Has Levy learned to get his shopping done early?
Levy is committed to spending the least amount possible when it comes to buying players and getting as much as possible when he flogs one.
July 20th, 2012
Daniel Levy seems to have a similar attitude to shopping as myself. Why do things in plenty of time, when it’s so much more exciting to buy everything at the last minute?
I know that I should do my Christmas shopping sometime in November, but yet I’m still always floundering around on December 24th, trying to convince myself that my wife will be happy with the present that I’ve just bought her from the local garage.
The reason that I behave like this is because I’m lazy and unorganised, which are two qualities that I trust Daniel Levy isn’t saddled with. For our chairman, it’s more a question of economics. Levy is committed to spending the least amount possible when it comes to buying players and getting as much as possible when he flogs one.
On the surface it’s an admirable trait and one that should be applauded. This is a man that convinced a football manager (well, Gareth Southgate) to spend £6m on Mido of all people. A man who pinched Niko Kranjcar from cash-strapped Portsmouth for just £2.5m, plonked him on the bench for three years and then sold him to some Russians for £7m.
Yet the desire to do the best for Tottenham from a financial perspective has often got in the way of common sense. Yes, we squeezed Manchester United for every penny when they wanted Dimitar Berbatov, but the deal was done so late in the day, that we ended up in a desperate position, paying over the odds for Roman Pavlyuchenko and having to take Frazier Campbell on loan to make up the numbers.
Last summer was another example of Levy waiting till the last minute to conclude deals and it misfiring on us. Both Emmanuel Adebayor and Scott Parker were available all summer, but were not signed until late August, when the season had already kicked off.
As a result we faced tough fixtures against Manchester United and City, with a makeshift squad and were predictably brushed aside. It would have cost us a bit more to secure Adebayor and Parker early enough so that they were ready to start the season, but that might have been a price worth paying considering that a draw in either of those opening fixtures would have given us enough points to qualify for the Champions League.
Thankfully it seems that Levy may have learned from his mistakes. This summer has seen us do a lot of business already. We have shipped out the likes of Vedran Corluka and Kranjcar, while we seem keen to not let the interest in Luka Modric rumble on into the start of the season, as it did last year.
Gylfi Sigurosson and Jan Vertonghen have already arrived at the Lane and Adebayor may soon follow them. It should make a world of difference for our new players to be able to enjoy the benefits of a pre-season with the club and enable Spurs to hit the ground running.
Given that the Vertonghen deal rumbled on for such a long time, you sense that Levy hasn’t completely ditched his stance as a tough negotiator, but having a more methodical manager at the helm places greater emphasis on time for preparation.
I would be very surprised if Levy were to ring Andre Villas-Boas up on transfer deadline day and announce that he’d ‘bought him a present’, as he famously did with Harry Redknapp having snatched Rafael van der Vaart from Real Madrid.
AVB is not the sort of manager who will welcome a gift-wrapped headache. He will have his shopping list already drawn up for Levy and as we all know, it’s much easier to buy a present for someone who knows exactly what he wants.
Written by Dan Fitch.