A new manager, training ground, sponsor and stadium in the pipeline – times are changing at Tottenham Hotspur. Add to that a new midfielder in Gylfi Sigurdsson who last week snubbed a Liverpool move to join the London club. Genuine title contenders? Unlikely. But it is clear the steps are in place for long term success.
After a season of huge anti-climax at the Lane, chairman Daniel Levy shocked the football
world with the sacking of fans favourite Harry Redknapp. Although there are strong suggestions Redknapp’s relationship with his chairman broke down – along with his contract talks, it is also assumed Levy intervened because he had felt Redknapp had sailed the Spurs ship as far as he could.
And what a distance that was. Redknapp took the club from the wrong end of the Premier League in 2008 to Champions League football in 2010 before cruelly missing out on the biggest competition in club football again this season. A fantastic four seasons, so much so he was tipped outright to becomeEnglandmanager after the sacking of Fabio Capello earlier this year.
However, Levy felt change was needed. The club appear to be moving into new waters and AVB, for now, is the man to take them there. Football is often described as the only business where everyone gets a second chance. This is no truer than in the case of Andre Villas-Boas. The Chelsea flop would not have believed his luck when Levy and his men made contact.
Indeed his first signing suggests the clubs new found power in the Premier League, albeit if it is of small margin. The £8million signing of midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson may not be the big name a club like Tottenham is looking for but it shows changing times in English football. The 22-year-old snubbed five-time-European-Champions Liverpool despite looking set to join up with former manager Brendan Rodgers. His reasoning: more chance of success in North London which at present would be hard to argue with.
Their resilience to sell Luka Modric last summer showed an evolving attitude at White Hart Lane when in the past they have had no power in retaining their top players. Noticeably the transfers of Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov to Manchester United in 2006 and 2008. And they will expect a battle to retain Modric’s services this summer.
Although his departure may remind fans of the competitive reality of the stronger end of European football, the right price for the Croatian star will allow for huge re-investment. That met with progressing facilities and a transfer fund already available to the new manager and you can see that Tottenham are a club that mean business.
Unfortunately for them, their uprising is coming at a time when the English League is being dominated by the wealth of the clubs above them. Daniel Levy’s ten years at Tottenham has been based on efficiency and not on excessive transfer and wage expenditure which may need to change if they are to compete with the very best.
But first the plan is to regain Champions League football and Andre Villas-Boas will know this is the main objective. Get back into the big time and then plan on staying there.
They will once again go into a new season the second biggest club in North London. Opposing fans would be right in claiming this has been the case for decades now, but the last few years have suggested this is a lot closer to changing. Arsenal also look set to lose a big star this summer in Robin Van Persie and Villas-Boas’ side will see this as a genuine chance to finally take dominance over their red rivals.
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