado became a player whose task is to hold up play, attract opposition in order to set his wingers free on goal. With the wingers being the focus of attack, it meant more shot attempts for Tottenham because they attacked from two sides and even the midfielders sometimes attacked from the center. However, more shots does not mean more scoring chances because most of the shots Spurs took were from outside the penalty area. Moreover, Soldado is not the man for this role, he is a striker, not a midfielder thus if Tottenham want to play with Soldado they need to use him as the target-man.
Townsend participated in 14 games while Lamela played only six, yet Lamela managed to assist a goal while the Andros is yet to assist any goal. Townsend’s 46 shots this season made him score a single goal in the Premier League. Lamela can be a great success at Spurs but the right back Kyle Walker needs to interact more with him on the pitch, Lamela thrives in being a goal scoring winger, he’s done that at Roma, but he needs his right back to overlap with him and most importantly he needs to play complete 90 minutes.
Whoever Spurs brought in as a new manager would definitely have taken his time to teach his players the principles of his game and certainly we are a long way from seeing Spurs return to competing for a top four place but if there is a chance of Spurs returning to the right track it will be down to the integration of Lamela in their team, he is the club’s brightest talent even if he is yet to show it, he is full of potential but he needs the right style of play to show it.
The appointment of Tim Sherwood seemed to be an interim one at first but the club tied him down with an 18-month contract. As a player, he’s had a successful career but this is his first experience as a head coach and perhaps Tottenham is one of the toughest teams to manage. The appointment may seem long term but maybe it was Daniel Levy’s only way to make Sherwood work on building a good future for Tottenham rather than limit himself to immediate success, thus, he can be relieved of his duties at a later stage when the right candidate is available.
With Sherwood or anyone else, the future is bleak in North London, the club has been the victim of its own poor management, AVB was only the tip of the iceberg, Daniel Levy has only himself to blame for his team’s current situation as he distanced them from a top four spot even if technically they are still in the race. It is another season for Spurs in the shadow of Arsenal and a few other teams in the Premier League. Therefore, the focus now should be concentrated on the Europa League and the FA Cup. Spurs will meet Arsenal on the fourth of January in the cup and it could be their best shot this season at beating Arsenal as the Gunners are going through their toughest period of the season. If Sherwood manages to make good use of Arsenal’s tired players, he will win his players and fans over in no time. It is not over for Spurs yet.