Tottenham a shambles and directors of football don't work, says Jeff Stelling

ROME, ITALY - OCTOBER 21:  New general manager of AS Roma, Franco Baldini attends a press conference at Centro Sportivo Fulvio Bernardini on October 21, 2011 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Image: Franco Baldini: not taking the blame at Tottenham.

It's always the manager who carries the can while the director of football gets away with it and that appears to be the case with Franco Baldini at Tottenham.

The other thing with Spurs that I can't understand is that if they've got a director of football in Baldini and if Daniel Levy clearly wants an input as well then what does he want in a manager? Presumably they want someone that they can tell 'right we'll give you the players you go off and coach them'. Did he think that AVB was going to be a tracksuit coach and be out there coaching all these wonderful players that he's brought in? Absolutely not, he's a man that gave a PowerPoint presentation to get the job as manager. He's not your hands-on guy down at the training ground every week as far as I understand it. So in every respect I think the Spurs vision was always blurred. The situation at the moment is a total shambles. It's easy to talk in hindsight but in my view Andre Villas-Boas was the wrong choice; he failed at Chelsea and had fallen out with the players, I didn't understand what there was to recommend him and it was a bad appointment. They've got Tim Sherwood in charge, temporarily at least. He's a cracking guy with good ideas but it's hard to start your first job in charge of players that have cost £20million to £30million and will have big egos. They're a total mess and where will they look to next? They better find someone quick because that Champions League spot is disappearing over the horizon at a rate of knots and they're now out of the Capital One Cup, a competition we sometimes turn our noses up at, but it would have been a piece of silverware. Let's not forget that Harry Redknapp took Spurs to the Champions League and gave them a fantastic run and they would have been in the competition the following year had it not been for the freak of Chelsea winning the Champions League. The decision to sack him was one of the biggest mistakes that Daniel Levy will ever have made. He was doing a terrific job. Levy clearly wants to have an influence on the club and it is his money that's going into it so I sort of understand that he wants that. But when you have an input you have to make sure it's good and not taking the club in the wrong direction. They've got Southampton away this Sunday which is not ideal. There's often a new manager bounce but there was none of that present in the cup defeat to West Ham on Wednesday and they're going to be at rock bottom. It's going to be interesting to see how they approach a Southampton side who, despite a couple of setbacks, are still playing some sparkling football and the sort of football that Spurs fans would love to see their team play.


Liverpool's performance last weekend at White Hart Lane hasn't quite got the credit it deserved because of all the aftermath of AVB's dismissal but they weren't just good, they were breath-taking. Without Steven Gerrard or Daniel Sturridge and they were still a joy to watch. It's no exaggeration to say they could have scored 10 or 12 and I think Brendan Rodgers deserves massive credit because he's getting the best out of, not just Luis Suarez, but Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Lucas, Joe Allen, Jon Flanagan - they were just absolutely brilliant. In the Daily Telegraph I read that Burnley manager Sean Dyche had had dinner with Brendan Rodgers and had said to him 'do you realise the hopes of a lot of young British managers hinge on your shoulders? You have to show that young British managers can succeed at the highest level.' In which case I'd say that Rodgers is not just doing himself a huge favour but also doing young British mangers a favour because people will look and see that you don't have to have some flash and fancy foreign pedigree. Brendan Rodgers, a brilliant young manager, can maybe give others like Sean Dyche the chance to follow in his footsteps.

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