‘I can’t talk now, I’m fighting fires’
There’s an old Harry Hill joke that goes – My father said to me, ‘always fight fire with fire.’ That’s why I was thrown out of the Dagenham Fire Brigade.’
It’s long been my contention that ENIC’s number one firefighter Daniel Levy causes more trouble than he does good.
After all, the the only counter arguement to having only delivered one trophy in night on twenty years is that this business supremo has stealthily avoided bankruptcy.
A cynical person would say that Levy was so obsessed with the minutiae of the stadium build that Tottenham’s transfer business ended up the poor relation this summer.
After close to several decades of watching Levy at work and from information gained over many years it is evident that one man pulls all that strings at THFC and any talk of a democratic operation is palapable nonsense.
Sources close to the club have told the Harry Hotspur blog that Levy has implemented a lockdown on all contract reviews until after the New Destination is finally opened.
Additionally, Pochettino’s ‘need to brave’ comments were indeed specific to ring-fencing Harry Kane prior to the World Cup.
Had Mauricio not earnestly lobbied for Kane’s new bumper salary, Harry may as well have gone to Russia 2018 wearing a t shirt bearing his agent’s mobile number across the chest. So that was a good thing.
The pay review lockdown has caused nothing but divisiveness amongst the squad towards the club. Harry Kane is well respected and well liked, and so this is less about petty jealousies and more a about number of personal frustrations.
Danny Rose’s slow burning frustration has solely stemmed from his injuries being used as a bargaining tool against him.
Regrettably Rose’s interview with The Sun backfired as fans largely adopted the same outlook as Levy, and the 28 year old was widely perceived as having chanced his arm asking for an improved deal either at Spurs or somewhere else after being out for so long.
Toby Alderweireld’s situation is similar. The Belgian negotiated long and hard and eventually gave Pochettino a verbal agreement to a new deal last season, only to change his mind afterwards.
Mauricio apparently took this personally and their relationship has been permanently damaged.
There are numerous others waiting to negotiate enhanced deals – but to no avail. The message remains the same. There will be no contract discussions until Levy’s desk is clearer. It’s understood Jan Vertinghen hasn’t even bothered to petition anyone over his contract situation after seeing how disastrousy Toby’s discussions went.
As ever, it is the players one can’t afford to lose who are likely to be first out the door.
Meanwhile in the dressing room, Pochettino is trying to steer a tricky path.
The players aren’t delivering- primarily because they are tired and they would have benefited from the addition of some fresh blood in the summer window.Not to mention an actual break that was worth a damn.
However as with the adage about turkeys and Christmas, footballers don’t tend to vote for competition when it comes to starting places.
Mauricio has on more than one occasion reminded the group that they told him many times they felt strong as a team.
In his heart of hearts, the gaffer knows he is overseeing pressure cooker atmosphere, just a handful of games into the season.
Poch doesn’t fear how delicate things have become. His stock remains high and as per his friend Guillem Ballague’s Column for the BBC yesterday, the football world know Levy of old, and believe the Argentine could pick up a premium deal with just about about any top side in Europe.
Press club conferences have been tectchy, garbled and even sweary as Mauricio has been visibly uncomfortable whilst towing the company line in public.
The manager and the chairman haven’t been photographed laughing warmly together for sometime.
Levy ought to have nipped all this uncertainty in the bud in the summer, but Daniel is incapable of managing change.
Apologists for the highest paid chairman in the division will tell you that he’s so determined to make Spurs a success, becomes so focused that interpersonal sacrifices unintentionally get made.
Trouble is, life in football is short – and once people feel that they’ve been treated with contempt – they are rarely inclined to explore for a more nuanced understanding.
Once again the football has come second and an exodus of sorts next summer is far from unthinkable.