Paul Parker

Levy can’t afford to get Pochettino appointment wrong

Paul Parker

View photo


Daniel Levy really needs his latest managerial appointment to come off. He needs to prove he is capable of picking the right man for the job after a turbulent time at the helm of Tottenham.

The appointment of Tim Sherwood, as he now knows, was the wrong one. It looked wrong at the time and it has been proven now. Levy needs to recover from that setback and prove a point.

He has made a bold choice with Mauricio Pochettino and he needs to stick by him through thick and thin. Spurs need to realise there is no guarantee of top-four football – they haven’t had that in the Premier League era – so a rebuilding job needs to go on, and that can take time.

Levy is a Tottenham supporter and I think sometimes sentiment gets the better of him, but when he needs to make the big decisions he can do it, no problem. There is undeniably a positive to what he does, as he makes quick, bold decisions.

I can’t knock what he wants to achieve, even if you can question some of the decisions he takes, and there is a method in his madness. But he needs this appointment to come off 100%. He needs stability, not necessarily the top four.

Pochettino needs to implement a blueprint as the previous manager didn’t have one. Sherwood was trying to make a point about himself, that he could do things differently, when bringing back Emmanuel Adebayor and the young kids. It was all about achieving for himself rather than the club or team.

Tottenham had previously been linked with Louis van Gaal initially before it became clear that he was going to Manchester United. Then there was speculation about Carlo Ancelotti. So in one sense the appointment of Pochettino is a massive, massive let-down compared to what Daniel Levy appeared to be looking for in a new manager.

But Tottenham have to remember where they are and what they have achieved. To talk about Ancelotti given the level they are at is absolutely crazy. Maybe they were banking on the fact he was going to be sacked if they lost the Champions League final, but still. I couldn’t see it at all.

I think they went above their station. But now they have given an opportunity to a manager who has proved himself over the past 18 months at Premier League level. He has done really well and, in particular, has shown he is adept at developing young players.

Tottenham now have to play to his strengths and bring on their own young players. They have to know when to bring them in and how long to use them for. You can’t do it the Tim Sherwood way: throwing them in there to make a point.

I think there is a big difference in the quality of young players at Southampton, who have a fantastic academy, and Tottenham, but Pochettino will realise there are some talents there he can use. And look at how he improved the young players he had at Southampton: they went from strength to strength.

It is absolutely vital that Tottenham give him time, though. I read somewhere he has been told he must get Champions League football for them next season. That must be utter rubbish. They have to give him time and let him affect change over a long period.

He must have safeguards from Daniel Levy; he must be told he will have a job in 2015-16 as well. Even if the start is a bit dodgy Tottenham have to treat this appointment with a long-term perspective. I’m sure the Spurs fans are looking forward to him being given a fair crack of the whip.

Everyone was giggling at the fact he got a five-year contract from Levy, but in today’s football contracts mean nothing. I’d take it with a pinch of salt. If he gets sacked after a year he’s hardly going to have the remaining four years paid up, is he?

That is football. People making a big deal of the length of his deal clearly don’t understand how contracts work. They are very fluid, as Tim Sherwood could testify.

View comments (36)