The current plight that Tottenham find themselves in, while quite unexpected, is not, with some thought, too surprising. That a team of such quality, with top class players all through the squad should be rooted so hopelessly to the bottom of the table will always be a bit of a shock, but the Tottenham board, and Daniel Levy in particular, have really brought it upon themselves.
Firstly, let us go back a few years to the 05/06 and 06/07 seasons, where Tottenham finished 5th two years running, under the management of Martin Jol, who was also a firm fan favourite. One must ask oneself why Jol was sacked after these two successful seasons, after all, barring a major upset, to finish fifth if you are not one of the ‘big four’ is in essence to win the ‘real’ Premiership, the one that isn’t bought by clubs with colossally deep pockets who live in something of a fantasy land.
And when you consider that since Levy has been chairmen of the club, Tottenham have had six different managers in charge (and David Pleat had two spells as caretaker boss) in seven years, you start to see just where the problem is. The Tottenham board seem to expect instant reward for the money they are putting into the team – which is not a small amount.
However, just because they do pay £17m for players like Darren Bent, and splash out on such stars as Modric, Dos Santos and Pavlyuchenko, doesn’t mean the board can sit back safe in the knowledge that the trophies will roll in. I always thought it was common knowledge that you could not simply throw a lot of good players onto a pitch and be successful, surely Real Madrid’s spectacularly unsuccessful ‘galactico’ phase proved that much.
The trouble is, no manager has been given the chance to build an actual ‘team’. To have time to get the players working as a unit, to mould them to a particular system. While you can rely to some extent on individual players producing moments of brilliance (as Berbatov seemed to last season), consistency will not be achieved until the players are settled as a unit, and consistency is the key to real success.
But it is not just the chopping and changing of managers that has had a negative effect on Spurs. The fact that in the last two transfer windows they have sold three proven Premiership strikers in Defoe, Keane and Berbatov (who between them scored 46 of Tottenham’s 66 League goals last season) has also had a terrible effect on the team. Not only the fact that Berbatov was almost certainly sold without Ramos’ consent and he was reluctant for Keane to leave too, but simply because teams need leaders, talismen who have been there before and can inspire the new players (which in Spurs’ current squad is most) to pull together and succeed.
Inevitably though, with the team performing terribly, propping up the rest of the Premiership and a laughing stock amongst football fans in general, there is talk of Ramos being sacked. I sincerely hope that Levy has learnt his lesson from past mistakes. Personally I feel that Ramos, a proven manager, and the squad a Tottenham, cannot fail to improve, and will be in no danger of relegation once they do. Spurs fans can only hope that this time, Levy shows some faith in his manager and gives him some time, because if they chop and change again now, it will only disrupt the squad further, and if that happens, then Tottenham’s future could be grim indeed.