ENGLISH FOOTBALL

What’s going wrong at Tottenham Hotspur?

Fulham

Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur are in the news yet again. This time the club grabs the headline for sacking their manager Nuno Espirito Santo.

The poor results in both the Premier League as well as the Europa Conference League, ultimately lead Chairman Daniel Levy to sack the manager. It was only a few months ago when Nuno was appointed as the new manager of Tottenham Hotspur. The club has swiftly gone on to sign Antonio Conte as the new manager to avoid escalating the issues.

But the signing of Conte now adds more questions to the Tottenham Hotspur board. Conte was one of the main targets in the summer, but the club could not agree to his terms and conditions. Now after a failed experiment with Nuno, the club is back with the Italian, wasting important few months in the process.

CHAIRMAN LEVY

Daniel Levy has been a divisive figure for Tottenham Hotspur. The chairman was instrumental in taking the club from a mid-table status to one of the top six teams of the country. He improved the revenues of the club and also look after their move to a massive new stadium.

However, his policies and ego have obviously been a problem for the clubs’ current predicament. The frugal nature of Levy is a known factor for anyone, especially the clubs that have to deal with him in the transfer market. But of late, the 59-year-old have made some strange decisions, that have affected the team.

One of the key factors for Tottenham’s growth was their former manager Mauricio Pochettino. The Argentine took the team to their first-ever Champions League final in 2019. Under Pochettino, Spurs cultivated a very young and dynamic side, that could compete with anyone on their day.

But, as time passed on, the team started to become stale and required much-needed repairs. Yet, Levy was not ready to give Pochettino enough leverage in the transfer market, holding onto all the cards for himself. He was also reluctant to sell some of their players, only to find them performing below their level. This culminated in the sacking of Pochettino, just months after he took them to the Champions League final.

MANAGERIAL INSTABILITY IN TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

The biggest problem for Tottenham was their lack of titles, and the club decided to address this by signing Jose Mourinho as a replacement for Pochettino. As successful as Jose was, there were clear signs of his tactics and managerial methods not working in recent times.

The club provided backing to Jose in some amount, something that Pochettino had asked. Yet after just 17 months, the Portuguese was shown the door. The club was pushed further away from where they were. This was followed by an embarrassing search for a permanent manager in the summer.

Tottenham Hotspur went through multiple candidates, with either the managers not interested or the club not able to meet their demands. Finally, with just weeks left, they went with Nuno Espirito Santo, someone way down the pecking order.

Had Tottenham and their chairman been ready to meet the demands made by Conte from the beginning, the club could not have wasted valuable time. Now once Nuno has failed, the club had but no choice to go back to the Italian. It is still not sure if Conte will be given more say in the transfer market, but Levy surely will have a very strong manager to handle, who is always ready to voice his feelings.

CONTE A NEW HOPE

For the club and especially Levy, it is time to change their ways. It can start with the team rebuild under Conte. The manager needs to be given the players that he wants and hence Levy will need to compromise.

The club must also address the issue of players. Though Harry Kane is arguably the best player in the team, the club should be ready to hear his request to move away. Selling Kane would surely provide enough funds to go big in the summer and that can be the best starting point. Players ultimately are the ones who are on the field and it is vital to have those individuals who are motivated to stay and fight.

Appointing Conte is a bright first step. The Italian is a serial winner and one thing Spurs need desperately are titles. Levy is already under scrutiny from fans and the appointment of Conte will surely reduce it. But now it is time for the club to back the manager and help the club challenge for the title. The only question is whether they can do it?

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