I’m as surprised as anyone else after hearing that Mauricio Pochettino has been sacked. However, the true shock is more in the choice of replacement and the speed in which it all happened. It’s very rare for such events to be handled so efficiently, but then again majority of the time Daniel Levy, Tottenham chairman, isn’t the one handling it.
Daniel Levy – The Chairman
Daniel Philip Levy, 57, is a British Businessman from Essex, England.
He originally wanted to buy the club from previous owner Alan Sugar (also a businessman, famous for being the original boss doing the firing on “The Apprentice”) in 1998. Sugar rejected (presumably the deal wasn’t sweet enough). In 2000, Levy went in again, and then back out without a deal. After increasing pressure from fans, Alan Sugar ended up having to sell some club shares to the English National Investments Company (ENIC) of which Levy was a key member of. This purchase put ENIC’s shares to just
below 30% and gave them an opportunity to go for the remainder of the clubs shares and take full control. In the meantime, Levy had taken a “temporary’ seat among the board of directors. In February 2001, only two months after the increase in shares, ENIC had acquired over 85% of club shares and Levy started running the club.
Since he took over, Levy has appointed and then sacked a number of world class coaches including Glenn Hoddle, Martin Jol, Juande Ramos, Andre Villas-Boas, Harry Redknapp and Mauricio Pochettino. The latter was at the helm for the longest period of time – five years.
Daniel Levy is noted for being very stingy with club money. he has implemented a strict wage limit at the club, and has notably criticised the spending of other clubs describing it as unsustainable, and he isn’t wrong. His dealings have led Tottenham to a be one of just a few extremely profitable clubs throughout the globe (somewhat of a huge achievement in modern football). As a result, Levy has overseen the construction and opening of both a new training ground and stadium. The latter has helped bring jobs and new homes to the area.
Was the sacking of Pochettino the right call?
It is important to understand that the Argentine coach hadn’t won any major trophies in the five years that he spent at the club. One of the key reasons has to do with the “lack-of” money available for new players. In 2018/19 (last season) Tottenham was the only team to not sign a single player during the summer. This year, Ndombele was the only major arrival. With such restrictions put on Pochettino, the chance of success was very limited. Yet, he took the club to the final of the champions league, where the club lost out to Liverpool.
This year, Spurs have looked very poor. Currently they lie 14th in the league after winning just three of the 12 games played so far. That was enough for Levy to end Pochettino’s stay at the club, which has surprised many football fans. The overwhelming feeling is that the sacking was a very poor decision, but if history is anything to go by, Levy won’t care one bit about what outsiders think about his decision.
Is Mourinho the right guy for the job?
The self-proclaimed “special one” has taken charge at Tottenham. The appointment was pretty much instant which shows that Levy was working on the appointment prior to firing Pochettino. Once again, not very surprising. What is surprising though is the appointment itself. Mourinho is a coach who is quick to blame his players, doesn’t give young players a chance and spends millions and millions in the hope of buying success.
Did he come to Tottenham by accident?
The footballing philosophy of Mourinho couldn’t be further away from what he is going to get at Spurs. Plus, if he goes around blabbing in the same way he did when in charge of Man United, there’s no way Levy will think twice about getting rid of him. So the only thing that comes to mind is that maybe Daniel Levy, in an attempt to lure Mourinho to Spurs, promised a transfer budget that appeases the Portuguese coach. If so, then that begs the question, why not make that money available for Pochettino?
Whatever way you look at it, this entire situation is surprising from start to finish. Mauricio Pochettino may finally make the trip to Madrid (once Zidane vacates for a second time), and take over at the Santiago Bernabeu, a club that may be able to help him fulfil his true potential as one of the best coaches in the world. It is also worth pointing out that German giants, Bayern Munich, are yet to hire a coach. Wherever Pochettino ends up, expect the likes of Harry Kane and Heung-min Son to follow eventually.
As for Mourinho, well, what a strange decision…