Pep Guardiola had the backbone of one of the greatest club teams of all time as well as arguably the greatest player ever – Lionel Messi – and yet he decided to walk away from the Camp Nou.
It’s difficult to see why anyone would give up on a job that good, but with rumours abounding that he was desperate to sign Gareth Bale, could it have been Daniel Levy’s refusal to sell the Welshman that convinced him Barcelona wasn’t the place to be?
With Harry Redknapp suffering the chop at White Hart Lane, the Spurs job is up for grabs, and Guardiola could get what he craves and finally work with the most dangerous left winger in Europe.
Some will consider it far-fetched but Guardiola will have watched like everyone else as Spurs produced some of the best football the Champions League has seen two years ago when dismantling Internazionale.
It will involve a slight change of style for Guardiola, the current Spurs squad probably isn’t set up for tiki-taka football, but with the raw talent at his disposal he is capable of making them a better team than under Redknapp.
The Tottenham chairman has a chequered history when it comes to hiring and firing at White Hart Lane, with some disastrous choices that have set the club back significantly since he replaced Alan Sugar in February 2001.
His first move was to sack George Graham, always unpopular at the club because of his Arsenal connections, but the first Spurs boss to win a trophy since Terry Venables in 1991 when he landed the League Cup.
Glenn Hoddle took Spurs into the relegation zone during his spell at the club, with faithful club servant David Pleat called upon to do a rescue job and drag the club up the table.
The appointment of Jacques Santini was possibly Levy’s biggest blunder, the Frenchman lasting just 13 games after a running battle with another Levy appointment – the much-maligned sporting director Frank Arnesen.
Spurs turned to assistant boss Martin Jol, who brought stability and Uefa Cup football back to the Lane before his tenure was undermined by Levy, when Spurs representatives were seen dining with Spanish manager Juande Ramos, with Jol soon sacked.
While Ramos landed another League Cup for Spurs, he was otherwise a total disaster, with new sporting director Daniel Comolli responsible for a series of disastrous big money purchases such as Kevin-Prince Boateng, Giovanni Dos Santos, Adel Taarabt, David Bentley and Younes Kaboul, none of whom were ready for first-team Premier League football.
With Spurs back in the drop zone, Redknapp was appointed to steady the ship and over-achieved with consecutive fourth, fifth and fourth-place finishes. Now Levy, in his self-appointed role as Emperor of north London, has had another moment of madness and brought to an end a short era of rare promise.
Whoever steps into the hot seat at Spurs this summer, don’t expect it to be the best man for the job.
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