Why The Most Important Appointment Spurs make is not the new manager

Moyes has enjoyed total control of football matters at Everton and one wonders if he’d be willing to share that responsibility at Spurs.

Why The Most Important Appointment Spurs make is not the new manager

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June 23rd, 2012

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When the newly-sacked Harry Redknapp drove out of the Spurs training ground and wound down his car window for the final time, speculation immediately centred on who would be the man to replace him. My preferred candidate was David Moyes.

Like Redknapp, Moyes comes with years of Premier League experience and has earned a reputation as a wily operator in the transfer market. Unlike Redknapp, we wouldn’t have to worry about Moyes calling up TalkSport every five minutes to discuss what players we’re interested in buying, or openly courting other employers.

The Everton boss was quickly installed at the bookies’ favourite for the Tottenham post, only to see the likes of Andre Villas-Boas, Laurent Blanc and Fabio Capello move ahead of him in the betting stakes.

So what do those seemingly-preferred candidates have that Moyes lacks, other than an exotic-sounding name? The answer is a willingness, or at the very least an acceptance of working with a Director of Football.

Daniel Levy is a known admirer of the two-tier management system and the word is that he’s ready to bring it back to Tottenham, despite the fact that it has hardly proved a success in the past.

Before Redknapp came to the club, Spurs have had three different Directors of Football and all had their problems. First there was David Pleat, who failed to see eye-to-eye with either George Graham, or his replacement, Glenn Hoddle.

When Pleat left the club and PSV’s Frank Arnesen was recruited, you would have imagined that Levy would have been keen to see his Director of Football and manager get on, therefore allowing Arnesen to appoint his own man.

Instead we went for the then France boss Jacques Santini, in preference to Arnesen’s choice of Martin Jol, who had to make do with the assistant manager position. Before long the relationship between Arnesen and Santini had disintegrated, with the Frenchman resigning and Jol taking the job that Arnesen had wanted him for, all along.

For a while it looked as though that Tottenham had found the dream ticket. Arnesen’s forays into the transfer market were proving successful, while Jol was getting the results on the field.

But this was Spurs, so nothing could go right for too long. One of the supposed benefits of a two-tier system was the fact that if the manager left for any reason, the club would retain some stability for the fact that the Director of Football would remain at the club. What no one expected was for Arnesen to be the one to leave, which is exactly what happened when Chelsea poached him.

In hindsight, Tottenham should have perhaps looked to Jol to find another Director of Football that he would be happy to work with. Instead they recruited Damien Comolli, who signed a number of players that Jol didn’t want or need, ultimately costing the popular Dutchman his job.

Comolli’s choice to replace Jol was Juande Ramos, despite the fact that he spoke less English than Manuel from Fawlty Towers. Results were so bad that they both ended up being sacked and the whole system was scrapped.

Now it looks to be back and if history has taught Daniel Levy anything, it’s that the relationship between Director of Football and manager is an extremely important one. It’s rumoured that Tim Sherwood might be promoted to the role and if that’s true, then let’s hope that he’s allowed to get the man he wants to work with, instead of us ending up with two strangers, with contrasting ideas and a clash of egos.

Written by Dan Fitch

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