Re-wind to a year ago – Tottenham Hotspur are flying high in third place in the Premier League and Champions League football looked almost a certainty. We had just comprehensively beaten Wigan 3-1 and found ourselves seven points ahead of Chelsea 13 points ahead of Arsenal – surely far too much ground for them to make up?
Spurs were only five points off the two Manchester clubs and with a couple of additions, Spurs could actually be challenging for the title for the first time in my life time. We all know how that turned out but surely if we got into such a good position again, our great chairman wouldn’t make the same mistake twice would he?
After the Joao Moutinho debacle in the summer, injuries to key players and an extremely poor start, it is quite remarkable how we are still in the position we’re in. With the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal stuttering, Andre Villas-Boas has guided the side to a very respectable 4th position. Although the title was well out of reach, 3rd place, our highest ever premiership finish and the lucrative rewards of a place in the Champions League were once again a real possibility as things stood on transfer deadline day.
However, as was the case in August, Daniel Levy has once again failed to put his money where his mouth is. After the astute purchase of Holtby, the final piece or two of the Tottenham Hotspur is once again missing. Like a bit of a mug, I tuned into Sky Sports News on transfer deadline day, wondering which rabbit Levy would pull out of the hat this time, anxiously waiting for Jim White to announce we had just smashed our transfer record to nab Leandro Damiao from Internacional – something that would arguably get him more excited than the prospect of a one-night stand with Natalie Sawyer.
As is all too often the case though, it was another case of “so near, yet so far” and Spurs were made to look a laughing stock on deadline once again.
Of course you have to give Levy credit for the work he has done with the training ground and new stadium, and he does genuinely have the club’s best interest at heart. However, recent history suggests that if you want to be a success in modern day football, you need to throw caution to the win and spend some decent money. United, Chelsea and most recently City haven’t won the league with a positive balance sheet!
For too many years now Levy has been too afraid to be bite the bullet on a £20m striker to fire us to the next level. The squad has improved so much in recent years and we’ve been only one or two players away from mounting a title challenge for the past couple of seasons.
While the likes of City and Chelsea get stronger with the obscene amounts of money pumped into the clubs by billionaire sugar daddies, our story is becoming an all too similar one as our north London neighbours, with the priority of both clubs to keep the shareholders happy and make as much money as possible out of those who have shown loyalty for so many years. Our vision is a positive one off the pitch with a fantastic new stadium on the horizon, but you’re not going to attract the type of players designed for such a stage without Champion’s League football.
Mr Levy; I will always be grateful for the work you have done. You’ve helped transform us from a team of Andy Sinton’s and Paulo Tremezzani’s into a team of Gareth Bale’s and Aaron Lennon’s that have played some of the best football many of us have seen at Tottenham in recent years.
However when it came to the crunch of doing something really special and potentially firing Spurs to the summit, you absolutely bottled it. Again.