The Saviour of Spurs
Dear Mr Levy,
You complete me.
For years you have been the Lex Luther to my Superman, leaving a trail of Kryptonite that has had detrimental damage. The Bane to my Batman, lifting me up in humiliation and breaking my resolve without a flinch. The Mike Ashley to my Newcastle, defecating in my bowl of corn flakes, day in and day out. You and your dark shadow that has blackened the Park Lane into unnerving darkness with no presence of even the faintest light. Until…until you had your epiphany. The moment, the one truly pure defining moment of your villainous Sarumanesque reign over my beloved club. The moment birthed from the depths of darkness where a blinding ray of sunshine cut up the night sky to shreds and turned it into a supernova of raining rainbows. You, the one responsible for the dread and the disillusion, changed the course of time its self.
One single decision that has enlightened and blessed us all.
You rid the club of the Director of Football structure, and as a consequence returned to simple fundamental basics. And saved us. Even though you left behind you a tapestry of mistakes that you were accountable for. They can now be brushed aside and forgotton about.
Daniel, I'm no longer in Kansas. And in front of me is a white and blue brick road leading us to the return of Technicolor glory.
I have preached outside White Hart Lane many times, disguised as a fundamentalist Christian armed with a megaphone telling passing supporters wandering down towards the South Stand that Jesus Christ loves them and forgives them. All ignoring my drooling monotonous ranting, laughing and taking the piss as they walked past. But I was influencing them and their thoughts, and they didn't even know it. Not willingly that is. Subliminal messages work in a mysterious way. The megaphone transmitted low frequency directives to anyone within 50 metres, penetrating their subconscious mind.
"Don't buy the Opus"
"Don't sit down, stand up"
"If we lose, it's the chairman's fault"
"Smoke in the cubicles"
Guerilla warfare against the oppressive dictatorship you stood for was a difficult and draining 24/7 campaign. I know people expect me to stand outside the West Stand main entrance and relentlessly chuck water balloons loaded with the contents of Pot Noodles at your passing car. Or shooting frozen shit pellets (do you have any idea how long it takes for me to make these? The diet I have to retain and the cost of refrigeration?) at board members when they're out dining with their wives. Handcuffing myself naked to the turnstiles and boycotting the Spurs Shop have served me well over the years and the country too, thanks to the generous amount of community service that her majesty has bestowed on me. Incidentally, that evening I was walking my cat (she was very domesticated) and it just so happened to jump over your gates and into your garden hence why your wife found me going through your bin bags. Cats do like rummaging for scraps. Anyway, the resulting restraining order was a little harsh, it has to be said. I'm considering legal aid, because I've not seen my cat since that day and your guard dog is looking suspiciously tubby. At least I was considering legal aid. It's all behind me now. The leaflets, the online propaganda. The effigies. All of it. It's in the past. I've forgiven.
Tottenham under Ramos
No more burning my season ticket in full view of the directors box. No more calls for others to do the same. Embrace your season ticket. Kiss it gently. Touch it in it's private area. Make sweet love to it. Whisper your unconditional loyalty, while you cheekily slap its sweet firm arse.
I am proud. Proud of the team and proud of your newly refined clarity. Many people go through life without a life-changing Darth Vader moment. You did. You have come full cycle, restoring balance. You are positively drenched in midi-chlorians, bringing with you a new hope.
And Jar-Jar Binks is nowhere to be seen.
When Comolli was axed, you were able to see the necessity for complications was redundant. No need for a continental structure when the most successful of clubs in England have done just fine without one. A traditional managerial appointment was needed. A man for the hour, a man for the immediate future. No 5 year plan. No lofty delusional assessments of our progress. Season upon season of transitional nonsense had rendered us null and void. A fragmented mess, disjointed. Beauty spots on a blemished face. Great to look at from afar, ugly up close. We had become the Paris Hilton of football clubs, believing our own hype thinking we are great and important. When in reality we had a stupid face and disgusting feet.
You did a brave thing. You made a ballsy decision. With the Spaniard sent home and the fans nervous about two measly points from eight games, the very foundations of the club began to shake. You remember that evening? I remember it well. I stood outside White Hart Lane, holding up a 'LEVY OUT 3:16' sign along with my 'THERE USE TO BE A FOOTBALL CLUB HERE' banner which I last held aloft just after the George Graham appointment. I stood there, tearful, waiting. And that's when I heard the news. Harry Redknapp. The new manager of Tottenham Hotspur.
A new dawn was upon us. I went home. Content. Happy.
The great managerial escapologist. Harry Houdini. Back to basics. English. And loyal to the club he's just joined until he's loyalty shifts across to his new club. And his new club was us. It was time for Tottenham to fight it's way out of the depths of the mire it had found its self in. And Harry was the man to lead us upwards. No more DoF interference. No more politics. No more misguided dreams. Get out of the bottom three and never look back.
Harry Redknapp's Tottenham
You read our predicament for what it was. A unmitigated disaster. Granted one of your own creation, and another Ramosesque appointment was an impossibility. Redknapp, man-manger extraordinaire, speaker of the English language, man of the media - the sound-bite king. This wasn't just about repairing the damage to the squad, the players confidence and the clubs non-existent stature. This was, in the most simplistic way, a relaying of our foundations, plastering over the cracks. The media love a bit of 'arry. The cynical might argue that this was a strategic stroke of genius, getting in a man who doesn't need to wait for a journalist to come knocking on his door. He calls them up. PR heaven. On and off the pitch. But who cares if the attention is deflected away from the chairman and onto the manager. Isn't that the whole point? You took responsibility for your actions rather than stand sheepishly behind a Frenchman.
Superfluous signings? Forget about it. Harry saw what was missing, what was needed and did the simple thing: Sign players that would improve the teams effectiveness. And you supported him. It would take 1000 Zokora's to match the presence of one single strand of hair from the head of Wilson Palacios. JD's return is proving to be inspired. Keane returned home from his sabbatical and claimed the captaincy. And in Chimbonda we made sure we covered our defensive line. In case anyone got injured. Or if we needed to cover anyone who required a rest. Not that we did. We did, but not that we had to call for Chimbonda's assistance. But it's not the winning that matters, it's the taking part. Which technically Pascal didn't do, well neither, but he was there. With us. In spirit. And that was the effect Harry had. He got the players working for each other and for the club and restored the pride that had deserted us.
And then the moneyshot, the reason why your decision to bring in Harry will go down in history as one of the great master-strokes of chairmanship. Escaping the clutches of relegation and coming within a whisker of European qualification, along with another cup final appearance was simply inspirational. It justified everything and made a mockery of the director of football mantra.
And this season, it's more of the same. Upbeat, positive and belief from the players and the fans in the stands. Good solid signings. Nine points, three games. Top of the Premier league. Free-scoring. Swaggering. Swashbuckling. Sexy. Harry has given us our Tottenham back. WHL is a fortress and away games are a blast. We all know of course that this - the present - is all Harry's doing with regards to results. So the real test is yet to come. The one concerning how we react to any minor (or major) blip in form - with nobody to blame as the responsibility will belong solely to him. The one about mental strength and staying power. And Harry is here to restore respectability and make sure the foundations hold strong. So that the next appointment is not a transition but a continuation.
You have learnt a valuable lesson in football. You need to walk the walk rather than just talk the talk. Appointing Ramos on the advisement of Comolli and Kemsley to take us to the next level displayed a lack of realism and a dollop of over-confidence about where we stood in the food chain of football.
We are now a team. A unit. A dolphin not a haddock. A badger not a skunk.
And it's because of you Daniel.
I can forgive your good self and Paul Barber for the travesty of the yellow-streaked home shirt. I can forgive you for the continued employment of that arrogant sonofabitch Chirpy and his sexual harassing of supporters (he touched my back once and just starred back at me, smiling. I felt violated). I can even forgive you for the commissioning of the endless supply of club DVD's chronicling score-draws.
You are forgiven. Unequivocally.
I want us to hold hands (metaphorically, as the restraining order still has me at 100 metres distance) and march together, forward.
The future is bright. The Future is lilywhite.
I have sent you a hamper of bagels and a lovely bottle of white wine (never red, right?)
I love you man.