Welcome to Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.
By now, you’ve no doubt settled into an office that was occupied by your predecessor, Mauricio Pochettino. Before you get truly comfortable and tell Spurs supporters what your plans are, please know what you are taking on.
About twenty years ago, Spurs began a slow, methodical transformation. The man who hired you, Daniel Levy, took over when ENIC purchased the controlling stake of the club. Through the ups and downs of his tenure, supporters watched the change and got excited for the future.
There have been many bright spots, like defeating Chelsea in the Carling Cup Final in 2008 or watching Peter Crouch bury a header at Etihad Stadium, sending Spurs to the Champions League for the first time in their history.
I’ve gone to YouTube and watched the highlights of Gareth Bale stealing Maicon’s soul from his body on repeat, sending him on a permanent journey in search of a taxicab. This was after his inexplicable hat trick at the San Siro against that same Inter Milan squad.
Spurs have had title challenges fall short that were magical runs and a Champions League final just six months ago that I had a hard time explaining just what it meant to everyone that follows the club. Those runs ended in heartbreak, and I want that to change. I want to see our captain, Hugo Lloris, lift a trophy in a Spurs kit while everyone around him celebrates.
Not long after Gareth Bale left Spurs for Madrid, a kid named Harry Kane join the senior squad. You’ve probably heard of him, given he tortured Chelsea a few times when you were still manager at our rival. That 5-3 victory on New Year’s Day is still enjoyable to watch. He’s now entering the prime of his career and desperately wants to win silverware. I love him, and I want him to succeed with his boyhood club.
You’ll have a bunch of wonderful players to choose from besides Harry. Dele Alli is a fantastic midfielder and should get a boost from your experience. Heung-Min Son is a dangerous attacker with loads of pace and ability and it’s been painful watching him cry. Erik Lamela is the quintessential squad player who will give you his all every match. Just don’t be surprised if he commits a foul or seven (or a murder) in a single match.
There are new players that I’m excited for like Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso! They are the future in midfield and they’re already showing everyone why the club made the move for them. I’m eager to see Ryan Sessegnon marauding down the left flank after he came to Spurs from Fulham.
I know you have a resume full of accolades and you have been regarded as one of the best to ever stand in a manager’s box. There’s reason to be excited to see you coming out of the tunnel as an ally and not the enemy. You’re going to have world class training facilities at your disposal and a gorgeous new stadium to bask in.
But I have real concern over the negative things that come with you.
I’ve watched your antics in press conferences and post-match interviews. Those are probably minor, given Spurs supporters have dealt with “sour Poch” for awhile now, but I’ve watched you throw players under the bus, whether it’s direct or subtle. There was that discriminatory firing that happened at Chelsea that I cannot, and will not, forget. Your ego is a huge concern, and while I understand that all players and managers have one and it’s almost a necessity to do so, you tend to let it get out of control.
I’m also worried that you aren’t what you once were. Your stint at Manchester United, even though you won three trophies there, was not a good one. You spent more time complaining about the transfer policy and Ed Woodward than you did planning tactics toward the end. Daniel Levy is not an idiot like Woodward is, and he certainly isn’t going to give you a blank check for transfers.
The bottom line is this: I want to be excited for this move. You’re a huge name, probably the biggest one Spurs have ever had in the manager’s box. Through all the bullsh*t that you put supporters through, there have always been trophy celebrations that help wash that away.
This club is on the verge of a breakthrough, I can feel it. That last step has been elusive, and I hope that you are the one to guide the club to glory.
Audere est Facere, José.
Please, do not f*ck this up.