Daniel Levy

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Levy wants to host Tottenham, NFL games on same day

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Maybe NFL and Premier League teams can share players as well as a stadium?

Imagine Tom Brady playing up front for Tottenham. Imagine Harry Kane at quarterback for the New England Patriots.

That’s not going to happen, but back-to-back NFL and Premier League games at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium could.

After the first NFL game held at Tottenham’s glitzy new $1.25 billion stadium (the Oakland Raiders beat the Chicago Bears) was a roaring success, the London Evening Standard have the details on Spurs chairman Daniel Levy planning to host both types of football on the same day, one after another.

“The intention with the design was to avoid the overlay that other stadiums have to go through,” Tom Jones, senior principal at design firm Populous. “The brief that we got from Daniel and the club was that they wanted a stadium that was perfect for football.

“But he had a great ambition to get the NFL to Tottenham. There are sliding pitches all over the world, but Tottenham had the ambition to be able to host multiple events. So, they wanted to be able to make it happen quickly. Daniel has a great ambition one day, which we all fear, of hosting a double-header of football in the morning and NFL in the evening.”

Now, this is all about one thing, proving that if the NFL ever has a franchise in London it will be based at Tottenham’s stadium. Spurs will often play on a Saturday, but a lot of their games are moved to Sunday’s so there could be some logistical issues.

Levy wasn’t having any of that.

With Wembley and Twickenham previously hosting NFL games in London, Spurs’ new home was built specifically to host NFL games as well as soccer.

A grass pitch which rolls out to reveal a turf pitch for NFL is one thing, but Spurs also have full-size NFL locker rooms and is ready to host a franchise.

Levy’s dream is to make this stadium a beacon of success for the Tottenham area and if they could have an NFL franchise as well as Spurs in this venue, it would be a huge financial windfall for the club and locals.

At 62,000, it is probably a better size than Wembley (90,000 capacity) to host an NFL team which plays eight home games a season rather than the four per season currently in London.

Spurs have set things up to have back-to-back football on Sunday’s. Let’s see if it happens.

Pochettino looks forward after uneasy summer: “Past is the past”

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Mauricio Pochettino admits he’s been masking negative emotions after his summer at Tottenham Hotspur.

He hasn’t done a particularly good job masking them, admittedly, but his words following Tottenham’s 2-2 draw with Arsenal show just how rough things are around the North London side.

[ MORE: 4 things from the North London Derby ]

Pochettino seems ready to pin Spurs’ wobbly start, which includes draws to Man City and Arsenal and a home loss to Newcastle United, on drama with the transfer window, namely whether Christian Eriksen will wind up at Spurs following Monday’s European deadline.

Safe to say he’s not feeling it, and that buzz about him quitting regardless of result might’ve been wrong but founded in something real.

Pochettino did strike optimistic notes for the future, saying that Eriksen is unlikely to leave on Sunday.

“We have massive quality and from tomorrow [when the transfer window shuts] we will all be on the same page. With Christian Eriksen we have to wait but it shows it was the right decision to play him. He showed a great performance and helped the team to get a point here. … I am optimistic and happy to work with the squad and try to fight for big things for the club.

Harry Kane scored a penalty in the draw, and had a shout — we believe it to be a poor one — for another in the second half.

He sees the result as fair.

“If a few final balls would have been better, we would have created more. It is a shame we couldn’t kill it off,” he said. “But it is the Premier League and if you don’t kill teams off they come back at you.”

Spurs’ upcoming schedule is more forgiving, but comes with the added pressure of UEFA Champions League congestion.

As Pochettino lashes out, do Spurs have big problem?

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Mauricio Pochettino has certainly set the cat amongst the pigeons with his fiery comments.

Tottenham Hotspur’s manager told journalists that they should probably stop referring to him as that and just as Spurs’ head coach as he has nothing at all to do with buying or selling players or extending contracts.

Since then #BackPoch has been trending on Twitter and Tottenham’s fans have been lashing out at chairman Daniel Levy.

Pochettino’s title was changed from head coach to manager when he signed a new contract in 2016, but he believes it should now be changed again.

“I know nothing about the situation of my players,” Pochettino told journalists in Munich after Spurs beat Real Madrid 1-0 in the Audi Cup on Tuesday. “I am only coaching them and trying to get the best from them. Sell, buy players, sign contract, not sign contract – I think it is not in my hands, it’s in the club’s hands and [chairman] Daniel Levy. The club needs to change my title and description. Of course I am the boss deciding the strategic play, but in another area I don’t know. Today, I feel like I am the coach.”

Should we read too much into this?

Pochettino’s command of the English language has got better but sometimes he isn’t able to understand questions, however this doesn’t seem like a misunderstanding. Not at all.

The Argentine coach knows what he is doing here. He is cranking the pressure up on Levy to get deals over the line.

In previous press conferences this summer Pochettino has made it clear he doesn’t know anything about the arrival of new players and he wants everyone to know he cannot be blamed for the lack of new additions. Yes, Tanguy Ndombele has arrived for a club-record $80 million but that has been it. Youngster Jack Clarke has been loaned back to Leeds United for this season, so Spurs’ squad is pretty similar to what it was last season.

With William Saliba joining Arsenal over Spurs and Paulo Dybala now looking likely to head to Manchester United, two of Spurs’ top targets are going elsewhere in the PL.

Add to that Giovani Lo Celso not arriving and the futures of Christian Eriksen, Danny Rose and Toby Alderweireld not clear, plus losing Kieran Trippier to Atletico Madrid, and Pochettino doesn’t seem that impressed with what’s going on behind-the-scenes.

Spurs have played really well in preseason, for the most part. They’ve used plenty of youngsters like Troy Parrott, Anthony Georgiou and Oliver Skipp and have beat Juventus and Real Madrid and lost narrowly to Man United.

What Pochettino is saying is this: I am doing my job preparing this team for another season of overachievement on the pitch. Mr. Levy, can you do yours and bring in top-class players and sign our best players up to new contracts?

Ndombele’s arrival should have been the first of many given Spurs’ incredible run to the Champions League final and yet another top four finish last season amid playing most of the season at Wembley due to delays at their stunning new venue.

Perhaps Pochettino doesn’t want Levy and Spurs’ board to use the move to a new stadium as an excuse anymore. All in all, Poch seems pretty fed up that Spurs aren’t making the strides he would have hoped in terms of player recruitment this summer. Levy doesn’t deserve to be lambasted by Tottenham’s fans. He has helped them build a stunning new stadium, he hired Pochettino in the first place and he has always been the driver behind developing young talent in the academy.

But just like Pochettino should take his share of the blame for poor performances on the pitch, so too should Levy if he isn’t able to get deals across the line in the boardroom.

This could spell big trouble for Spurs, especially with Real Madrid continuing to struggle under Zinedine Zidane.

How long will it be until Pochettino heads to the Santiago Bernabeu if he and Levy start to lock horns on a more regular basis?

That might seem drastic now, but Pochettino is a man of principles and if he doesn’t feel like he is being supported properly he will walk away quickly.

Both Pochettino and Levy have worked wonders to get Spurs to where they are right now. The final step of winning a major trophy and consistently challenging for titles is the toughest hurdle to negotiate.

That pressure is already starting to show.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Alderweireld to Roma, Haller to West Ham

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According to Sky Sports, Roma sporting director Franco Baldini is in London to discuss a move for Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld. The 30-year-old was a regular for Spurs along the back line last season, but reportedly has a clause in his contract where he can leave for a bargain price of $31 million. That clause reportedly expires July 25, leaving clubs with little time to take advantage of such a steal.

Still, Roma seems determined to lower this price even further, hoping to convince Spurs that Alderweireld could leave next summer for free with many bigger clubs scared away by his large wage demands and advanced age. Alderweireld rejected a contract offer from Spurs hoping to secure a bigger payday elsewhere, and if reports from Italy are to be believed, the offer from Roma are not exactly the massive windfall he may have hoped for.

There ultimately seems to be a lot more to go on this front before it becomes a reality. Daniel Levy, a known negotiator, likely won’t be spooked by letting a 31-year-old defender walk next summer after five strong seasons at the club and just $18 million spent to bring him from Ajax in 2015. The payday would be nice, but Alderweireld is still a strong starter at this point in his career and isn’t terribly valuable on the open market. Keeping him another season and letting him walk for free isn’t the worst decision Levy could make.

West Ham has been reportedly interested in Eintracht Frankfurt striker Sebastien Haller, but until recently, the player was not keen on the move. However, there’s apparently been a change of heart, and a $45 million deal may be back on.

According to L’Equipe reporter Hugo Delom, British agent Willie McKay has convinced Haller that a move would be best instead of holding out for a Champions League club. The 25-year-old scored 20 goals for Frankfurt last season across all competitions last season, including 15 in 29 Bundesliga appearances.

The Hammers need a goalscorer in the worst way. The only natural strikers on the roster are Javier Hernandez and Jordan Hugill. Chicharito is 31 and rumors are flying of an exit this summer, while Hugill spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough and struggled, scoring just six goals in 37 Championship appearances. Meanwhile, Robert Snodgrass is aging at 31 years old and Marko Arnautovic has departed for the Chinese league.

Aston Villa is reportedly in play for Brazilian U-23 captain Douglas Luiz. The 21-year-old midfielder is with Manchester City, having joined back in the summer of 2017 from Brazilian side Vasco de Gama, but he spent last season out on loan at Spanish side Girona and his pathway is still blocked by the wealth of talent in the senior squad.

According to the BBC report, a deal has been agreed upon for $19 million that would see Luiz move to the newly promoted side on a permanent basis. The Brazilian was unable to obtain a British work permit last summer, the partial reason for his loan to Girona, meaning he would have to give that another go for Villa to deploy him this coming season. The report states, however, that they feel confident he will be able to earn a work permit and be eligible to play this campaign.

According to numerous reports in England, with Telegraph reporter John Percy first on the scene, Wolves winger Ivan Cavaleiro is on his way to recently relegated side Fulham, with a medical scheduled for today and the possibility of an announcement soon after.

The reports all say that Fulham will snag the 25-year-old Portuguese international on a season-long loan and will have an option to buy at the end of the season. Cavaleiro was instrumental in Wolves’ promotion campaign two years ago, scoring nine goals and assisting 12 as Wolves won the Championship title, but he struggled to find time on the field in the Premier League last season, making just six starts all season. Wolves also offloaded fellow winger Helder Costa to Leeds United last week.

Fulham needs wingers desperately, with the departure of Ryan Babel and Andre Schurrle on his way back to Borussia Dortmund upon the club’s relegation. Cavaleiro seems a perfect capture for the Whites, as he has proven his ability in the Championship and could be an asset moving forward should they return to the top flight. The Whites are also linked this summer with Brighton winger Anthony Knockaert and Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter.

According to the Liverpool Echo, Everton has responded to an injury from RB Leipzig regarding to Ademola Lookman by setting a price of $31 million.

RB Leipzig is familiar with the 21-year-old England youth international, as the German side had Lookman on loan for the second half of the 2017/18 season. He made 11 Bundesliga appearances including seven starts, scoring five goals and improving as the loan spell went on. They attempted to sign him permanently at the end of his loan spell last summer but could not come to an agreement.

He returned to Everton and spent all of last season as a bench option, making just three starts but seeing the field 21 times, failing to find the back of the net. Lookman is with the Everton squad in Switzerland for their preseason tour.

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.”