As Tottenham dozed to a dismal 3-0 defeat at the hands of Stoke City on Saturday, it seemed that very few were surprised by the North London side’s latest appalling performance.
Instead, it very much confirmed that this season can only be viewed – at best – as yet another ‘transitional’ one, and the reality is that Spurs fans could be forgiven for growing rather impatient about the number of times their club has failed to kick onto the next level.
At the risk of going over old ground, Spurs’ story is rather simple. After years in the doldrums during the 1990s, ENIC took over the club and Daniel Levy was installed as the chairman, tasked with leading the side back into Europe’s elite.
At first, the chairman did rather well. Tottenham steadily began to improve year upon year, knocking on the Champions League door in successive seasons under Martin Jol.
However, when that knocking failed to turn into anything more than that, Jol was shown the door, with Juande Ramos installed in his place. A cup win aside, Ramos took the club in a downward spiral, well away from the Champions League places and perilously close to the drop-zone.
Ramos was gone, and in strolled Harry Redknapp. After guiding the side out of relegation troubles, the East Ender became the first man in Tottenham’s modern history to help the club into the Champions League.
Two seasons later, he was gone, with Andre Villas-Boas the new man on the scene. After a couple of semi-successful seasons at the helm, AVB was also shown the door, with Tim Sherwood replacing him on a short-term basis. After Sherwood failed to qualify for the Champions League, he too was dismissed, with Mauricio Pochettino stepping into his shoes.
And that brings us just about to where we are right now. Tottenham sit in sixth, 10 points shy of Manchester United in fourth, with two games to go. Champions League qualification has gone by the wayside again.
So what now? Does Levy let Pochettino go and bring someone new in?
I have an alternative suggestion. While Pochettino has presided over something of a collapse in the latter half of this season, and while he may not be the right person to bring Spurs into the promised land, the reality is that he is not the problem. Neither was Sherwood. Neither was AVB, Jol or any of the others.
The problem is Levy. Time after time, Levy has made business decisions that have seriously compromised Spurs’ ability to dine at the top table. An insistence in sporting directors; a penchant for cashing in Tottenham’s most talented players. A bloody-mindedness that demands instant results and success. Levy is to blame for Tottenham’s mediocrity, and up until now, he seems to have escaped without carrying the can for it.
If Spurs want to improve, this needs to change over the summer. Levy must be dismissed and a chairman with a football brain installed in his stead. That’s all there is to it.