Daniel Levy

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Spurs chairman reportedly met with Real Madrid about Gareth Bale

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As a neutral, the idea of Gareth Bale rejoining Tottenham Hotspur would be a delight to our Premier League matchday viewing.

Obviously this applies to Spurs fans to the nth degree, especially after a dull 0-0 with Watford at the weekend.

In the short-term, Bale would be a terrific stopgap as Spurs struggle to find themselves without Harry Kane in both the PL and Champions League.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ] 

In the long-term, Bale and Heung-Min Son on the wings of Harry Kane would be enough to make any PL power trio blush (unless Liverpool really does add Timo Werner).

A report out of Spain says Real Madrid president Florentino Perez met with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy about several things including the availability of Bale.

The Welsh star has been long admired by Jose Mourinho, and of course knows Spurs well having become a superstar after arriving from Southampton.

Bale is 30 and his wages would easily top Spurs’ pay list. His 21 goals and nine assists in the 2012/13 Premier League season join his 19 and 11 in 2015 La Liga as his top league seasons.

Spurs host Norwich City on Wednesday (Watch live at 2:30 p.m. ET online via NBCSports.com).

Tottenham chairman Levy willing to sell inside Premier League

Daniel Levy Tottenham
Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images
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Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy says it pretty straight-forward when it comes to Christian Eriksen or any other perceived wantaway.

“We are honestly not scared to trade with our rivals.”

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Levy told The London Evening Standard that there isn’t a universal tone and tenor to the cases of players who may want to leave North London.

Christian Eriksen’s rumored departure has been a long-running saga. Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld have also been mentioned as players who may want out.

“My view is really simple. For a player to sign a new contract, not only have the conditions got to be right but the player has got to want to do it. It is up to those players whether they want to stay at Tottenham and we’ll see. I don’t want to comment on ­individual players too much. I actually think it is unfair. Every circumstance is different. There may be a player who wants to stay, there may be a player we don’t want to stay.”

Levy said he’s not expecting the club to be active in the January transfer window. He says Jose Mourinho has been very clear that he’s happy to evaluate the talent already at the club.

Tottenham will like its chances of collecting points over the festive fixtures, especially if it can pass Chelsea with a win on Sunday

Spurs’ festive fixtures [ All 39 PL matches ]
Dec. 22 – Spurs v. Chelsea
Dec. 26 – Spurs v. Brighton
Dec. 28 – Norwich City v. Spurs
Jan. 1 – Southampton v. Spurs

Spurs then face Middlesbrough away in the FA Cup before a visit from Liverpool. If those five league matches go well, will Mourinho and Levy look to the market?

5 things Mourinho must do at Tottenham

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Right or wrong, Daniel Levy has replaced Mauricio Pochettino with Jose Mourinho in North London, and now the real work begins for Tottenham Hotspur.

[ MORE: Is Mourinho the right man for Spurs? ]

With the club sitting 14th in the Premier League table and on a run of five league matches without a win, owning just three Premier League victories all season, there is a clear sense of urgency at Spurs that Mourinho has come in to fix as soon as possible. So what are the keys to Mourinho’s success at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium? A breakdown of what he must do to pull Spurs out of the doldrums.

1) Commit to an identity

Mauricio Pochettino’s success at Spurs came from a clear identity – a ragged high-press that put opponents under pressure and caused turnovers in midfield. He committed to a style of play and never wavered. Things began to fall apart only when the players began to struggle with the tactics and results spiraled, causing the locker room to drop ever so slightly in its commitment to the cause.

[ MORE: Pochettino pays for Levy’s mistakes ]

Mourinho must restore that full level of player commitment, choosing whatever identity he feels will fit the club best. Mourinho’s best years at Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Inter came when he installed a preferred approach and doubled down. Things went wrong at Manchester United when Mourinho couldn’t seem to commit to a preferred starting lineup and supporters never truly bought into the style of play. He must develop an all-in approach as quickly as possible.

2) Sort out Christian Eriksen

The biggest player conundrum for Mourinho to unlock is Christian Eriksen. The 27-year-old attacking midfielder has been a shell of his former self this season, unable to contribute consistently in the Tottenham build-up. Mourinho has two choices: commit to fixing the Danish playmaker, or get rid of him and move on. Either choice has its positives and negatives, but he must commit to one and soon.

Eriksen has just one goal and one assist so far this season, a paltry haul from his previous contributions, including just last season when he bagged eight goals and 12 assists in Spurs’ push towards a top four finish. If Mourinho thinks his best days are behind him, that decision must be made soon to develop a plan forward. If Mourinho thinks Eriksen is just in a funk, getting him out of the rut is of the utmost importance.

3) Restore order

The club is in true crisis mode. If it wasn’t there already with the lack of results, Daniel Levy made sure to reach panic mode by choosing the nuclear option at manager. Mourinho’s biggest task ahead will be to return the club to a sense of calm. Even if the top four is already out of reach – Spurs sit 11 points back of fourth-placed Manchester City but just four points behind fifth-placed Sheffield United – order can be restored with a few solid results.

While the Premier League table might already be a lost cause, the Champions League is most certainly not. Sitting second in Group B, the remaining two fixtures with Olympiakos and Bayern Munich are absolutely critical to Mourinho’s early tenure. Crashing out of the Champions League will give supporters little choice but to focus on the Premier League disaster, while another Champions League run could call back echoes of last year’s miracle charge. European play is now more important than league results once the initial panic has been relieved.

4) Reinstate tenacity

To put it plainly, Spurs has been soft all season.

In a former strength turned glaring weakness, Tottenham has been putrid defensively this season. While the numbers aren’t exactly damning – 17 goals conceded is the exact same amount as third-placed Chelsea – they have conceded goals at the worst possible times. The club threw away winning positions in each of their last two matches, slumping to 1-1 draws with Everton and Sheffield United after going in front. They had a first-minute lead on Liverpool only to watch it slip away. They capitulated early to Watford and had to fight from behind. They conceded three to Brighton on the road. They tossed away a first-half lead in a loss to Leicester City. Mourinho must return the Spurs defense to its tenacious former self, keeping them from giving away cheap goals in critical moments of matches.

But that’s not all that Spurs has struggled with – they have also wilted in front of net with the opportunity to put games away or turn results on their head. The fact that Tottenham took so long to turn Watford’s early 1-0 lead around was troubling, while they failed to build on leads in the Everton and Sheffield draws. Since the start of September, Tottenham has scored more than one goal in a match just twice – both wins.

This team needs some teeth, and Mourinho is the right man for that job.

5) Establish a transfer market plan

Tottenham has a small squad crisis on its hands, as a whopping five players will see their contracts expire this summer, plus another four whose deals are out in the summer of 2021. Toby Alderweireld and Christian Eriksen have fought back against new contracts for years now and seem happy to run out their deals. Jan Vertonghen‘s contract is up at the end of the season. Danny Rose and Eric Dier are approaching the final year of their contracts.

Mourinho has never been one to work together on a transfer market plan, but he absolutely must be on the same page as Daniel Levy to help guide this club through to the next generation of players. Whether the plan is to usher a mass exodus and navigate a full squad overhaul, or to broker new contracts where previously there was no hope, he must quickly work to shore up the festering wound.

Many of the players who are struggling this season can be tied to those in contract limbo. The performance on the field will be directly linked to what goes on behind the scenes. Is he up to the task?

Is Jose Mourinho the right man for Tottenham?

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The “Special One” has returned. The circus is back in town.

At this point in his career, it’s no secret what Jose Mourinho is. The fiery, outspoken manager who has battled with reporters, sparred with club officials, and worn his emotions on his sleeve has made a triumphant return to the Premier League, waiting in the wings for the perfect job to emerge before pouncing like a jungle cat.

In true Mourinho fashion, he was appointed Tottenham manager less than 12 hours after Mauricio Pochettino‘s shocking dismissal. Before fans could even grasp the firing of their beloved boss who took the club to new heights, they were served with more head-spinning news: the club had called in The Greatest Show on Earth.

[ MORE: Pochettino pays for Levy mistakes ]

So is signing up for the Mourinho Redemption Tour the right move? It’s certainly left a lot of folks scratching their heads. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is most known for his shrewd transfer market dealings and ability to milk every last drop from the club coffers, but if there’s one thing the head man loves to maintain, it’s control. Many reports spoke of minor feuds with Pochettino that may have hastened his demise as results began to spiral out of control.

So, after dismissing a manager who Levy seemed to  There is no controlling Jose Mourinho, that has never been a secret. The Portuguese boss has feuded with the best of ’em – Roman Abramovich (twice), Florentino Perez, Massimo Moratti, and Ed Woodward all asked for his help, and all eventually had enough. Levy must know his days of true authority at Spurs are behind him.

There were other solid options on the market. Massimiliano Allegri, a manager Spurs had quite openly courted multiple times over the last decade – including while Pochettino was in his early days as Tottenham boss – is out of work and seemed like the most logical option. His defensive prowess would likely help patch this floundering Spurs squad, and his pragmatic approach at Juventus seems most similar to what Pochettino brought to the table, meaning there would be as little upheaval as possible while still providing the change Levy desired. Carlo Ancelotti is under fire at Napoli and likely could have been convinced to join. Rafa Benitez is looking for his next top-level job. Julian Nagelsmann may have been convinced to leave RB Leipzig at the end of the season. Eddie Howe has been a rising Premier League star for years.

It is thanks to Pochettino that these names are even considered a possibility, that Spurs is considered a very coveted job – certainly far more than just five-and-a-half years ago when they hired an Argentine who had only previously led the likes of Espanyol and Southampton. Now, those in line to replace him bring already trophy cabinets already bursting at the seams.

Yet with all those options, it took Daniel Levy 12 hours to push the big, red button labeled “IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.”

Levy knows what he’s getting himself into – he has to, right? Because there’s no secret what Jose Mourinho is. It’s hard to say Mourinho is “wrong” for this job, but it’s most certainly not what anyone expected Levy to want for his club, or for himself. Clearly, he was frustrated with Pochettino’s inability to secure a trophy – for all his hard work building the club, Pochettino still could not get his hands on the hardware. Mourinho is good for silverware, of that there is no question – and Levy clearly craves silverware, more than we thought – but if this goes south all too soon, there will be nobody else to blame.

Daniel Levy has welcomed in the Ringling Brothers. Jose Mourinho is the Greatest Show on Earth. He asked for this. Things are about to change in North London.

Pochettino pays for Levy’s mistakes after 5.5 brilliant seasons at Spurs

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Mauricio Pochettino is done as manager of Tottenham Hotspur, thus ending one of the most successful and exciting periods in the club’s 137-year history.

[ MORE: With Pochettino gone, who’ll take over at Tottenham? ]

Pochettino achieved more — even despite failing to win a trophy in his five and a half seasons at the club — than any manager since the legendary Bill Nicholson in the late 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, and he did so with resources which paled in comparison to those of numerous clubs that his side routinely outperformed.

To credit Pochettino for what he achieved — taking Tottenham from perennial Europa League dwellers to nailed-on Champions League qualifiers well ahead of schedule — isn’t to absolve the Argentine of his own faults or shortcomings.

He couldn’t have been an easy man to work with, or for, given the demanding nature of his human personality, his managerial style and his tough-as-nails tactics. For the past five seasons, he had absolute buy-in from every last individual in the squad, and achieved previously impossible things at a club like Spurs — four straight seasons finishing in the PL’s top-four and the famous run to last season’s Champions League final.

He was relieved of his duties on Tuesday, but the beginning of the end was undoubtedly this summer’s transfer window. When the likes of Christian Eriksen, Toby Aldeweireld and Danny Rose were desperate to leave the club — something Pochettino himself was desperate to oblige as he knew now was the time for a teardown and rebuild — the Spurs hierarchy, namely chairman Daniel Levy, put his foot down and railroaded the 2019-20 season long before it kicked off. It was at that point that Pochettino’s fate was decided, and he immediately understood both the short and long-term ramifications for himself and for the club.

[ MORE: Social media reacts to Pochettino’s shock firing ]

Pochettino was many things as Spurs manager, but adaptable or willing to compromise was not one of them. Surly by nature, he was far more so anytime he spoke publicly. He openly questioned the loyalty and dedication of his players and frequently hinted, as he had done throughout his years of working with Levy, that the club’s two most important figures had different visions of where, and how, to take the club forward.

Committing to Pochettino’s way must feel like joining and henceforth belonging to a cult.

Once the players’ blind willingness to follow the him into a raging inferno had gone, Pochettino was done. No longer were the players willing to endure long, grueling training sessions — sometime double and triple in nature — as it no longer directly benefited them and their respective careers. If Spurs wasn’t the club to double their current contracts and financially secure them for life, nor a club willing to sell them to one of a handful of clubs that would, why should they continue to run themselves into the ground for a disloyal club when they knew they would leave as a free agent in less than 12 months? In short, the current season began an untenable situation for Pochettino, and it only grew worse from there.

[ MORE: FA panel details “very challenging case” to rescind Son red card ]

The fact that Levy, a man best known for pinching his pennies in any negotiation, has willingly chosen to pay Pochettino more than $16 million to no longer work for the club indicates a complete breakdown in communication and that particular working relationship.

In some ways, it’s fitting that Pochettino is free from the financial limitations of Spurs and Levy is left to clean up his own mess.

Unless he already has his next Pochettino lined up and is prepared to back the successor in a way he has never before backed a manager, Levy comes out of this wholly sad ordeal looking like an uncooperative, iron-fisted ruler for having fired the only genius he himself ever hired.