Posts Tagged ‘Daniel Levy’

Look away from White Hart Lane, the sights are too ugly

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

Harry Redknapp has been installed at Tottenham Hotspur for a week now and this evening he sees his Spurs team face Liverpool with the North London side buoyant following a 4-4 draw at Arsenal. The Reds have the best start to a Premiership season ever which is the sort of position which chairman Daniel Levy wants to catapult his side into.

Redknapp’s appointment has raised mostly applause anywhere except the South coast where they seem to have tired of their club becoming his to toy with. Harry wants to leave because of a Director of Football, Harry joins Southampton, Harry comes back. The soap opera drama of Fratton Park always centres around Harry and now he has walked away saying he wants to go to a bigger club they seem to have got bored of his machinations.

So they should. It is not two months since Harry was speaking with the voice of Portsmouth to condemn the supporters who racial, homophobic and fairly horrible abuse at Sol Campbell. At the time Harry said of Spurs fans “How do you do that in front of your kids? What kind of a nutter must you be? What kind of human being must you be when you take your little kids to football and shout filth? It can’t be right”.

Are we to think that Harry has changed his mind? Was Harry wrong about the fans who he now needs to back his revolution at The Lane? Only a fool would say he was.

However Harry is not dishonest. Far from it his approach to the the game with one of the straightest bat around. He shows a disinterest – if not a contempt – for the opinion of supporters.

As Hitchcock said of actors supporters to Redknapp are cattle and what they think and what they say is either objectionable in the case of the Spurs fans or ignorable. Spurs area big club – he says – but virtue of the size of the support but those supporters are to pay up and shut up and allow him total control of “their” club.

None of which is a criticism of Harry Redknapp, of Daniel Levy, of Portsmouth or of Spurs just that in this footballing world where we as supporters increasingly believe that the game is being run for the benefit of drifting TV viewers and big companies looking for brand alignment Redknapp’s hypocrisy and his attitude to the fans who watch his clubs that reduces them to serfs is typical of the relationship that supporters now have with those who they support.

It is the demand not for support but for fealty. That relationship is an ugly one.

Perceptional problems lead Spurs down the wrong path once again

Monday, September 29th, 2008

It is with heavy heart that we say goodbye to the Saturday evening ritual of watching the deluded try convince Simon Cowell of X Factor that if only he would put them through they would be able to convert out of tune screeches into being the next Mariah Carey.

That competition reaches a more refined stage while the Premier League’s version of the auditions continues. Newcastle United have been covered at length elsewhere but in 19th they sit above Tottenham Hotspur.

Two pieces of news are seeping out of Spurs at the moment. On the one hand they talk of the future of manager Juande Ramos, on the other chairman Daniel Levy is rumoured to be holding out for £400m to sell the club.

Ramos must wish at this point that he could wake from the slumber caused when he was struck by a missile thrown from the crowd and find he was still a manager in Spain and had never heard of Spurs.

Like many managers at White Hart Lane before him he is asked to do much but given too little of the one resource a manager needs most to do anything. He has no time.

With a picked over strike force he needs to build again but very few now believe he will make the next transfer window to make changes. He is stuck between the rock of damaging his reputation and the hard place of Spurs’ crushingly misplaced image of self.

Spurs are a club living on glories which are long since past but unlike the St James’ Park trophy room no dust settles as occasional a door is opened and a League Cup put in. This is not to say that they are not successful or that the League Cup has no value just that they are a club that looks are those returns and does not equate it with the being the same return as the likes of Oxford and Norwich once claimed. They see it as a sign of a deserved greatness.

The club – inside and out – differs from Newcastle mostly in geography rather than attitude. The Spurs fan believes Ramos is underperforming but over the course of his time in London his record is comparable with other inhabitants of the hot seat. At time good, at times not so. All very Spurs.

Spurs are not one of those warblers who cannot hold a tune that Cowell and Co laugh out of the auditions. They are one of those good but no better than many people who fall just before the live show begins. The sort that tells Simon how much they want it and why he should not kill their dream without realising that the people ahead of them have done more hard work, have shown more commitment or in some cases are simply more talented.

The same impatience that sees managers replaced that is commonly levelled at supporters at St James’ Park is in evidence at Tottenham Hotspur and like the Magpies the issue is not underachievement but rather a failure to recognise that the fifth of Spurs and the top threes of Newcastle are superbly creditable over-reaches.

In the end Spurs are Newcastle with better PR that stops them being labelled as the tumultuous club they can be. Both are are Leeds without the meltdown because as with Sir Bobby Robson and Martin Jol pushing out David O’Leary under the belief that another manager would take the club on was a misjudgement based on the idea that the club was not over-performing at the time.