Dear Mr Levy,
I would like to apply for the job as first team coach at Tottenham Hotspur.
My understanding is that the position is not officially or publicly on offer, however, I can read between the lines and its obvious to me that you require a fresh approach at the club, and as someone who understands football as good as any journalist or ex-pro I can offer something unique.
Unlike other potential appointments, I can clearly state that I am Tottenham Hotspur through and through. And as a fan, the expectancy of wanting the players to give 110% in all games will be made clear in the dressing room. I’m capable of shouting and throwing stuff around and let’s be honest, it can’t be that fucking hard to get eleven players to follow simple instructions.
Win the ball, keep the ball, push the ball, pass the ball, kick the ball, turn away and celebrate.
I’m happy to work with Martin Jol if you want to demote him to being my assistant. Won’t work with Chris Houghton though. Nothing personal. Just not sure what it is he does.
I’m available for a sit-down with Kemsley or whomever you want to send out to discuss terms. I won’t be packing any Nurofen, and don’t expect to get dizzy, but will keep an Aspirin on me in case the offer gives me a momentary head-throb. No need for web-cams, net-meetings or telephone calls. We can do this in a plush hotel or restaurant, or if you prefer I know a great pub in Wapping.
No, I do not have any coaching badges. Or any prior experience as a manager or coach in the professional game, in England or abroad. But I’m a snappy dresser and will look sharp in the technical box shouting instructions out to the players. I also have an air of arrogance that appears to be quite popular with today’s big name managers. Call it a verbal swagger. In post-match interviews I will use the media to mine (our) advantage, rather than being apologetic or sympathetic or saying funny stuff like ‘shitting it’ or ‘English cup of tea’. It’s obvious that the bigger the cunt you are the better the manager. I also have bad eyesight, which is obviously a bonus.
As a fan, I will select the players I believe are deserving of representing the club and will instill a never-say-die attitude. And with a true fan at the helm, supporters won’t be able to complain that I don’t know what I’m doing, because if anyone knows the best for their club it’s the person who watches them week in and week out - the season ticket holder. I am the voice of many. The voice of a collective. Think Locutus of Borg. More hair, not as pale.
I am happy to work as part of the continental director of football coaching structure with Damien Comolli. Though if you think for a second I will accept any old rubbish just because he scouted them, then we may have difficulties. I’m being upfront about this rather than allow problems to manifest at a later date. I’ll ask for the type of players I would like, he can bring me a list and I’ll select the one I want. And if I don’t like any of them, then I’ll use the Football Manager database as an alternative. If I ask for a defender(s) I don’t want you to buy me a £17M striker. In fact, fuck it, let’s just use FM. Save you a packet in wages and expenses. If you look closely at the stats it clearly shows Zokora’s first touch is pony. FM 1 Comolli 0.
Now, you’re probably wondering ‘what the hell’. I don’t blame you. I probably scare you a little. When I stand outside your bedroom window at night with my voodoo doll you probably think to yourself, what a strange young man. But it’s people like me that make football what it is. Unpredictable. I’m a maverick. A glitch in the system. An unexpected fart on the train. I’ll bring tactical awareness much like Jose (who never played the professional football) has done in his career that will lead to silverware.
I will drop players, no matter who they are. Yes, I will drop Jenas. I will demand they all play to win every ball like their lives depend on it. I’ll start with the basics like fitness levels, set pieces and closing down. You can hire qualified PE teachers for all the exercise stuff. In addition, a few rounds of British Bulldog and ‘Knockout’ will help with intensity.
Just make sure I have a blackboard and a piece of sturdy chalk, or if its in budget one of those Andy Gray toys, without the shaved talking guerrilla.
Robbo will be the first one to sit on the bench. Then he'll sit on the floor when it breaks into two. At the moment all opposition teams need to do is either have a crack from 30 yards out or dink the ball into the box (he’ll miss one out of ten). Easy pickings. Also easy not to pick him.
Tactically, I’ll do what any successful club does. An organised defence with a loud commanding central defender bossing the team. Midfield anchorman/defensive lion heart along with an attacking maestro (Diego at FC Porto will do if you want to start tapping up a player). Upfront, I will play two forwards who are in form and will rotate only when the second two forwards can still guarantee goals against weaker opposition.
Against Arsenal in the NLD we were spread more easily than margarine (copyrighted David Pleat). Fact is the players we possess in midfield cannot play to a system that isn’t clearly defined. The amount of room given to Arsenal was insurmountable. There is no intelligence with our play. It’s like asking a bunch of seven year olds to play Total Football. Play to your strengths with the players you have.
As for style of play, yes, I’m a purist. Entertaining football does bring success. And rather than go for the Chelsea school of thought, I will look to build a side that has all the qualities that Spurs fans demand with one major improvement. Backbone. Backbone in every sense of the word.
We attack relentlessly. If we go one up, from the kick-off we look to take possession and dominate midfield, then strike again. None of this sitting back lark. If we go 2-0 up, we play tenaciously, biting at the opposition and retain the ball and once more look to put the game behind them.
I’ll have them playing like Arsenal in no time.
You earn £40,000 per week? I want to see you sweat blood. I want eleven Terry Butchers. Just less ugly. And more skillful. A lot more skillful. In fact, scrap Butcher. I want eleven Dave Mackays, still running around even with broken legs. Shirt worn with pride and honour.
You let the fans down with a lacklustre performance in a North London Derby? Your wages are docked and they go into a lottery to be won by the fans (excluding the West Stand). At least that way they get something back.
Football management is about man management. I don’t need to have played the game for 20 years. It’s not a necessity. It helps, but let’s face it, anyone could do it. It’s just that there’s a secret club mentality with giving jobs to ex-pro’s, keeping them happy, prolonging their retirement plans. It’s like the police and the London Black cabs.
Also, let’s take the Big Sam Factor into consideration. Bolton Wanderers. Hard to beat, well organised, difficult to play against, good at counter-attacking. A bastard of a team to beat. Everyone’s favourite most hated side. Then, with the same squad of players, Little Sam manages to turn them into an easy to beat soft touch of a side that look like relegation fodder. Why? Because Little Sam doesn’t have the required skills to inspire the players. He commands little respect and no inspirational and motivational skills. Though when you attempt to emulate the former manager by wearing a long trench coat and earpiece, you’re just asking to be ridiculed. You stupid stupid little Peter Pan of a man. Stop with the self-humiliation and grow the fuck up.
Spurs players may feel the same about me. No respect because I haven’t played the game. Haven't won anything. Yet there’s a ton of managers out there who did play the game, pretty damn badly, and they’re in management.
Considering you appointed Santini, I don’t see that much difference. At least my eyes sit comfortably in my head and I speak the language. I’ll be far more media savvy too. Jol is media savvy though, bless him. With that menacing look turning to a sly cheeky grin. The big fat Dutch bear, I just want to hug him till he burps love bubbles.
I know that in most cases people would include their CV at this point. Much like that bloke who applied for the Boro vacancy, after McClaren left for England, with a list of his Football Manager achievements. I will not list my FM achievements, though winning the quadruple 3 years running and remaining undefeated at Fortress Lane for 5 seasons shouldn’t be something to ignore lightly (stature also built in my honour).
Instead, I simply ask you to give me three games. Just three games. Call it a trial. You don’t have to pay me. If I win all three games, then that will be proof (more so than a bunch of words on a CV) that I can do the job. If I have an unsuccessful stint, then we’ll share a bottle of vintage port, made an antidote or two and I’ll be on my way. I’m sure Gillingham will hire me and you'll be free to bring in Ramos for next season.
To dare is to do, Daniel.