Frank De Boer is worth nothing to Tottenham without a change in club philosophy

We are a week away from the end of the Premier League season and presumably also a week ago from Tim Sherwood’s departure as manager.  That Tottenham have already decided to dump Sherwood is one of the worst-kept secrets in the game, and it’s already being assumed that Frank De Boer will be installed at White Hart Lane before the start of the World Cup.

Sherwood has his supporters, but they tend to just be ex-professionals who back him by default rather than because of any actual logic - and even they must be questioning their stance after yesterday’s humiliation and Sherwood’s latest failure to prepare a side properly for a significant game.

Frank De Boer’s credentials are impeccable, but his CV will count for very little in London if his move to Tottenham isn’t accompanied by a change in the club’s attitude.  The Dutchman is seen as a coach who embraces old school values and who focuses on developing existing talent rather than importing it, and that’s the kind of philosophy which requires a level of patience - and as we know, patience isn’t one of Daniel Levy’s strengths.

If Levy wants to employ a manager like De Boer then he must also tailor his expectations accordingly.  To allow a manager to actually build something within a club, a chairman can’t be prone to emotional decisions and can’t hopelessly overreact to two or three poor results in succession.  No, Levy isn’t quite the problem he’s made out to be on fans’ message-boards and websites, but there is an ambiguity over whether he’s an asset or a hindrance to the club; it’s easy to argue that he does as much harm as good.

Did Tim Sherwood warrant patience?  No, because he never had any real claim to the manager’s job before getting it - he had no experience or qualifications, and was just in the right place at the right time when the music stopped with Andre Villas-Boas. But De Boer is different, he’s shown what he can achieve and he has earned the right to be trusted by an employer.

Levy needs to remember that if he does appoint the Dutchman, because if he doesn’t - and if he stubbornly refuses to budge from his eighteen-month sack/appoint cycle - then there’s really no point in pursuing any manager of note.

The right manager is important, of course, but not more so than the creation of an environment which is conducive to success, and that’s something Tottenham have neglected over recent seasons.

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7 Comments on "Frank De Boer is worth nothing to Tottenham without a change in club philosophy"

  1. Clifford Chapman | May 5, 2014 at 5:56 am |

    Very much agree with David Meek. I still think we have the core of a great team at Spurs but our management over the last twenty or so years has been the worst of all the major clubs, in my view.

    Of all our managers since Birkenshaw, Rednapp was the best, and he would still be there now if the England job hadn’t turned his head cos if ever a man dug his own grave, he sure did.

    Mind you, I sure don’t think that Levy has the ability and footballing awareness that many Spurs fans give him credit for, because most of it seems based on selling players for more than we paid for them. Only a major club that lacks real ambition can surely see that as being good business?

  2. Shelfside Charlie | May 4, 2014 at 1:41 pm |

    Agree about the gutless, couldn’t care less attitude which shows a lack of will to win attitude in almost all the squad.
    Any new manager will have to be ruthless with players not giving their all, slagging them off in public does not seem to me to good man management, telling them personally that if they don’t improve in the effort stakes, you cannot always expect a player to give all skill-wise because form can disappear temporarily but commitment and effort should always be given, that they will be playing with the U-21s next week, and if they don’t improve then they are out. This is the Van Gaall attitude to big-shot players, I hope it will be the attitude of the next manager and that after saying that he doesn’t trust a number of his players wont then go on to tell the world how good he is doing . . .

  3. david meek | May 4, 2014 at 12:20 pm |

    Disagree. …when avb left, the team were worse than they were when he arrived. If you are in decline then sticking to a time frame is ridiculous. The style of defeat to city and Liverpool was where the shame was…..not just the score. Avb’s first season was warped by bale….spurs were poor in comparison to previous seasons but with a match winning world class player….and après-bale Avb’s philosophy, the team we support and us fans were embarrassed by our rivals. That is not acceptable in business. ..let alone sport.
    I like sherwood, but I also like my mum and she would be out of her depth managing a premiership football team too.
    I liked redknapp but he had to go….Ramos had to go…..not sure about Jol (although he’s hardly proved levy wrong since…..premiership wise at least)….santini had to go etc, etc, etc all the way back to Birkenshaw. …..
    If you want to criticise Levy, then criticise his appointments not the sackings.
    40 years after my first spurs match and with the Pony/scholar/Justin Edinburgh years still fresh in my nightmares I find spurs’ last few years wonderful and a little disconcerting.
    Finally. De boer would be interesting. I don’t think anybody thought baldini would be such bad business. The team need a defensive coach…..Please, please, please the team need a proper defensive coach and in Levy I trust

  4. Joe Carroll | May 4, 2014 at 12:02 pm |

    Also agree; however change in club philosophy goes far deeper than that as has been evident for many many years, was clear yet again yesterday and is the reason why Lloris for example wants away.The overall mindset is a gutless , couldn’t care less attitude.The will to win,work attitude and willingness to give 100% for the club and its fans is simply not there with many of the first team players and there are no onfield leaders seemingly strong enough to influence or change this attitude. Any new manager has primarily this gargantuan job of changing this, weeding out those who practice this and making it clear to the remainder that regardless of how big they are or how costly, they will be transferred if it persists. Who is big enough to do that ?? will he get Levy’s backing ?? - I very very much doubt it unfortunately. Unless this changes, the club will never win anything of note and is one of the reasons why it has not won a league title for 53 years

  5. On BBC Sport yesterday Owen Hargreaves commented on Tottenham and said our supporters are the reason for so many managerial changes. Our useless section of support are to blame as much as Levy,.Baldini, ENIC TalkSport or Ashton (Daily Mail anti AVB).

  6. Agree with May;Levy must stop trying to be a footballing genius and just stick to managing the financial affairs.Choose a manager (like De Boer)and give him a budget and give him at least 2 seasons to build a team.All I can say is thank god Van Gaai is a non starter

  7. Bang on the money. If u pick someone u have to back them. U need to give them at least 2 years….at least. Whoever levy wants. …..just back them. Support them. Don’t panic like we always do

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