Daniel Levy

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Poch: ‘I think we can make history‘ in UCL final, then I’ll talk to Levy

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Mauricio Pochettino‘s future appeared to have been decided for him when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was named the permanent manager at Manchester United and Real Madrid brought Zinedine Zidane back earlier this season, but there’s still an important conversation to be had between Pochettino and Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy… after the small matter of the Champions League final, of course.

[ MORE: Final Premier League standings of the 2018-19 season ]

It’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility that Pochettino — who wasn’t backed with a single dollar in either the summer or January transfer windows this season, yet guided Tottenham to a fourth-place finish in the Premier League and the European final — could leave the club by his own will, should he and Levy stand at odds over something as important as the club’s upcoming transfer plans.

Typically, such a meeting between Spurs’ manager and chairman would have been planned for this coming week. Instead, Pochettino says that 100 percent of the entire club’s focus is on their upcoming preparations for the club’s first-ever European final on June 1 in Madrid — quotes from the Telegraph:

“The focus and the energy has to be on helping the players arrive in the best condition and design the plan to try to win. We are going to have time after the final (to talk).

“What happens happens and, for sure, we are going to talk. But now is about being focused on working hard and how we are going to manage and handle the players to arrive in the best condition. I think we can make history.

“We are creating history because we are making it, but if we can win we will write history and change the perception of this amazing club.”

[ WATCH: Man City celebrate 2018-19 Premier League title ]

First, though, Pochettino is set to give his players a lengthy vacation period to enjoy their selves after a long, grueling season in which the first-team squad has been continuously decimated by injuries. Or, you know, not.

“They will only have two days off now — Monday and Tuesday — then we start to work. We have our idea, we have our plan. We designed our plan.

“Of course, you know, we need to be natural. It is not a preseason, but it is not going to be a holiday. In our mind, we have a clear way of how we are going to work in the next three weeks. Of course, the players they need to agree, accept and show the faith and trust in us and then if we win, for sure we will have been right.”

Spurs players ready for ‘people upstairs’ to invest, starting with Eriksen

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Tottenham Hotspur players see the writing on the wall: their massive, and continued, overachievement is at risk of being undone by the club’s decision makers if they don’t get on board and back the first team this summer.

[ MORE: Top Premier League storylines for Week 36 ]

Danny Rose has called upon the hierarchy, with Daniel Levy chief among them, to start moving in that direction by re-signing Christian Eriksen to a new contract this summer. Eriksen, whose contract is set to expire next summer, is reportedly one of the first names on Real Madrid’s shopping list. Rose is adamant that losing the Danish playmaker would be a crippling blow for the team, as tends to be the case when he’s not playing — quotes from the Guardian:

“It’s obviously vital [that Eriksen re-signs]. If you look over the five years that the manager’s been here, Christian has played the most games and that says a lot. When Christian doesn’t play, there are questions that we don’t look the same. He links everything up for us. The lads in the changing room trust the people upstairs to hopefully get him to sign.”

Mauricio Pochettino has clearly been brilliant in leading a young squad to the brink of a fourth straight top-four finish while also guiding Tottenham to the Champions League semifinal next week, when they’ll face Ajax for a chance to compete in club soccer’s premier fixture. Yet, it all feels so tenuous after the club’s hierarchy elected to make not a single signing last summer or in January.

[ KLOPP: Whatever happens in title run-in, Liverpool will have “no regrets” ]

Injuries have ravished a thin squad, which was only exacerbated by post-World Cup fatigue for so many players, but Pochettino has found a way to make it work. Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks became a formidable midfield duo against all odds, while Son Heung-min has ascended to superstardom. These are bold rolls of the dice which came up Spurs. That’s no way to operate a club at the highest level, though, and Rose knows it.

“We have every possible foundation at the club — the training ground, the stadium now, the fanbase, the players. But it’s not just the foundations that attract players and make players want to stay. It’s out of the players’ control. We just have to trust that the people upstairs are going to do whatever they see fit to help us make that next step. We know that our manager is a winner. He demands the best from us and he wants to win something, as well. So while everybody is on the same page, we can just look forward to next season and see what it brings.”

Then again, this time last year had most bystanders, this writer included, thinking the exact same thing — “They have to bring in reinforcements, because there’s no way Pochettino can string this thing together with bubble gum and shoelaces for another year” — and here we are, with Spurs 180 minutes from the Champions League final and and four points clear of fifth-place Arsenal with three games left to play.

It’s a different story altogether, though, when an influential member of the team like Rose comes out and says so plainly what everyone else is thinking. Because if he’s thinking it and saying it publicly, everyone else in the locker room is thinking it, too.

Poch: It’s time for Levy to take “risks” in transfer market

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Alright, Daniel, the boys and I have done our part for three straight seasons now. We think it’s time you finally did your part and help us win some trophies.

[ MORE: 20 teams, 20 grades for the 2017-18 Premier League season ]

That’s one interpretation of Mauricio Pochettino‘s post-game press conference following Tottenham Hotspur’s season-ending 5-4 victory over Leicester City on Sunday, during which Pochettino all but laid responsibility for the next step in the club’s progression at the feet of chairman Daniel Levy.

“We are not this type of club that is going to invest crazy money,” Pochettino reminded right off the bat, but the Argentine made it very clear that he feels more is required if Tottenham are to continue challenging for trophies after finishing third, second and third in successive PL seasons: “You know me, maybe sometimes I have crazy ideas. You need to be brave. In these types of situations, with a club with our unbelievable fans, being brave is the most important thing, and [taking] risks.” Pochettino revealed he and Levy are schedule to meet sometime in the next week to discuss the summer transfer window — quotes from Football.London:

“I think I have very clear ideas of what we need to do. I don’t know if the club will agree with me or not, but we are going to talk next week to create the new project or what I think that we need to do together again to try to improve. That is a little bit up to Daniel of course, and the club to agree with us. I think after four years I think we need to assess that period and try to, if we want to play and be really contenders for big, big trophies, I think we need to review a little bit the thing.”

“The club’s ambition always is to win. The difficult thing is how you can be close to winning. I think it’s so important to move to the new stadium, the facilities are unbelievable, but not only with the new stadium we are going to be close to winning. … Of course the ambition of the club will be to win. Now maybe we are a little bit disappointed and frustrated because now we are close. But that is the first step, to be close, challenge the big sides, the sides that invest more than us and we need to try to find a way.”

“I think Daniel is going to listen to me, of course. … No, for sure Daniel is going to listen to me and we can create together to help the team move on.”

Asked if he would unequivocally commit to being at Spurs come August — given the rumors frequently linking him to some of Europe’s more, shall we say, free-spending clubs — Pochettino once again put the ball in Levy’s court.

“In football, you never know. I repeat from my last press conference, today 100 percent I feel that I am here. But the most important thing is that tomorrow all can change because it’s not in my hands. It’s not my decision to be here or not. I depend on my bosses. That is why. It’s healthy for myself, and us and the club and for the fans of course to think that you can lose your job tomorrow. … Today, yes, 100 percent.”

Report: Naming rights for White Hart Lane, Stamford Bridge in balance?

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Two London clubs are looking to make bank in the big business of stadium naming rights, but have different takes when it comes to sacrificing history.

Matt Hughes of The Times has the story, claiming that Chelsea has been seeking a name sponsor since 2009 but demands the inclusion of “Stamford Bridge” in the title (Think Mercedes-Benz Superdome).

[ MORE: PSG-Barca recap | Di Maria gushes ]

But Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy reportedly isn’t worried about sentiment in seeking his big money deal. From The Times:

Tottenham, who have spoken to more than 300 companies about possible partnerships, are taking a more pragmatic approach on the basis that retaining references to White Hart Lane would adversely affect the value of any naming-rights deal.

There’s a way to do it which will gain better acceptance amongst fans, and that’s avoiding what Newcastle United did when club (and naming rights sponsor) owner Mike Ashley renamed St. James Park “SportsDirect.com Arena at St. James Park”.

That story is mentioned in the article briefly, but to recap: Newcastle fans were furious with what they felt was a tight-fisted owner hurting the club’s legacy. Chelsea and Spurs have spent a bit more on players, and will probably be more quickly forgiven.

Also, people are just going to call the venues White Hart Lane and Stamford Bridge. So there’s that.

Tottenham hope to have permanent NFL team in new stadium

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Tottenham Hotspur is going all in on the NFL.

[ VIDEO: Zlatan taunts Man City ]

With Spurs already agreeing a 10-year deal with the National Football League to host at least two NFL games per season at their new 61,000 capacity stadium when it opens in 2018, chairman Daniel Levy wants to take it a step further.

If an NFL franchise ever arrives in the UK, he wants it to be housed at Spurs’ new White Hart Lane stadium and believes the club would be able to accommodate that at the drop of a hat.

Speaking to ESPN, here’s what Levy had to say about his plans for an NFL franchise to be permanently housed at Spurs’ new home.

“We worked together because it needed to be viewed as a combined joint soccer and NFL stadium,” Levy said. “In fact, the way we designed the whole experience is one side of the stadium is a dedicated soccer entrance and the other side is a dedicated NFL entrance. If it ever got to a stage where the NFL decided it wanted to have a permanent team in London, this stadium could literally be, whatever the team was, their stadium as opposed to an NFL team feeling they’re renting Tottenham’s stadium.

“We would welcome very much close cooperation with the NFL and a dedicated team. Obviously a decision is entirely theirs whether they do bring a team to the UK, and where it would be located is something that would be talked about. But yes, we would be very much welcome to that scenario.”

Is anybody else ready for the “London Spurs” to enter the NFL sooner rather than later?

[ MORE: Buffalo Bills, Spurs players interact ahead of NFL game at Wembley ]

Seriously though, this a very smart business move from Spurs as Levy claimed that they could even host NFL and Premier League games on the same day at White Hart Lane. With the NFL’s popularity in the UK rising year-on-year, as we’ve seen with huge crowds at Wembley Stadium for the NFL International Series, the chance for Spurs’ new home to become the new home of any potential NFL franchise in the UK would be brilliant news for Tottenham.